Spartan first sergeant receives Silver Star from CENTCOM commander
FORWARD OPERATING BASE FENTY, Afghanistan — A leader is an individual that embodies strength of character, resiliency and presence of mind during battle.
On April 22, one such leader was awarded for valor under fire when he was presented with a Silver Star by the Central Command commander, Navy Adm. William Fallon, on his vehicle patrol base along the Pech River road.
1st Sgt. John E. Mangels of "Combat" Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment first sergeant, was awarded the Silver Star for his courage and determination in the face of an intense fire fight and even after serious injury.
On the night of Oct. 6, 2006, the vehicle patrol base Combat Main, located on the Pech River Road in Kunar province, came under enemy fire from multiple locations on both sides of the river. Mangels led retaliation fire from the M240B mounted on his vehicle, designating enemy firing positions for his Soldiers.
Due to his accurate aim and the threat he personally posed to the enemy, lethal and direct fire was aimed at Mangels. During this onslaught, Mangels received a shrapnel wound to his head which knocked him out for several minutes. Once Mangels regained consciousness, he continued to move between fighting positions to rally his men and provide guidance.
"He actually still had shrapnel in his head, but he wouldn't even let me look at him until he knew all his Soldiers were fine," said Army Staff Sgt. Guy Lamb, a fire support noncommissioned officer with Combat Company, 1-32 Infantry. "He's always been like that. It's like he has no fear in a fire fight."
Only when the last wounded Soldier was evacuated from the fight did Mangels allow himself to be treated and eventually evacuated.
14 May 2007
1st Sgt. John Mangels Awarded Silver Star
"He actually still had shrapnel in his head, but he wouldn't even let me look at him until he knew all his Soldiers were fine."
1st Sgt. John Mangels being awarded the Silver Star by Adm. William Fallon on April 22, 2007 in Afghanistan.
Posted by MaryAnn