08 February 2012

Task Force Poseidon MEDEVAC Soldiers receive Polish award

Polish armed forces operational commander Lt. Gen. Edward Gruszka, pins the Bronze Polish Army Medal to Sgt. Frank Cermak, of Virginia Beach, Va., a flight medic with Task Force Corsair, Task Force Poseidon. Courtesy Photo, DVIDS.

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Three Task Force Poseidon medical evacuation soldiers earned Polish medal Jan. 19 at Forward Operating Base Ghazni.

U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rollin Burley, Staff Sgt. Joshua Melocik and Sgt. Frank Cermak were awarded Polish Army Bronze Medals. The soldiers are members of 3rd Forward Support medevac Team, Charlie Company 3-82, assigned to Task Force Corsair.

"It means that we are getting recognition from a foreign government for the work we do," said Cermak of Virginia Beach, Va., a flight medic. "It shows the cooperative effort between the coalition forces."

Task Force White Eagle is made up of Polish army soldiers currently operating in Ghazni Province.

In the last six months, the 3rd FSMT has evacuated more than 200 Polish soldiers in addition to training Polish medics in combat life-saving techniques. In return, Polish medics have acted as interpreters for the medics during medevacs, greatly adding to the medic’s ability to provide care to the sick and injured.

"Polish medics would fly with us to forward operating bases and points of injury, translating for us so it made it easier,” said Cermak. "They would translate polish medicine that was administered to the casualties by the ground medic."

The awards were presented by Lt. Gen. Edward Gruszka, Polish armed forces operational commander. Alongside of Gruszka was Maj. Gen. Piotr Blazeusz, Task Force White Eagle commander and senior Polish officer in Afghanistan.

The Polish Army Medal (Polish: Medal Wojska Polskiego) was established Sept. 3, 1999. The award was created to recognize service to the Polish army by foreign military personnel. The medal is presented in three grades: gold, silver, and bronze by the Polish Minister of National Defense.

Most awards are presented to members of allied armed forces, but the medal is also awarded to civilians who contribute to promoting the history and traditions of the Polish army outside of Poland.

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