Retired 10th Mountain Division Soldier awarded for leadership in Afghanistan


Retired Sgt. Adam Holroyd, assigned to 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, was awarded the Silver Star during a ceremony Sept. 1 at Fort Drum. Lt. Col. Scott Horrigan, former 1-32 Infantry commander, presented the award to Holroyd and spoke at the ceremony. The award citation credits Holroyd with repeatedly put himself in harm’s way and thinking only of the safety of other Soldiers during a coordinated enemy attack in the Nuristan Province, Afghanistan, in August 2009. (Photo by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWTI) — A former Soldier of the 10th Mountain Division was awarded at Fort Drum this week for his efforts and leadership in Afghanistan.

During a ceremony on September 1, Sergeant Adam Holroyd received the Silver Star award for his courage while assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team in Afghanistan in August 2009. Sgt. Holroyd was specifically highlighted for repeatedly putting himself in harm’s way to ensure the safety of others during a coordinated enemy attack in the Nuristan Province in Afghanistan.

According to official records, on August 10, 2009, Anti-Afghan Forces initiated an attack with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades at the battalion headquarters. Holroyd rushed through enemy fields of fire to evacuate a wounded Joint Task Force medic and then guide nearby Soldier to fend off the enemy attack.

The records stated that as the situation intensified, an ammunition supply point caught fire. Sgt. Holyord again moved through enemy fire to retrieve water needed to extinguish the fire. He also warned others not to assist him, knowing the likelihood of injuries or fatalities.

Holyord continued and grabbed a M2 machine gun to suppress and distract enemy forces. He led the effort of extracting cases loaded with armed RPH rounds, which allowed more Soldiers to move back to the compound.

These efforts allowed the battalion headquarters to retain its position and maintain the safety of coalition Soldiers. However, Holyord said he could not take full responsibility for this effort.

“It is to them that we owe our gratitude, not really to me,” Holroyd said at the ceremony at Fort Drum. “Many of those people are here today, and for that I am so very thankful. Thankful that we still live. This award is and has always been larger than just me. It is a marker in time for the valorous actions executed faithfully by members of the Chosin battalion during the global war on terrorism.”

At the ceremony on September 1, Former 1-32 Infantry Commander Lt. Col. Scott Horigan also spoke about deployment and the Soldiers of Task Force Chosin, which was involved in the August 2009 enemy attack.

“In the early summer of 2009, no one in the Chosin battalion realized that they would be asked to air assault into a district center in northern Nuristan, called Barg-e Matal,” Horrigan said. “They did not realize over the months forthcoming that they would be asked to fight in cornrows right outside the district center, they did not know they would be asked to fight inside the wood huts of the district center and they did not know they would be asked to extend that fight into the mountains outside.”

Lt. Col. Horrigan went on to address why Sgt. Holroyd deserved the Silver Star.

“Sgt. Holroyd helped teach me this lesson and helped fuse that as part of my professional DNA,” he said. “Sgt. Holroyd embodies everything that is great about the 10th Mountain Division. He’s a tough Soldier, a great leader, and he is someone who will absolutely do what is right whenever he is asked.”

The Silver Star award is noted as the third-highest military combat decoration. It is awarded to members of the Armed Forces for actions against an enemy of the United States, military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force or for an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

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