RANGERS 2 Gibson, Joe

John Robertson

Staff member
  • UNIT
75 Ranger Regiment (2 Bn)
  • RANK
Silver Star
Iraq 2008
from Morris, Oklahoma


Silver Star : The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Specialist Joseph E. Gibson, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as a Mortarman with Company A, 2d Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, in action on 26 April 2008, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, in Iraq. On that date, Specialist Gibson was among a helicopter full of Rangers that, shortly after being inserted by helicopter, found themselves dodging enemy small arms fire less than 50 meters away less than a minute after the group disembarked the helicopter. Among the two Ranger casualties was a soldier with a life threatening gunshot wound. After assisting in the medical evacuation of his injured comrades, Specialist Gibson and the Rangers continued on with their mission. They began to clear a field with tall grass and canals near the helicopter landing zone. The Rangers knew enemy fighters were still in the area, even though most had fled when the soldiers touched down. While clearing the field, Specialist Gibson stepped on a terrorist hiding in a ditch under some grass. Initially, he continued for a few more steps past the terrorist, but, following his gut instinct, he turned around to investigate what he'd stepped on. The terrorist moved to kill Specialist Gibson and his fellow Rangers. Specialist Gibson grabbed the muzzle of the terrorist's rifle as the terrorist began to fire. He wrestled the terrorist to the ground and gained positional control. He struggled and later stripped the terrorist of his weapon. The terrorist then gripped Specialist Gibson's rifle and, without the ability to use a firearm, Specialist Gibson engaged the enemy with his hands. The terrorist ripped off Specialist Gibson's helmet and all his night vision optics, then began to reach for something hidden in his clothing -- the detonator to his suicide vest. The terrorist screamed "Bomb!" in English. As Specialist Gibson worked to stop the terrorist from detonating his vest, the terrorist had maneuvered into a position that was cutting off his circulation. Specialist Gibson, in an effort to save himself, began to hit the terrorist as hard as he could. His blows rendered the terrorist unconscious. Specialist Gibson's gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.


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