MC1 James D. Hamill, USN
The individual augmentee program has been in existence for a long time, but after 9/11 it became a major player in providing troops to fight in the war on terror. Here is the story of one such augmentee.
MC1 James D. Hamill was stationed in DC at the Office of Naval Intelligence, and volunteered as an IA in December of 2005. Four months later (after three months of training at Fort Bragg), he found himself in Afghanistan serving with a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Khost, Afghanistan.
During a ribbon cutting ceremony at a local hospital, Hamill spotted a soldier trying to detain a man disguised as a doctor – the soldier had spotted an explosive vest and tried to detain the suspect. The terrorist broke away and ran toward the large crowd, estimated at around a hundred people.
Hamill, who was there to photograph the event, dropped his camera and raised his rifle. He fired when the man was less than ten feet away, hitting him several times. The dying man tripped his explosives, but his attempt was in vain. Ten troops were injured, including Petty Officer Hamill, but no one was killed. Hamill ignored his wounds to apply first aid to the other wounded soldiers until help arrived, all the while ensuring the area was secure from other attacks.
He was later praised for his “extraordinary heroism” and “total dedication to duty” by the Major General of the 82nd Airborne. His heroism, “prevented the bomber from inflicting catastrophic casualties.” (DOD)
Petty Officer Hamill was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star with valor for “standing his ground against the suicide bomber.”
After his IA period, Petty Officer Hamill returned to his duties at ONI. The war on terror is a combined effort, and individual augmentees are a critical part of that effort. MC1 Hamill is our hero of the week.
(For the complete story, read the DefenseLink article)