Several times in the past I have commented that America’s future is bright, because I believe that tomorrow’s leaders are wearing military uniforms today. Our country will not only survive, it will prosper because it will be shepherded along under the steady hands of guys like Army SFC Christopher L. Jackson. Listen to his story and try to convince me that he won’t be one of our leaders some day.
During a nine month deployment in 2008 he led 31 direct action assaults that netted 37 high value detainees in Baghdad. According to the DOD write-up of his operations, “His actions led to a significant reduction in enemy capability within the Baghdad area, helped develop the local Iraqi security force, and established a functional brigade within the Iraqi Ministry of Interior.”
He trained 150 Iraqi constables and trained the Iraqi commander on Mission Essential Task List fundamentals.
That’s a busy nine months. But that’s not all.
He received an Army Commendation Medal with “Valor” and a Purple Heart for his actions against a Jaysh Al Mahdi Special Groups stronghold. When he and his men entered a courtyard, they were met with small arms fire from all sides, and from three different stories of the building. Jackson maneuvered in the courtyard to not only maintain control of his men, but to gain tactical superiority. He exposed himself to enemy fire throughout the fight as he positioned his team outside of the courtyard. During the fight he was injured by a grenade, but refused to leave.
Once the Soldiers regrouped and evaluated the situation, they went back in. Once again, they were met with small arms fire and grenades. Jackson suppressed the small arms fire coming from the second and third floors as his men maneuvered inside the courtyard.
When it became obvious that tactical air support was necessary, he covered his men’s withdrawal with his own small arms fire and use of grenades. His leadership prevented his team from being overrun.
Commenting on his Bronze Star (received for his efforts during the deployment), he said, “Once the smoke has dissipated and the dust has settled all that is left is the man on your left and right regardless of nationality. My teammates and Iraqi counterparts are all worthy of this Bronze Star.”
SFC Christopher Jackson is a leader in the Army today. And he’ll be a leader for the country after he hangs up the uniform. He is our hero of the week.
(For the complete story, read his article in “Our Military Heroes.”)