Bookmark and Share

Roy D. Jaquez


Soldier's Medal

See more recipients of this award

Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Soldier's Medal to Hospitalman Corpsman Second Class Roy D. Jaquez, United States Navy, for heroism at the risk of life not involving conflict with an armed enemy at Forward Operating Base Kala Gush, Afghanistan, on 3 May 2010. NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: On 3 May 2010, Hospitalman Corpsman Second Class Jaquez risked his life to save the lives of three helicopter crew members following a crash on Forward Operating Base (FOB) KALA GUSH in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan. He was in the FOB Aid Station at approximately 1530 when Staff Sergeant Erika Villiard witnessed the ammunition supply helicopter crash on the flight line. He immediately grabbed his aid bag and ran to the site. Without regard for his own safety, he approached the downed aircraft while the damaged rotors were still spinning. The aircraft was laying approximately 45 degrees on its right side. He approached the aircraft cockpit and noted fuel leaking from ruptured fuel cells and ammunition crates littering the ground. Hospitalman Corpsman Second Class Jaquez had the presence of mind to instruct the non-essential personnel to stay back in case the fuel spilling around the aircraft or remaining in its tanks ignited or the ammunition exploded. He then used his bare hands to remove the damaged windshield from the aircraft, allowing for an avenue of escape for one of the crewmembers. The member was too critically injured to get out himself, so Hospitalman Corpsman Second Class Jaquez carried the crew member out with the assistance of First Lieutenant Jackson. They then lifted him onto a stretcher and carried him a safe distance away from the helicopter, put him on a Gator vehicle to transport him to the Aid Station. Hospitalman Corpsman Second Class Jaquez then ran ahead of the Gator to the Aid Station to prepare to receive the patients. The grave dangers in and around the crashed helicopter were numerous. The still-running engine threatened to further shatter the remaining rotor blades and send shrapnel flying indiscriminately across the crash site. One of the helicopter's fuel tanks ruptured, spilling highly flammable aviation fuel around the wreckage, threatening a massive explosion and potential detonation of the high-explosive mortar rounds that had spilled from the helicopter's cargo hold. Hospitalman Corpsman Second Class Jaquez disregarded his own personal safety and heroically ran to the helicopter crash site to rescue its crew members. In doing so, he distinguished himself by voluntarily risking his life to save the lives of three others. His acts of uncommon bravery and selflessness reflected great credit upon himself, and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Army and Navy.

Action Date: May 3, 2010

Service: Navy

Rank: Hospitalman Corpsman Second Class