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James M. Takes

Home of record: Mooresville North Carolina


Distinguished Service Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Staff Sergeant James M. Takes, United States Army, for acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Team Leader in Company C, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Parachute Infantry Regiment, 173d Airborne Brigade during combat operations against an armed enemy in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan on 9 November 2007. On that day, Staff Sergeant Takes and his team were traversing a narrow path surrounded by mountainous, rocky terrain when they were ambushed by enemy forces stationed on elevated positions. Pinned against a steep mountain face, Staff Sergeant Takes and his men were totally exposed to enemy fire. Staff Sergeant Takes immediately began to provide suppressive fire for his men, allowing them to slide down the mountain in search of better cover. After being hit in the arm with small arms fire, Staff Sergeant Takes began to move down the mountain in order to link up with the others. As he did so, he noticed a fellow Soldier, Specialist Albert, lying wounded in an exposed position. Without hesitation, Staff Sergeant Takes sprinted towards his injured comrade, completely exposing himself to enemy fire. As he began to drag Specialist Albert back up the slope, he was shot in the other arm. Unable to move Specialist Albert further, Staff Sergeant Takes knelt and began to render aid to his wounded comrade. Noticing that Specialist Albert had lost his helmet, Staff Sergeant Takes gave him his own. He then moved to the Casualty Collection Point to assist his squad leader. He continued to provide aid and pull security until helicopters arrived. Staff Sergeant Takes was the last Soldier to be lifted out. Staff Sergeant Takes' selfless leadership, courageous actions, and extraordinary devotion to duty are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Company C, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment, 173d Airborne Brigade, and the United States Army.

Action Date: November 9, 2007

Service: Army

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Company: Company C

Battalion: 2d Battalion (Airborne)

Regiment: 503d Parachute Infantry Regiment, 173d Airborne Brigade