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Donald Kim Erskine


AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the Invasion of Grenada

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lieutenant Donald Kim Erskine, United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while commanding an assault element from SEAL Team SIX in support of Operation URGENT FURY in Grenada on 25 October 1983. During early morning hours, Lieutenant Erskine successfully secured a target within an environment of dense enemy concentration. Determined to hold his position, he twice engaged the enemy and eliminated their combat effectiveness, taking 10 wounded prisoners of war without casualty to his assault element. Administering to the enemy wounded, Lieutenant Erskine again established a defensive perimeter. Engaged a third time by a numerically superior force, his position came under heavy automatic weapons, RPG-7, and 20-mm. cannon fire. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Lieutenant Erskine directed fire and maneuver tactics which allowed his force to take up new positions. Although painfully wounded himself and closely pursued by a large enemy force, he courageously directed his men in evasion and escape maneuvers which resulted in the safe extraction of his entire force. Lieutenant Erskine's calm demeanor and decisiveness under fire precluded civilian casualties and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy. By his daring actions, dynamic leadership, and steadfast devotion to duty, Lieutenant Erskine reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: October 25, 1983

Service: Navy

Rank: Lieutenant

Regiment: SEAL Team 6

Division: Special Operations Command

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit to Commander Donald Kim Erskine, United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Commanding Officer at Naval Special Warfare Unit TWO from January 1994 through June 1996. Commander Erskine employed his extensive theater knowledge and experience to steadfastly guide his command through a period of unprecedented operational tempo and theater change. Following the decision to move the Unit from Scotland to Germany, he was challenged with maintaining unit operational capability while preparing to relocate. Faced with personnel shortfalls and severe financial cuts, he provided the charismatic and authoritative leadership that was necessary to simultaneously support Operations PROVIDE PROMISE, DENY FLIGHT, and SHARP GUARD at a remote Joint Special Operations Task Force and coordinate the Unit's homeport change. Following relocation, Commander Erskine quickly reestablished the command's operational capability and theater credibility. In addition, through his unrelenting personal drive, he forwarded groundbreaking proposals for fundamental changes in the theater Naval Special Warfare command and control arrangements and assured their implementation. By his outstanding leadership, commendable innovation, and inspiring dedication to duty, Commander Erskine reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: January 1994 - June 1996

Service: Navy

Rank: Commander