*SMITH, PAUL R.
Rank and Organization: Sergeant
First Class, United States Army
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the
risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:Sergeant First Class Paul R.
Smith distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and
beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy near Baghdad International
Airport, Baghdad, Iraq on 4 April 2003. On that day, Sergeant First Class Smith
was engaged in the construction of a prisoner of war holding area when his Task
Force was violently attacked by a company-sized enemy force. Realizing the
vulnerability of over 100 fellow soldiers, Sergeant First Class Smith quickly
organized a hasty defense consisting of two platoons of soldiers, one Bradley
Fighting Vehicle and three armored personnel carriers. As the fight developed,
Sergeant First Class Smith braved hostile enemy fire to personally engage the
enemy with hand grenades and anti-tank weapons, and organized the evacuation of
three wounded soldiers from an armored personnel carrier struck by a rocket
propelled grenade and a 60mm mortar round. Fearing the enemy would overrun their
defenses, Sergeant First Class Smith moved under withering enemy fire to man a
.50 caliber machine gun mounted on a damaged armored personnel carrier. In total
disregard for his own life, he maintained his exposed position in order to
engage the attacking enemy force. During this action, he was mortally wounded.
His courageous actions helped defeat the enemy attack, and resulted in as many
as 50 enemy soldiers killed, while allowing the safe withdrawal of numerous
wounded soldiers. Sergeant First Class Smith’s extraordinary heroism and
uncommon valor are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military
service and reflect great credit upon himself, the Third Infantry Division “Rock
of the Marne,” and the United States Army.