EOD Airman receives fifth Bronze Star
A Bronze Star with Valor was recently presented to an explosive ordnance disposal technician making him only the fifth Airman to receive five Bronze Star medals.
Tech. Sgt. Ronnie Brickey, Air Force Special Operations School Force Protection Branch NCO-in-charge, said receiving this particular Bronze Star was humbling for him.
Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel, AFSOC commander, presented Brickey this medal for his bravery during a mission in Afghanistan on June 1, 2011.
“Ronnie, your unmatched skills, courage and selflessness epitomize what being a warrior is all about,” Fiel said during his speech at the medal presentation. “You’re an extraordinary example to us all.”
Brickey said it all started while performing an IED post-blast analysis. He identified three additional IEDs and knew he had to render them safe.
Although this alone can be a normal day’s work in the EOD business, things went downhill fast for this Air Commando.
Brickey said he was able to eliminate the first two threats pretty quickly; however, after he started working on the third IED, his unit came under direct fire from multiple positions.
Brickey protected his team of 20 U.S. Soldiers, four Canadian soldiers, and two Afghan National Security Forces members throughout the 40-minute firefight by posting himself next to the IED to prevent accidental detonation. During this time, he repeatedly exposed himself to direct fire, returned fire on the enemy, and directed his team past the IED.
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