A Real Hero Gets A Deserved Medal
Nothing for the Warrior to say, except well done mate, well deserved.
Medic’s bravery during Taliban attack honoured
A History and Honour news article
29 Mar 10
A Platoon medic’s actions in Helmand, which saw him push forward and treat his fellow soldiers who had been injured after a Taliban rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attack, have earned him a Military Cross.
A casualty receiving treatment prior to extraction by the Medical Emergency Response Team from Gereshk, Helmand province, Afghanistan (stock image)
[Picture: PO(Phot) Sean Clee, Crown Copyright/MOD 2006]
A softly spoken soldier of The Mercian Regiment, Corporal Craig Adkin was on his second tour of Afghanistan last July when he was tasked to act as platoon medic for A Company as they took part in Operation PANTHER’S CLAW.
As part of the operation, Corporal Adkin was on foot patrol with his Company in Babaji, Helmand province when RPGs began raining down on them and several of his colleagues were immediately injured, caught in the blast and hail of shrapnel debris.
For Cpl Adkin this was the signal to get to work and his citation states that he immediately pushed forward to locate the casualties, exposing himself to great danger in the process:
“At the end of the day it’s my job,” Cpl Adkin said. “I have to get to my place of work and my place of work is where the casualties are.”
Recalling the incident, Cpl Adkin explained what happened on the day:
“I had to get up and run forward.
“I can remember the RPG hitting the tree. As I was coming around the bund line [small embankment in a field] the RPG hit the tree directly parallel to me so I had a quick look at myself to make sure that I wasn’t hit. I remember I laughed when I realised I was OK.
“Then I ran in to cover and just as I got in to cover I heard the casualty screaming.”
The citation for his Military Cross states that Cpl Adkin, having assessed the situation, decided to run across 100 metres of open ground under fire in order to reach and treat the casualties:
“I just got up and run towards the shouting, got to the casualty and gave initial first aid,” Cpl Adkin explained.
“We were still out in the open then so I dragged him down onto the ground and carried on with the first aid.
“I tried to put a drip in and as I did, two rounds whizzed past in between us; so it was a case of OK grab him and drag him into cover.
“It was then that a couple of other lads came over and helped me and we CasEvaced [evacuated] him back to a safe area and from there back to the HLS [helicopter landing site].”
Corporal Craig Adkin, The Mercian Regiment, has been awarded the Military Cross
[Picture: Sergeant Ian Houlding, Crown Copyright/MOD 2010]
Cpl Adkin summed it up:
“When I was down there it came over the net that we still had a casualty out in the field so I had to run back over open ground to get to the other casualty and then get him back. It was quite an interesting day.
“It is certainly something that I won’t forget in a hurry. But there were days like that all the time when we came under contact.”
His citation records that due to his actions that day all casualties were safely extracted and the insurgent position destroyed. It goes on to add that his selfless and courageous actions have undoubtedly saved lives during the tour and he has placed himself in the most dangerous areas throughout.
On hearing he would receive the Military Cross, Cpl Adkin’s first reaction was shock. At first he was unsure why he was being singled out for an honour:
“I’m proud that I have got it but I don’t feel that I won it as an individual,” he said. “I feel we won it as a troop as all the lads work hard as a group.
“That day was a pretty rough day for us, we took a lot of casualties in one hit so it was a lot of running back and forwards to get casualties off the ground.
“I’ve spoken to a couple of the guys who had treatment and came back out to us. They all say that I deserve it and seem genuinely pleased but as I say it is an award for all of us.”
Later on in the tour, Cpl Adkin himself became a casualty, losing his right leg from the knee down in a grenade attack while he was helping to build a forward operating base:
“Two hand grenades were thrown over the wall,” he explained. “The first one hit my leg… the second grenade landed a bit further away. They both came over in quick succession.”
The soldier also suffered shrapnel wounds and had to have one of his thumbs re-attached but is now walking again and positive about the future:
“I am getting there. I’m looking forward to getting my running leg and just advancing. It’s only a flesh wound,” Corporal Adkin said.
A total of 146 members of the Armed Forces and one civilian received honours and awards as part of the Operational Awards List No 34, which covers actions during the period from 1 April to 30 September 2009. See Related News.
The Military Cross is awarded in recognition of exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy on land.