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Old 12-09-2010, 12:33   #1
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Army Cook Assigned To SF Awarded Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge

Okay guys...guess we'll have to quit using the old "I'm only a cook!" line in the bars.

Army cook Assigned To Special Forces Detachment Earns Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge

Towards the end of the combat tour, the ODA commander submitted a list of forthcoming tour award write ups and included Rodriguez-Torres’ name for recommendation of the Bronze Star.

“I initially received resistance with a comment of ‘a cook?’ We've never had a cook receive a BSM,’" said the ODA commander. “I replied by sending the BSM citation in which I depicted Sergeant Rodriguez-Torres' phenomenal performance, to include his tireless work ethic and courage under fire. After that, the award was processed without any further question.”

Pics show Rodriguez-Torres receiving the BSM from SOCEUR CDR (MG Repass) and CAB from CDR 1-10th SFGA (LTC Peltier).


Outstanding job, SGT Rodriguez-Torres!

Attached Images
File Type: jpg Torres1.jpg (83.2 KB, 348 views)
File Type: jpg Torres2.jpg (77.9 KB, 316 views)
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:42   #2
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When I was in Vietnam, We had some cooks and Supply guys awarded the Bronze Star (for Merit). Do we know if Torres got his for Valor or not?
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Old 12-09-2010, 14:07   #3
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Originally Posted by f50lrrp View Post
When I was in Vietnam, We had some cooks and Supply guys awarded the Bronze Star (for Merit). Do we know if Torres got his for Valor or not?
“I initially received resistance with a comment of ‘a cook?’ We've never had a cook receive a BSM,’" said the ODA commander. “I replied by sending the BSM citation in which I depicted Sergeant Rodriguez-Torres' phenomenal performance, to include his tireless work ethic and courage under fire. After that, the award was processed without any further question.”
The BSM, in the pics, does not have a V device and the words used, makes me think Merit??

In any fashion,, Good for him..

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Old 12-09-2010, 15:10   #4
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“Our base was repeatedly attacked with mortar and rocket fire on numerous occasions during our combat tour,” the ODA commander said. “During every attack, Sergeant Rodriguez-Torres remained calm, ensuring all foreign national personnel, to include assistant cooks and linguists, were accounted for...
He's good to go in my book!
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Old 12-09-2010, 15:51   #5
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That's taking care of troops.....
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Last edited by Snaquebite; 12-10-2010 at 10:32.
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Old 12-09-2010, 19:12   #6
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He must be one outstanding soldier! Great work, SGT.
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Old 12-09-2010, 19:19   #7
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Any soldier that meets the standards should be awarded the appropriate medal.
I am certain that this young soldier is at the top of his CMF and is deserving of his awards.....excellent.
One thing I've always appreciated about the guys on my team, Company, Bn and Group is the way they took care of, encouraged and mentored ALL soldiers we were associated with.
Always had the support troops volunteering to go with ODA's/Co's for this reason...it was always a team effort.
You just gotta love a good soldier...God bless him.
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Old 12-09-2010, 19:33   #8
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Good on ya soldier!!

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Old 12-09-2010, 22:16   #9
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Originally Posted by Snaquebite View Post
That's taking care or troops.....
Good to see both the SGT and the ODA Commander taking care of the troops. I think that young man just became a lifer

Great job SGT....jd
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Old 12-09-2010, 23:14   #10
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No job in the Army is unimportant, ths is proof. Good on ya, SGT.
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Old 12-10-2010, 21:03   #11
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RE: BSM and Cook

Originally Posted by lindy View Post
He's good to go in my book!
The 5th Group mail clerk in 68/early 69 received a BSM. I figured surely our recon and Hatchet Force NCO's earned them. I was wrong.
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Old 12-10-2010, 21:07   #12
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Congrats SGT, well done!!!
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Old 12-10-2010, 21:19   #13
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Great job SGT Rodriguez-Torres’!!!!!
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Old 12-10-2010, 21:25   #14
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Thumbs up

Congrads, Keep it up
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Old 12-14-2010, 20:15   #15
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Under Siege – For Real

*Mods: Not sure if this is the right place or not for this. I'm put it here as it relates to 10th Grp. Sorry in advance for any inconvenience if this wasn't the best spot.

Source: Today's EUCOM Blog:EUCOMversations

Originally Posted by Under Siege – For Real MAJ Jim Gregory SOCEUR PAO
Remember the 1992 movie Under Siege with Steven Seagal playing Casey Ryback, an ex-Navy SEAL turned cook who saves the day as terrorists attack a U.S. Navy battleship? Well, 1-10 SFG (A) has their own version of Casey Ryback in Sgt. Javier Rodriguez-Torres. Although there may not be any Hollywood movies currently in production about Rodriguez-Torres’ exploits, there very well could be one day.

Imagine what the movie might look like though…working with a Special Forces Operational Detachment –Alpha (a bunch of Green Berets) and local Afghans running counterinsurgency missions in the heart of Taliban country. Sgt. Rodriguez-Torres, playing himself of course, is the head cook, in charge of preparing three daily feasts for at least 50 hungry warriors at a time (using anything available; turning it into a gourmet meal). On a fairly regular basis, however, he must also deal with Taliban fighters outside the perimeter, attempting to overrun the base and claim it as their own. The enemy is well equipped, with AK-47s, PKM machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and 107mm rockets.

In the first scene, the men of Forward Operating Base Kutschbach are gathered for their pre-mission meal as the sun begins to set. All seems quiet, but the enemy has other plans for the evening. Rodriguez-Torres helps his three Afghan cooks with the finishing touches to the goat kebabs they’ve prepared, making sure they are properly seasoned. Then BOOM!! The whole building thunders because a rocket has exploded outside…then another one hits! Debris falls from the ceiling and the crackling of gunfire erupts. Dinner becomes an afterthought and staying alive is now the only game in town.

Some of the base workers jump under their tables, but the gathered Green Berets immediately jump to their feet and head outside to defend the base. They flow out of the wire with partnered Afghan National Army elements to meet the attack head on. Meanwhile, Rodriguez-Torres, after first making sure his Afghan counterparts are safe, bolts out the door and into the line of fire to man the mortar pit. On his way, he hears another inbound rocket and throws himself to the ground. It explodes just above his head; he feels the heat of the blast, but incredibly remains unscathed. He and his mortar team quickly figure out from where the rocket was launched and then begin crushing that area with counter-battery fire. The enemy, knowing that a Special Forces mortar pit is a key location to eliminate, directs their fire accordingly. For the mortar men, it’s not the most comfortable place to work, but there is no room for cowardice. They do their jobs quickly and efficiently.

Cut scene to the rocket launch site, where mortars are landing everywhere and the Taliban rocket launcher is running for his life. As he mounts his motorcycle, a mortar lands right on top of him, and he disappears forever. Good guys 1 – Taliban 0.

After thwarting the attack, it’s back to the kitchen grind, because the guys all still have to eat, and now as they come back inside the perimeter, they must also conduct final preparations for tonight’s mission. Nothing stops just because the enemy decided to vote.

Sgt. Javier Rodriguez-Torres: ready for anything. Photo by MSG Donald Sparks, SOCEUR Public Affairs

Hollywood aside, Rodriguez-Torres and the men he served amongst endured – no, excelled – during 24 separate insurgent attacks upon their base. The scene described was based on reality, yet was fictional, but from listening to accounts from the men of FOB Kutschbach, the actual attacks didn’t unfold too much differently.

Thus is the life of a cook assigned to an Army Special Forces unit, and thus is the reason Rodriguez-Torres was awarded the Bronze Star Medal on Dec. 2, 2010. While assigned to ISAF Special Operations Task Force -10 as the Forward Operating Base Kutschbach primary food specialist, he displayed the intestinal fortitude and personal courage necessary to succeed under extreme fire on multiple occasions. He did serve as an assistant mortar gunneryman during Taliban base attacks, and his actions most certainly contributed to the success of the overall mission. Whether he was in the kitchen, operations center or the mortar pit, he always gave everything he had. The life is certainly not for everyone, but it is exactly where those who believe like Rodriguez-Torres belong. It’s for those who believe that they are warriors first, and as warriors, they must be mentally prepared for any situation or circumstance…kind of like Casey Ryback…only for real.

Thank you to this and all of our warriors who stand and act rather than passively lay witness to the events that overtook them. Strong work warrior! Thank you for your service and sacrifice for all of us!
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