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Home > UNS > 141030-01


Night Stalkers receive Soldier’s Medal

by Maj. Allen Hill
160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) Public Affairs Officer

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky (USASOC News Service, Oct. 30, 2014)Two 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) Soldiers were presented Soldier’s Medals Oct. 22 for their heroism and selfless acts that saved the lives of three individuals.

Major Dennis K. Hill and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Brent C. Burdge received the medals from Lt. Col. Brett Jackson, Commander, 2nd Battalion, 160th SOAR (A), in front of a crowd of Soldiers, friends, and family during a ceremony conducted on the Gen. Bryan “Doug” Brown compound.

“We are honored to be able to recognize these types of heroics and brave actions within our formation.” Jackson said. “Thank you again for all you do for us on a daily basis.”

The Soldier’s Medal was established by Congress on July 2, 1926 and is presented to any person of the Armed Forces who performs an act of heroism not involving actual conflict with the enemy.

On June 9, 2013, Maj. Hill and his family were vacationing in Gulf Shores, Ala. when he spotted two individuals who were struggling in the water and had been caught in the oceans undertow.  

With complete disregard for his own safety, Maj. Hill swam 50 yards through the strong currents until he was able to reach the first swimmer, an 8-year-old boy, who had submerged several feet below the water’s surface.  Hill was able to secure the child and safely bring him to shore.

Hill immediately reentered the water in an attempt to rescue the boy’s father, but was tragically unable to save him due to the strong currents.

"It feels good to know you did something that made a positive difference in somebody else's life,” Hill said.  “The event itself still seems surreal. Everything felt like it was on auto-pilot.  I reacted the way I've always been taught, both in the military and by my upbringing."

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Burdge and Staff Sgt. Luke Stahley were returning from temporary duty in Ohio on July 25, 2013 when they passed a vehicle that had been in an accident and was burning on the side of the road. 

They immediately turned the vehicle around and responded to the scene of the accident.  Completely disregarding the fire and toxic fumes that were emitted from the automobile, they pulled both passengers from the vehicle, saving their lives.

“We have to look out for each other,” said Burdge. “There was no doubt or hesitation in our minds with what had to be done.”

Hill and Burdge were honored by the award, expressing that they were just doing what they thought was right, and that they did not think about their actions at the time.

"The actions of these individuals are indicative of the good character and values we instill in our Soldiers." said Col. Michael J. Hertzendorf, Commander, 160th SOAR (A). "They have demonstrated that we remain vigilant and committed to those we serve.”

Staff Sgt. Stahley was unable to be present for the ceremony and will have his award presented at a later date.

For additional information contact the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) PAO at 270-412-8108 / 931-216-3436 –