US Army Reservist took assassin’s bullets for British Colonel. US casualty report reveals how a US Army reservist, whose day job is with the technology company Apple, was shot protecting a British Army colonel during a bloody attack in Afghanistan.
A British Army colonel’s life was saved by a US soldier who jumped in front of an assassin’s hail of bullets, it has been reported. The US Army reservist, who normally works for Apple, the Silicon Valley-based electronics company, was shot six times as an Afghan assailant opened fire on a group of high-ranking officers. The attack took place earlier this month at the ‘Marshal Fahim National Defence University,’ a training complex that includes a British-run army officer academy which is currently training 1,500 cadets known as “Sandhurst in the Sand”. The reservist, who has not been named, used his body as a shield to literally “take a bullet” for the senior British officer, and was hit twice in the leg and once in the shoulder, with a further three rounds stopped by his bulletproof vest. Details of the act of heroism were revealed in an American casualty report, the newspaper said. It describes how the reservist returned fire with both his rifle and sidearm.
The attack by Mohammad Rafiqullah killed Major General Harold Greene, the deputy commanding general, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan.
Maj Gen Greene was the highest ranking US officer to be killed in hostilities since Lt Gen Timothy Joseph Maude was killed by a hijacked airliner that crashed into the Pentagon, on September 11, 2001. A similar ranking officer has not been killed overseas since the Vietnam War. The attack took place during an outdoor briefing at the Marshal Fahim National Defence University, in Kabul. The Afghan Ministry of Defence described the attacker as “a terrorist wearing Afghan National Army uniform”.
‘According to one report, Rafiqullah opened fire about 10 minutes into the delegation’s third briefing in an open area near a military policing unit. He emptied one magazine before changing to a second in a three-minute attack. According to witnesses, he fired indiscriminately at the group and did not appear to be targeting any specific person. At first, it was unclear where the firing was coming from – but then a Nato soldier saw the gunman and killed him with two shots.’ Several other senior officers, including a German Brigadier General and the Afghan Commander of the training base, were among the 14 injured, which also included two Britons. Their injuries were said to be not life threatening. The Ministry of Defence declined to comment due to an ongoing investigation.
Additional Comment: The US reservist’s amazing act of heroism is believed to have saved the life of the senior British officer, as it is understood he was wearing no body armour. The unnamed Reservist soldier has already been on three overseas tours with the US military, including one to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
I sincerely hope that the whole incident is also being investigated by the Royal Military Police ‘red caps’ and that credit is eventually given where it is due to the US Army Reservist, who appears to have conducted himself impeccably. If proven that the British Colonel was not correctly dressed in accordance with British Forces Standing Orders; it is hoped he carries the can accordingly. Yours Aye.
Report By David Barrett, Home Affairs Correspondent: The Telegraph; Also attributed to the original report from The Times.