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Military Award Winners: The British Medic and the US Marine.

Updated on May 8, 2014
Michelle Norris,
Michelle Norris, | Source

Private Michelle Norris. MC (RAMC).

At the age of 18 Private Michelle Norris was awarded the Military Cross for actions in Iraq in June of 2006. She was the very first woman to be given the award. Having recently finished training as a combat medical technician, Private Norris was posted to Iraq. She was to act as a company medic, travelling with troops on operations, where she would be able to provide immediate first aid in the case of injuries or woundings. Private Norris was attached to C Company, 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment. Part of The Queen's Royal Hussar's Battlegroup.

Under fire.

On the 10/11 of June the company started a search operation in the town of Al Amarah in southern Iraq. During this operation a major firefight developed. Private Norris was travelling in a Warrior AFV. (Armoured Fighting Vehicle). Another Warrior had become disabled and the vehicle in which Private Norris was travelling went to assist. As the vehicle diverted it came under heavy fire, the commander Colour Sergeant Ian Page, was critically wounded in the face whilst mounted in the turret. Private Norris could not access the turret from within, she jumped from the vehicle and climbed on top to provide emergency aid to the wounded commander.

Calm and courageous.

During this time Private Norris was under constant fire from the same sniper that had shot the commander. The gunner was still in the Warrior and was able to pull her into the turret with the commander. From this position they were able to lower the injured man down into the vehicle. She was then able to administer first aid assistance. On reaching an evacuation site the commander was airlifted to safety by, Major William Chesarek.

Her Citation reads: ''Despite the very real risks from sniper fire, heavy small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenade, she deliberately ignored the danger to her own life in order to administer life-saving first aid to the commander of the vehicle''

Major William Chesarek. DFC. United State Marine Corps.

Major Chesarek was on exchange with the Fleet Air Arm's 847 Naval Air Squadron. He was in his Lynx helicopter providing spotting and radio relay services to the troops below. As the Warrior vehicle containing the injured commander arrived at the evacuation point, Major Chesarek realised there was a serious casualty on the ground. He immediatly landed his helicopter and loaded the injured commander on board. For his actions Major Chesarek was awarded the DFC. (Distinguished Flying Cross) This made him the first US serviceman to receive this award since the Second World War. His Citation reads: ''Chesarek elected to fly low over the area in an attempt to distract the crowd and if possible to engage the insurgents. He opted to provide bold, harrasing very low level flight over the area in an attempt to disperse the crowd''

The Awards.

Both Private Norris and Major Chesarek were presented with their awards on March 21st 2007. They were presented at Buckingham Palace, by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.


Australian SAS: Trooper Mark Donaldson VC.


© 2012 Graham Lee

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    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Thanks so much for sharing these very interesting plights of these heroic persons. God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hello Faith Reaper. Thank you for your visit and comments. Our lives are what they are due to these very special people. Thank you.

      Graham.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It is pretty hard not to be in awe of that kind of bravery! Human beings are remarkable, are they not? Ignoring danger to save others.....hooray for this soldier and hooray to you for writing about her.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I am so in awe of the brave military who fight and give their life for our country. I am esp. proud of the women who sometimes are over shadowed. Thank you. Wonderful recognition..Thank you..

    • UnnamedHarald profile image

      David Hunt 4 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      oldalbion, this is a great tribute to both Private Norris and Major Chesarek. Thank you for bringing their story to our attention. I'm so glad they survived despite their bravery.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hello Bill. Thank you for your welcome visit. Yes, I have featured a few women recently, to highlight their overlooked contribution to many things.

      Graham.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hello again ae. Yes we do not appreciate what they are doing on our behalf. We are able to live a more normal life due to them. We should be thankful.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hello UH. Thank you for your visit. I made the effort this time to include a US contribution, as you mentioned last time that you hear little of day to day operations in the US.

      Graham.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      It never fails to amaze me how brave these soldiers are, I am in awe of them and I just know that their bravery is something that we as civilians will never be able to thank enough, awesome, nell

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Nell. Thank you for your welcome visit. You are right, we do not know what our forces go through on a day to day basis. We should all be thankfull for their efforts on our behalf.

      Graham.

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      Another awesome hub Graham!! I always feel so proud of any of our military men and women abroad and they can make as many glossy movies as they like, there are no heros and heroines in them that are a patch on the real-life ones that we hear about every day. I think the thing about our real life heros/heroines is how humble and assuming most of them are - they take the fact of endangering their own life as just something they should do and wonder what all the fuss is about! Remarkable people and it bolsters up my faith in human nature big time!

      Wonderful hub + voted up!!

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hello Seeker7. Thank you so much for your wonderful comments. We do not know what our forces go through on our behalf. When they are on leave, at home, they should wear their uniforms with pride. Even if they have never been out of the uk. 'They also serve who only stand and wait' Thank you for your vote.

      Graham.

    • Judi Bee profile image

      Judith Hancock 4 years ago from UK

      Two great stories of bravery with happy endings - fantastic! Thanks.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Catching up with your excellent writing about two almost unknown heroes of today. Private Norris did her best even when that sniper was about to deal with her next. Chilling images come to me...and I think the sniper felt her courage and told his camarades to stop and spared her life. Major William Chesarek, was bold enough to disperse this crowd. Amazing courage at its finest. Wonderful read! Sharing!

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 4 years ago from Pune, India

      Salute to both Private Norris and Major Chesarek, the braves and thank you Sir for sharing this information.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Judi. Glad you liked them. Thank you for your visit and comment.

      Graham.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi LDC. Thank you for your excellent comments, they are greatly appreciated. We do not know what our brave forces do on our behalf day by day. They are indeed very special people. Thank you for Sharing.

      Graham.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Thank you again jainismus for your valued visit. They are very special people indeed.

      Graham.

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