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Eric J. Geressy

Place of Birth: New York, Staten Island
Home of record: Staten Island New York

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to First Sergeant Eric J. Geressy, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving with as First Sergeant for Eagle Company, 2d Squadron, 2d Stryker Cavalry Regiment assigned to Multi-National Division-Baghdad, Iraq on 4 September 2007 during OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. His outstanding leadership, tactical astuteness, flawless performance under enemy fire brought devastating effects upon the enemy and kept his soldiers alive during the defense of COP BLACKFOOT. First Sergeant Geressy's actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflects distinct credit upon himself, the Second Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Multi-National Corps-Iraq, and the United States Army. NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: First Sergeant Eric J. Geressy, United States Army, distinguished himself by exceptional valorous conduct in the performance of outstanding service to the Unites States as First Sergeant for Eagle Company, 2d Squadron, 2d Stryker Cavalry Regiment assigned to Multi-National Division-Baghdad, Iraq on 4 September 2007 during OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. Eagle Company was completing a Relief in Place/Time on arrival (RIP/TOA) of a Combat Outpost in Al Hadar, southern Baghdad to assume duty as the Squadron's main effort. Eagle Company's AO was the Al Qaeda in the Iraq center of gravity, plagued by Sunni and Shia sectarian violence. On 3 September 2007, the outgoing unit departed the Combat Operating Post (COP). First Sergeant Geressy immediately established the defense of the COP as the top priority for the Company. Under his guidance, the Company worked through the day and night, sand bagging windows and guard towers, repositioning key weapon systems, installing bullet proof glass for the towers, and erecting camouflage netting along the entire perimeter of the COP's rooftop for concealment. During the morning of 4 September 2007, the Company's Executive Officer was on the Forward Operating Base (FOB) Falcon supervising the retrofitting of the company's vehicles. The Company Commander and the Fire Support Officer were at FOB Falcon attending a meeting; First Sergeant Geressy was the only company level leader at the COP. In the early afternoon, the Company received orders to investigate a possible Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED). While one of the platoons was investigating the VBIED they came under enemy fire. First Sergeant Geressy deployed the Quick Reaction Force (QRF) platoon and successfully controlled the link-Up and extraction of the platoon in contact, resulting in the killing of three enemy and no injuries to friendly forces. Within fifteen minutes after the platoons returned to the COP, the COP came under a complex attack from 35-45 determined enemy fighters. The enemy initiated the attack by firing 2 Rocket propelled grenade (RPGs) at the COP followed by a heavy volume of fire from AKs, PKCs, RPGs, and sniper rifles. The enemy arrayed themselves in a manner that allowed them to attack the COP from three directions simultaneously. Once the firing began, First Sergeant Geressy immediately requested an Air Weapons Team (AWT) and moved to the roof, First Sergeant Geressy exposed himself to direct enemy fire by moving from guard tower to guard tower assessing the situation and inspiring his Soldiers by calmly encouraging them to keep up the fire. At this time, Specialist Holley at tower one was shot. Under direct enemy fire, First Sergeant Geressy, quickly moved to the casualty where he controlled the casualty evacuation while helping to carry the Soldier off of the roof. First Sergeant Geressy again returned to the roof, this time concentrating on directing the fire of the key weapon systems and increasing the volume of fire until the company gained fire superiority. During this time period, the AWT arrived on station. First Sergeant Geressy gave the AWT a quick situation report, and directed Soldiers to mark one of the known enemy locations with M203 smoke. Once AWT identified the building, First Sergeant Geressy, acting as the on-scene commander, authorized the AWT to launch a Hellfire missile into the enemy's defensive position, crippling the enemy. During the subsequent lull in fire First Sergeant Geressy returned to the Forward Area Support Team (FAST) on the bottom floor of the COP and reassured the injured Soldier while receiving a report of his condition from the Squadron Physicians Assistant. Based on the condition of the Soldier and the fight at the time, First Sergeant Geressy directed that the Soldier be ground evacuated to the 28th CASH. This was done immediately by the companies QRF, which First Sergeant Geressy had activated once the attack began. As QRF exited the COP with the injured Soldier, the enemy fire increased, attempting to disrupt the evacuation. First Sergeant Geressy once again rallied his company and ensured the Company gained and maintained fire superiority. Yet again, First Sergeant Geressy coordinated with the AWT to launch additional Hellfire missiles and conduct strafing runs with their 30-mm. cannons, which destroyed the enemy's remaining defensive position. With the destruction of the second building, Eagle Company successfully broke the enemy's will to continue the attack. First Sergeant Geressy immediately supervised the reconsolidation and organization of men, ammunition and key weapon systems. Aware that ammunition was low; First Sergeant Geressy radioed back to his Soldiers on FOB Falcon and coordinated for a resupply of ammunition to be delivered to the COP. This foresight prepared the company for a possible counterattack. Throughout the day and evening of 4 September 2007, First Sergeant Geressy heroically led his company in high intensity combat, while simultaneously fulfilling the jobs of Company Commander, FSO, and First Sergeant. On numerous occasions, he fearlessly exposed himself to direct enemy fire to instill confidence in his men, care for his wounded and to destroy the enemy. As a direct result of First Sergeant Geressy's preparation, leadership and gallantry, Eagle Company killed 18 Al Qaeda fighters, with no additional wounded Soldiers. First Sergeant Geressy's personal courage, uncommon valor, and selfless service contributed directly to the safety and evacuation of two wounded and the recovery of one fallen Soldier. First Sergeant Geressy without regard to his personal safety courageously risked his life under enemy fire to save the lives of his fellow Soldiers. His actions reflect distinct credit upon himself, the Second Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Multi-National Corps-Iraq, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Permanent Order 017-033 (January 17, 2008)

Action Date: September 4, 2007

Service: Army

Rank: First Sergeant

Company: Company E, 2d Squadron

Regiment: 2d Stryker Cavalry Regiment

Bronze Star

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Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Executive Order 11046, 24 August 1962, takes pleasure in presenting the Bronze Star Medal to Sergeant First Class Eric J. Geressy, United States Army, for meritorious service during combat operations as a platoon sergeant from 19 March 2003 to 31 July 2003 in Iraq. Sergeant First Class Geressy's actions during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM contributed enormously to the success of the Division's operations as the Screaming Eagles liberated three major cities and cleared south Baghdad, Mosul, and Haditha, covering over 1,200 kilometers course of the campaign. Sergeant First Class Geressy's professionalism and commitment to excellence reflect great credit on him, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and the United States Army.

Action Date: March 19 - July 31, 2003

Service: Army

Rank: Sergeant First Class

Bronze Star

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Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Executive Order 11046, 24 August 1962, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Bronze Star Medal to First Sergeant Eric J. Geressy, United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious service as a First Sergeant during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM 05-07 from 15 September 2005 to 18 September 2006. First Sergeant Geressy's actions contributed immeasurably to the success of building a free and democratic nation for the citizens of Iraq. First Sergeant Geressy's professionalism and commitment to excellence reflects great credit on him, 3d Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Task Force Band of Brothers and the United States Army.

Action Date: September 15, 2005 - September 18, 2006

Service: Army

Rank: First Sergeant

Bronze Star

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Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Executive Order 11046, 24 August 1962, takes pleasure in presenting a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Bronze Star Medal to First Sergeant Eric J. Geressy, United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious service while assigned as a First Sergeant from 8 August 2007 to 1 May 2008, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. First Sergeant Geressy's outstanding performance, expertise, and contributions were instrumental to the unit's overall success during combat operations. His actions reflect distinct credit on him, the Multinational Division-Baghdad, and the United States Army.

Action Date: August 8, 2007 - May 1, 2008

Service: Army

Rank: First Sergeant

Army Commendation Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

The Secretary of the Army of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Army Commendation Medal with Combat "V" to Sergeant First Class Eric J. Geressy, United States Army, for exemplary service under fire as a member of Company B, 2d Battalion, 197th Infantry Regiment, while engaged in ground combat against an enemy of the United States during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 26 April 2003. His exceptional performance and courage when confronted by the enemy were pivotal to the completion of the mission. His outstanding achievements in combat reflect great credit upon him, the Raider Rakkasans, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and the United States Army. NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: Sergeant First Class Geressy's actions on the night of 26th April 2003 were above and beyond the call of duty. His impact, performance, and leadership as a Platoon Sergeant (PSG) were exceptional. Our company relocated from south western Baghdad to central Baghdad in an attempt to establish control and eliminate remaining threats in our Area of Operations (AO). This area consisted of a variety of buildings from 30 story hospitals, to apartment complexes, to small shops. The streets ranged from narrow alleys to wide highways running into bridges that crossed the Tigris River. This was truly a 360 degree and three-dimensional battlefield. The weather was consistently hot with average temperatures in the high 90's. Following the evaporation of the Republican Guard and the disappearance of the remaining elements of the armies belonging to Saddam Hussein and his regime, we faced a dangerous, elusive, unpredictable, and asymmetric threat. Our enemy was beaten, but not broken. He possessed a burning desire to take every possible opportunity to strike against us with the sole objective of producing U.S. casualties. Repeatedly we were attacked with harassing sniper fire from 250m to 350m from our positions. Our foe used primarily AK style assault rifles; however, he also used RPG's and grenades. On the night of the 26th we were attacked once, like we had been repeatedly attacked since the night of 19 April, from a position approximately 280 meters away across the Tigris River just outside of our AO. We had been attacked by multiple snipers, on a near nightly basis until we destroyed his forces, his will, and terrified him from further acts following our actions on the night of the 26th. We were located in an auditorium and responsible for securing a battalion sized AO, which contained four different hospitals. We focused on trying to protect these hospitals, and their staff. On a daily basis we faced a multitude of threats. Sergeant First Class Geressy's desire to find and eliminate these threats was insatiable. On the night of the 26th, which the last time that we were attacked, we began receiving sporadic, and then repeated small arms fire, which increased in volume and accuracy with each subsequent attack. This made it impossible for most of the company to maintain their security positions in order to protect the hospitals, the patients within, and the hospitals' staff. Most of the company was forced to take cover, and were unable to take any direct action against the enemy. Sergeant First Class Geressy quickly assembled elements from his platoon, moved them onto the rooftop and deployed them so they could counter enemy fire. He exposed himself and moved one of his gun teams to where they could eliminate the enemy threat. He lazed the enemy position with his PAQ-4, and was responsible for the first burst from the M240B machine gun traveling a deadly path directly into our enemy. Operating in an urban environment is difficult and frightening; the enemy can hide anywhere, there are innocent civilians everywhere, and it is extremely difficult to deconflict your actions with those of other friendly units. Sergeant First Class Geressy fearlessly led a large portion of his platoon, eliminating the threat to our AO and allowing us to maintain a secure environment. When the shooting stopped; the enemy threat was eliminated and was believed to have suffered numerous casualties. Sergeant First Class Geressy was fearless in the face of the enemy. His actions and phenomenal leadership were essential for the company destroying our enemy and maintaining a secure position. His actions directly resulted in enemy casualties, and prevented us from inflicting any casualties within our company. After that night the enemy never again attacked our forces from across the Tigris River. This resulted in the safe and unhindered operation of a Children's Hospital, a Nursing Home, a Surgical Hospital, and a General Services Hospital.

General Orders: Permanent Orders No. 219-009

Action Date: April 26, 2003

Service: Army

Rank: Sergeant First Class

Company: Company B

Battalion: 2d Battalion

Regiment: 187th Infantry Regiment

Division: 101st Airborne Division