Lee receives Bronze Medal
SSG Thomas A. Lee, United States Army, distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service to the United States as a Section Leader in, B Troop, 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry, at FOB Caldwell and FOB Paliwoda, Iraq from Sept. 21, 2007 to Dec. 18, 2008 during Operation Iraqi Freedom 07-09.
As the junior Section SGT for B Troop, 1-32 CAV, SGT Lee trained and deployed his section in the manner of a senior Non-Commissioned Officer and performed the duties as the senior scout over other Staff Sergeants in the Troop. As B Troop conducted movement to FOB Paliwoda, he was promoted to the ranks of Staff Sergeant, and continued to perform above his pay grade. His ability to advise local government officials to include the mayor, a 21 man City Council Committee, and over 15 Director Generals affected over 45,000 Iraqi citizens by providing essential services. SSG Lee was instrumental in the establishment of sustainable drinking water for over 45,000 people of Iraq. He was also active in the renovation of five primary and secondary schools that educates over 1,200 students.
As one of three Raven operators, SSG Lee being the junior Raven pilot was still hand-selected as the Troop Master Raven operator by the Troop Commander and First Sergeant. He personally flew over 122 hours while supervising the flight of 350 hours performing counter-IED operations over a Corp level MSR. He conducted six Division directed air assaults in support of strategic level interests in the Eastern Jazerra Desert over the past eight months. SSG Lee also executed six Troop level air assault cordon and searches, six Squadron level operations, and one Division level aerial reconnaissance in order to move generators to the Samarra power plant to increase electricity productivity for the Salah Ad Din Province. As his platoon’s Senior Scout, SSG Lee was instrumental in the execution of over 20 named operations, eight platoon
level air assaults and over 200 combat patrols, including joint patrols with Iraqi Police and Iraqi Army. His outstanding leadership resulted in his platoon destroying four enemy bunkers, detaining 12 key leader insurgents and bringing stability to a region that has never seen peace.
Upon arrival in theatre SSG Lee immediately demonstrated his outstanding leadership and knowledge of COIN operations by establishing himself as the platoon COIN expert. SSG Lee’s outstanding leadership resulted in his platoon setting the standard for cache searches by finding over 50 artillery shells, IED-making material, three improvised rocket launchers, and two DSHKA machine guns intended for use against Coalition Forces. He was directly responsible for the training of five Sons of Iraq (SoI) groups consisting of over 200 Iraqi citizens spanning over 25 kilometers. He supervised the salary of $417,000 to five Sons of Iraqi groups. SSG Lee working with 50 Iraqi Police reduced overall enemy initiated attacks in the population center by 75%. This allowed local Iraqis to increase their local economy to open independent business effecting adjacent Nahiyas. SSG Lee’s positive tone and stance with the local population of 45,000 influenced a HUMINT network providing accurate information to the Squadron S2 of the enemy’s movement and operations in Duluyiah.
SSG Lee also led the way for a plan to streamline the Muthana Chemical Complex operation, a Division level tasking with Corps oversight, in the heart of an insurgent sanctuary producing outstanding results. SSG Lee, with minimal formal training, quickly became the subject matter expert on five different types of sensors emplaced at the MCC. His ability to learn and adapt while conducting battery change-out, maintenance, troubleshooting and providing the Squadron with photographic intelligence in real time resulted in over 15 occurrences of tripped sensors at the Chemical Complex. His efforts resulted in the declaration of a (TIC) troops in contact that ended with him neutralizing two anti-Iraqi forces killing them in action, therefore keeping chemical munitions secure.
SSG Lee led a cohesive and lethal combat squad professionally and effectively. His efforts and support were directly responsible for the success of all Task Force Bandit combat operations. He led his section with honor and distinction in Duluiyah Iraq, multiple times while under enemy contact from insurgents. His aggressive leadership saved lives on numerous occasions and set the standard for urban combat operations. His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect distinct credit upon himself, Task Force Bandit, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), the Multi-National Corps-Iraq and the United States Army.
Lee is the son on Pete and Peggy Lee of Pall Mall.