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Written by Laura Boyd
Fort Campbell, KY – A Fort Campbell Warrior Transition Battalion Soldier was one of 13 medics honored at nearby Valor Hall Tuesday during the 7th Annual Armed Services YMCA Angels of the Battlefield event featuring decorated Army veteran, Noah Galloway, as keynote speaker.
Medics save lives on the battlefield and are often referred to as “Doc” by their peers. Sgt. 1st Class Robert Ernest Minor was no exception to this worthy title.
Minor was the team sergeant in charge of training and leading medics at Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan from May 2010 to May 2011.He conducted more than 300 combat medical evacuation missions, including multiple mass casualty events and dozens of prevention of injury trainings, saving hundreds of lives.
One of his more notable missions was a 250 foot hoist down a narrow canyon where allied forces were struck by an enemy improvised explosive device. Minor volunteered to perform an air assault rescue mission from a Blackhawk helicopter with just his aide bag when other medevac aircraft teams determined the evacuation mission too risky because of safety concerns.
Dedicated to saving lives, Minor was known to treat and evacuate Soldiers in need, even though he was not on duty. He searched an entire forward operating base, kicking in doors until he found a patient that was not received at the helipad.
“Sgt. 1st Class Minor would walk through rivers and swamps and mountains to get to a patient when he had to,” said Staff Sgt. Birane Dioum, who served with Minor while assigned to the 6th Battalion, 101st Aviation Brigade. “He was a phenomenal liaison between the Australian and Dutch medical professionals in Tarin Kowt, creating more efficient patient evacuation and treatment at Tarin Kowt.”
During 2012 to 2013, Minor served as the rear detachment sergeant major, responsible for 400 Soldiers stateside and supporting 600 Soldiers deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2014, Minor was the Detachment Sergeant during a rotation at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California, with the medical evacuation unit providing support to a brigade-sized element.
He organized and led 30 medics through a grueling rotation in support of a brigade sized task force. He planned and executed the deployment, redeployment, and set the standard for the Soldiers in all training and execution of tasks.
“In the five years I worked with Sgt. 1st Class Minor, he was instrumental in the deployment and redeployment of the unit to dozens of duty assignments, whether it was High Altitude Mountain Environmental Training Strategy, field exercises, or Combat Training Center rotations,” said Capt. Matthew Perry, a former pilot with the 6th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade.
Minor served honorably in the U.S. Army for more than 23 years, culminating as a platoon sergeant in an Air Ambulance Company. Over the course of his illustrious career, Minor spent 50 months in combat in four separate deployments, both to Iraq and Afghanistan.
His actions earned him the Combat Action Badge, Combat Medical Badge, an Army Commendation Medal with valor, an Air Medal, and a Bronze Star, among many other awards. From January 2004 to 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II, Minor’s selfless service and dedication led to the successful completion of 688 missions.
Sgt. 1st Class Minor was not well enough to accept the award personally Wednesday night; a battle buddy and also a combat medic, Adam Montavon, accepted it on his behalf. Sadly, Minor lost his battle with cancer early Thursday morning.
Noah Galloway served as a sergeant in the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky during Operation Iraqi Freedom. During his second deployment to Iraq in 2005, the Humvee he was driving hit a tripwire that detonated a hidden IED. Galloway lost his left arm above the elbow and his left leg above the knee.
During the Angels of the Battlefield event, Galloway introduced one of his “doc’s,” Ashley Voss, who was part of a team of medics who saved his life on the battlefield more than 10 years earlier. Galloway contributes his survival of the IED incident to combat medics who helped apply lifesaving skills so he could be transferred to a higher level care in Germany and then on to Walter Reed.
“She’s (Ashley) like a sister to me,” Galloway said.
Galloway thanked the medics honored. He told them that they are the most important people on the battlefield and said that their presence allows others to do their job because the medics are trained to do theirs.
“Thank you for what you do, what you stand for . that is why you are the ‘Angels of the Battlefield’.”
Medics Honored Were
Topics101st Airborne Division, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Battalion 502nd Infantry Regiment, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 6th Battalion 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, Afghanistan, Armed Services YMCA, Bach, Blachfield Army Community Hospital, Blackhawk Helicopter, Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Fort Campbell KY, Fort Irwin CA, Germany, IED, Improvised Explosive Device, Iraq, Medics, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Veteran, Warrior Transistion Battalion
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