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Apr. 18, 2010

Profiles of Valor: U.S. Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Chad Malmberg

On the night of 27 January 2007, Staff Sgt. Chad Malmberg of the Minnesota Army National Guard's 34th Infantry Division was leading a convoy of five gun trucks and 20 logistical vehicles south of Baghdad when insurgents attacked.

On the night of 27 January 2007, Staff Sgt. Chad Malmberg of the Minnesota Army National Guard’s 34th Infantry Division was leading a convoy of five gun trucks and 20 logistical vehicles south of Baghdad when insurgents attacked.

Malmberg immediately advanced his vehicle and engaged the enemy, using a rocket to eliminate a jihadi position. With his 15-man unit outnumbered by more than two to one and under heavy fire from small arms and RPGs, Malmberg got out of his truck to clear an exit path for his convoy. When enemy fire precluded that option, Malmberg and his team entered a battle that would last for nearly an hour.

Moving to the convoy’s rear, which had come under heavy attack, Malmberg again dismounted his vehicle and, under direct fire, used an AT-4 to engage the enemy and successfully neutralize the problem position. After 40 minutes of fighting, the remaining insurgents had moved within about 20 yards of the convoy’s rear gunner. Again placing himself directly in the line of fire, Malmberg threw a hand grenade into the enemy position, effectively eliminating the immediate threat.

Because of Malmberg’s courageous and selfless actions under fire, not one of the 35 troops or civilians under his care was killed or wounded in the ambush. Malmberg became the first Minnesota National Guard member since World War II to be awarded the Silver Star.

(This account was originally published in the Oct. 5, 2007 Digest.)

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