THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AUTHORIZED BY CONGRESS
THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS
SERGEANT CRAIG WARFLE, UNITED STATES ARMY
EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM IN ACTION
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Sergeant Craig David Warfle, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy from August 18 to 19, 2010 during combat operations against an armed enemy of the United States as an Automatic Rifleman for a Joint Task Force in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During this period, Specialist Warfle, with total disregard for his own personal safety, maneuvered on a fortified enemy machine gun position through effective enemy fire. Even after being wounded, Specialist Warfle continued to suppress the enemy with high volumes of effective fire in order to allow his team members to pull his unconscious element leader to safety. Specialist Warfle refused to be medically evacuated from the fight and his actions allowed the Platoon to hastily withdraw and defeat the enemy utilizing air assets. Specialist Warfle’s distinctive accomplishments are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, this Command, and the United States Army.
NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: Specialist Craig D. Warfle distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous achievement as a Ranger Squad Automatic Weapons Gunner on August 18, 2010 while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Specialist Warfle was assigned to a task force, whose mission was to capture or kill Al Qaeda (AQ) and Taliban (TB) Senior Leadership. Specialist Warfle’s valorous actions under effective fire while executing an objective saved the lives of his teammates and were instrumental in the death of at least 16 Taliban fighters, the removal of two Taliban Provincial Commanders, and the recovery of a large cache of weapons intended for use against Coalition Forces. On August 18, 2010, the team received special intelligence indicating that a Taliban Commander and weapons facilitator, was meeting near a tree line with at least 17 other Taliban fighters. Information gathered indicated that the enemy was orchestrating an ambush on Coalition Forces in Logar Province, Afghanistan. The team observed the fighters in position for the attack to include multiple spotters and runners used to communicate between the various fighting locations. The Battle Space Owner was notified of the imminent threat and diverted all convoys. When the enemy fighters aborted their attack they were observed walking in a military formation back towards a meeting site along a tree line. En route to that location the enemy fighters were positively identified to be carrying weapons. The team initiated a kinetic strike on the fighter’s location from two AH-64s. The team stood ready and boarded two CH-47 helicopters for insertion once the kinetic strike was complete. Immediately after the kinetic strike, the team inserted a Ranger Element onto the hot landing zone to the West of the target area to eliminate the several remaining enemy combatants. Ranger Element 1, consisting of Specialist Warfle and five others, were tasked with isolating the Northern side of the tree line and suppressing the enemy to allow Ranger Element 2 to assault from West to East. Upon infiltration the Ranger Assault Force received effective enemy fire in vicinity of the North-South running tree line where the AH-64s had just completed gun runs. As soon as Specialist Warfle stepped off the ramp he came under fire from multiple enemy positions and without hesitation returned fire and crawled 15 meters through the muddy field towards the enemy. From this position, Specialist Warfle suppressed the multiple enemy positions with 150 rounds from his MK-46 allowing Ranger Element 1 to move to the North and Ranger Element 2 to maneuver to the South. Under fire and with no cover in the open field, Specialist Warfle continued to suppress the enemy positions permitting members of the Assault Force to get down in the prone position while the leaders determined a way to assault the enemy positions. After a couple of minutes passed, Ranger Element 2 came under heavy effective fire from enemy crew served weapons. Realizing that Ranger Element 2 was effectively pinned down in the open field to the South, Specialist Warfle moved with Sergeant Lugo to the North to flank the enemy position from the North-West. Specialist Warfle, while under heavy effective enemy fire, advanced on the enemy position to suppress the enemy and allow the Assault Force to maneuver on and destroy the entrenched enemy. As Sergeant Lugo and Specialist Warfle voluntarily maneuvered towards the enemy positions they identified two entrenched enemy personnel with automatic weapons firing on the Assault Force. Specialist Warfle continued to advance on the entrenched enemy using suppressive fire alone to protect Sergeant Lugo and himself because there was no available cover in open terrain. When Sergeant Lugo and Specialist Warfle got within 25 meters of the enemy machine gun positions, Specialist Warfle and Sergeant Lugo were both hit with a volley of machine gun fire. Although Specialist Warfle knew he had been shot in the right shoulder he disregarded his own personal safety and moved through the kill zone to Sergeant Lugo’s side to protect his incapacitated Squad Leader. Specialist Warfle purposefully positioned himself in the line of enemy fire and immediately suppressed the enemy in order to defend Sergeant Lugo and provide covering fire for the platoon medic, Sergeant Solomon, to move to and treat Sergeant Lugo. Specialist Warfle fearlessly continued to provide accurate suppressive fire from his exposed position, allowing Staff Sergeant Myers and Sergeant Kochli the ability to move forward, suppress the enemy, and then subsequently evacuate Sergeant Lugo. Specialist Warfle continued to provide suppressive fire as Sergeant Solomon, Staff Sergeant Tucker, and Sergeant Kochli pulled Sergeant Lugo back to cover. Only after the casualty evacuation aircraft evacuated Sergeant Lugo, did Specialist Warfle treat the through and through gunshot wound to his right shoulder by applying a tourniquet to his right arm. Specialist Warfle then proceeded to engage the enemy position from a position between the enemy and the Platoon for over twenty minutes while the Assault Force reconsolidated and moved back away from the enemy positions. He steadfastly remained at his forward position delivering accurate fire on the enemy until all members of the Assault Force had moved across the open field to cover 100 meters to the West. Specialist Warfle bounded back to the West over the open field while the Assault Force provided suppressive fire. Specialist Warfle’s actions allowed the Assault Force to break contact, drop ordnance on the enemy positions, and safely move to the exfiltration hot landing zone. By repeatedly risking his life for others, Specialist Warfle’s purposeful gallant actions, selfless dedication to the safety of his teammates, and demonstrated extraordinary heroism were distinctive and exemplary. He is most deserving of the distinct recognition. Through his distinctive accomplishments, Specialist Warfle’s personal actions reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.