This particular chef has been awarded the Bronze Star with Valor for rescuing five soldiers during an ambush. Chief Warrant Officer 3 David J. Longstaff was familiar with the procurement convoys and hadn't experienced any problems priviously, but he learned that first and foremost, he is a soldier!
“The Humvee was hit by an RPG and an ambush was in progress,” said Longstaff. “We just happened to be coming down the road, so we got in there and supported them.”He learned that you always have to be prepared and that, chef or not, he is "a warrior first."
Longstaff’s convoy included two Humvees and a 5-ton truck. Longstaff ordered two vehicles to secure the rear as the other vehicle, driven by Sgt. 1st Class Richard Bryant, 1st Armored Division, proceeded to assist the five ambushed Soldiers trapped behind a civilian vehicle.
Longstaff provided covering fire toward a building where most of the incoming rounds were shot from. With hostile fire coming from buildings on the north and south sides of the street, he continued engaging the enemy with suppressive fire for 10 minutes, and helped evacuate the casualties away from the area.
“I stayed behind our Humvee, walking as we maneuvered across the street,” said Longstaff. “Once we laid down suppressive fire, they were able to run across the two sections of the street and get back into their area.”
Longstaff also engaged enemy fire from the rear flank with 2nd Lt. Juan Florez, assistant DISCOM S-4..
Longstaff’s quick reaction to the situation allowed the ambushed Soldiers to move out of the kill zone without further injury, according to Bryant. Longstaff volunteered as rear security on the convoy out of the area and the injured Soldiers were evacuated for medical treatment. Longstaff’s team had no injuries.