Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis Distinguished Service Cross Ceremony

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Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis, a 10th Mountain Soldier who gave his life shielding Polish Army lieutenant Karol Cierpica from a suicide bomber while deployed to Afghanistan in 2013, was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. James McConville, during a ceremony on Staten Island, New York June 8.


You see every generation has its heroes. Michael Ollis is one of ours. Michael Ollis is one of ours.

Staff Sergeant Ollis’ actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great (mumbles) upon himself, and the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, and the United States Army. Signed, General Mark A. Milley, Chief of Staff of the Army, and the Honorable Mark T. Esper, Secretary of the Army.

It’s painful to relive it. I’ve been approached many times by people who say, “How the hell do you do it?” and they don’t know. But I think like Karol, through the tears, we have to tell the story of Karol and Michael. They just locked arms and followed each other. They didn’t worry about what language it was or what color it was. It was two battle… The new slogan is, I don’t know the term, old school, but they’re battle buddies. And that’s what Karol and Michael did. To help, to help everybody on that FOB they possibly could.

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