A pair of Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers will receive the Army’s award for bravery in a noncombat situation for their actions during a rescue at Mount Rainier National Park last year.
On Wednesday, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) will recognize the heroic actions of Sgt. 1st Class Anton Engelmann and Staff Sgt. Marc Emmi.
Engelmann and Emmi will be presented the Soldier's Medal (the Army’s award for bravery in a noncombat situation) for placing their own lives in harm's way during the successful rescue of a civilian, Gerry Goit, from a motor vehicle in the Nisqually River on June 5, 2010.
Engelmann, a native of Passaic, NJ, joined the military immediately following his high school graduation, in 1996. In January 2003, he went to Special Forces Assessment Select (SFAS) and was selected for the Special Forces Qualification Course. In 2009 he was assigned to 1st SFG (A), then-Fort Lewis, WA.
Emmi, born in Syracuse, NY, grew up in Auburn, NY and joined the military in 2005. In 2006, he attended SFAS and was selected to attend the SFQC. In April 2008 he joined 1st SFG (A).
Engelmann and Emmi released the following statement:
"We feel proud to have been in a position to help and make a difference, but Marc and I were not the only ones that helped Gerry Goit that day. It was a team effort from emergency crews and other concerned citizens; we certainly are not heroes. We pitched in along with everyone else at the scene, to help Gerry get out safely and that was everyone’s No. 1 priority. Gerry is ok and is with his family, which is all that matters and we were just happy to help."
The Soldier's Medal was established by act of congress on July 2, 1926. The medal is awarded to any person of the Armed Forces of the United States or of a friendly foreign nation who, while serving in any capacity with the Army of the United States, distinguishes himself or herself by heroism. The performance must have involved personal hazard or danger and the voluntary risk of life, under conditions not involving conflict with an armed enemy.