***image1***Establishing emergency triage sites, fighting raging fires and saving lives during a deployment to Iraq earned Master Sgt. Michael M. Ogden a Bronze Star Medal Jan. 20 at the 38th Construction and Training Squadron Auditorium.
“Sergeant Ogden is one of the best senior NCOs I’ve worked with throughout my career,” said Lt. Col. Brian Ouellette, 732nd Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron commander. “He is a full spectrum guy that takes fantastic initiatives.”
Sergeant Ogden, a firefighter assigned to the 38th CTS, deployed to the 732nd ECES logistics support area in Anaconda, Iraq, for four months. His 18 years of firefighting experience and leadership skills were evident throughout the deployment.
Sergeant Ogden led a four-person squad on a helicopter insertion to an accident scene involving a tractor-trailer and private vehicle. Once on scene, he stepped in as the on-scene commander and organized his squad and Army medics that were arriving. His quick action saved an Iraqi citizen pinned inside the vehicle with a life-threatening injury and provided medical care for two others involved in the accident, he said.
Again, Sergeant Ogden responded to a mass casualty incident in which an Army convoy had been attacked by an improvised explosive device. His eight-person team treated three Soldiers with spinal and neck injuries, ensuring they were mobilized correctly.
Not only did Sergeant Ogden respond to vehicle accidents, his 24-person team extinguished a trailer fire that saved over $540,000 in government property. Sergeant Ogden also battled a fire at the Army Special Operations weapons and munitions storage complex. The rapid fire extinguishment saved three storage containers that held more than $100,000 of heavy weaponry and ammunition, said Colonel Ouellette.
When Sergeant Ogden was not responding to accidents and fires, he was creating new guidance and checklists to enhance the job quality of those in his squadron and the people that would take over his position in future deployments, he said.
At the ceremony Sergeant Ogden simply stated that he was just doing his job and was happy to be home with his wife and kids.
“It was truly honored to have him [Sergeant Ogden] serve under my command,” said Colonel Ouellette.