Go Back   SOCNET: The Special Operations Community Network > U.S. Army Special Operations > 75th Ranger Regiment

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 18 July 2018, 07:18
agonyea's Avatar
agonyea agonyea is offline
Been There Done That
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Bama Country
Posts: 2,110
SSG Norton A Co 3rd Rangers awarded the Silver Star

SSG Norton is awarded the Silver Star

The Gift of Valor

July 15 at 2:22 PM

FORT BENNING, Ga. (USASOC News Service, Dec. 2, 2009) -- A squad leader with the 75th Ranger Regiment was awarded the Silver Star for risking who his life to save two fellow Rangers in Afghanistan.

"Any Ranger would have done the same thing," said Staff Sgt. Michael E. Norton of Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Rangers. "The Ranger Creed says, 'I will never leave a fallen comrade.' There was no moment of thinking about what to do. I had to get my brothers and the most important thing in my mind was how hurt they were."

Norton led his squad on an objective, Aug. 4-5, to raid an enemy combatant's headquarters camp in the mountains of northwestern Khowst Province in Afghanistan.

While moving to the objective, Norton and one of his team leaders were alerted to possible enemy combatants along the route and moved forward to assess the situation. As Norton and his team leader were attempting to identify the possible enemy in the valley, a seven to nine man enemy element initiated a complex, near ambush on Norton's squad from the high ground with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire from a position of 25 meters to the squad's front.
"The fire came from our 12 o'clock and then maybe a couple of seconds later from our right and left," Norton said.

Behind the first enemy rocket-propelled grenade team, a medium machine gun on elevated ground to the northwest engaged them with highly effective fire. Two more enemy combatants were on the slope of the valley to the west, engaged the Ranger squad with an AK-47 and rocket-propelled grenades along the long axis of their formation, while another group of enemy fighters were on elevated terrain to the east, raked them with small arms fire from the rear of the Ranger squad formation.

The multiple enemy positions had effectively enveloped Norton's squad from multiple directions at a distance of 25 to 50 meters, leaving Norton and his element pinned to the floor of the valley by the intense and accurate small arms fire.

The valley left no room for maneuver; Norton, his squad and the machine gun team element behind them immediately returned fire, but they were unable to gain fire superiority over the well-established enemy.

After the second rocket-propelled grenades knocked two of his Rangers temporarily unconscious and blasted the rest of his squad with shrapnel and debris and realizing his element could not gain fire superiority, Norton shouted for his squad to break contact.

When Norton realized that two Rangers had not gotten up and were still exposed to the heavy volume of enemy fire from the high ground to the east and west, and with complete disregard for his own safety, Norton turned around and with marked distinction, purposefully charged back into the interlocking fire of the enemy ambush kill zone in order to recover his downed Rangers.

"The example of personal courage that Staff Sergeant Norton showed, to get his men out of the kill zone is a testament to his character," said Maj. Keith Carter, A Company commander. "NCOs such as Staff Sergeant Norton are the reason I wanted to serve in the 75th Ranger Regiment, and it is an honor to lead them."

Without hesitation, Norton dove down into the midst of enemy fire with his unconscious comrades, uncertain of their status.

"There was nothing fancy going on in my head besides hoping they weren't dead," said Norton.

While the rest of the element attempted to suppress the enemy, and lying next to the Rangers, Norton "started shaking and yelling as quietly as I could."

After reviving his Rangers, Norton led them back to cover through the hail of direct fire and rocket-propelled grenade strikes, saving their lives and bringing his entire squad out of the enemy onslaught intact.

"I'm proud of the actions of my squad, because we continued the mission after that," said Norton. "It was just two minutes out of our overall mission."

As his platoon fought off the enemy ambush with direct fire, mortars and close air support, Norton quickly assessed his casualties and reorganized his squad to return to the fight.

Norton continued leading his squad in the follow-on assaults through two more direct fire contacts, killing two enemy combatants.

"We receive a lot of great training here at 3rd Ranger Battalion and I was just acting on instinct," said Norton.

The training conducted by Rangers means everything on the battlefield.

"The goal of the company and battalion is to create the most realistic scenarios possible while minimizing risk," Carter said. We constantly integrate new enemy tactics from overseas into our training so that we are ready in any situation."

The overall assault force killed 20 enemy fighters, destroyed two enemy anti-aircraft guns and several other weapons, explosives and military supplies on the objective resulting in the disruption of a major enemy headquarters and encampment.

Norton joined the Army from his hometown of Pensacola, Fla., June 2004, after graduating from West Highland Christian Academy and has deployed six times in support of operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. He is the son of Jimmy and Deborah Norton of Holly, Mich.

Article and photo by Tracy A. Bailey
75th Ranger Regiment Public Affairs
Copyright 200
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 36585510_1040052636148283_7747078192514465792_n.jpg (21.9 KB, 179 views)
"And the fallen Angels took to flight transformed into fierce beasts, and fell upon their prey" Dante
Reply With Quote
Old 18 July 2018, 07:30
Mingo Kane's Avatar
Mingo Kane Mingo Kane is offline
Been There Done That
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Virginia
Posts: 4,242
Outstanding...exceptional young man.
Reply With Quote
Old 18 July 2018, 08:38
1RiserSlip's Avatar
1RiserSlip 1RiserSlip is offline
Been There Done That
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Po Dunk, WV
Posts: 5,899
Yep. Cast iron balls right there.

Good job Ranger. Well deserved!.
I don't reckon I got no reason to kill nobody...

Karl Childers
Reply With Quote
Old 18 July 2018, 09:26
RangerJurena RangerJurena is offline
Been There Done That
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Back In Texas
Posts: 625
Am I confused or is this from 2009?
2 Charlie <1>
A long time ago
Reply With Quote
Old 18 July 2018, 12:01
agonyea's Avatar
agonyea agonyea is offline
Been There Done That
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Bama Country
Posts: 2,110
You are right this is a post from 2009, that the 75th Regiment reposted.
"And the fallen Angels took to flight transformed into fierce beasts, and fell upon their prey" Dante
Reply With Quote
Old 18 July 2018, 12:41
UGA_11B UGA_11B is offline
RIP Cass and SOTB
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,280
Awesome job Ranger. Well deserved!
Reply With Quote
Old 18 July 2018, 15:06
RGR.Montcalm's Avatar
RGR.Montcalm RGR.Montcalm is offline
Been There Done That
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Clearing fields of fire
Posts: 11,175
Living the Creed- makes my heart swell with pride.

Well done young brother!
Shallow men believe in luck; strong men believe in cause and effect
Reply With Quote
Old 18 July 2018, 18:14
schibbs schibbs is offline
Been There Done That
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: West Salem, Wi 54669
Posts: 880
These posts are humbling. I can't imagine the fortitude it takes to do these missions! I served with a Norton, B2/75, 3rd plt, wpns squad, circa '78. He and Hugh Roberts were 60 gunners when I got there in '78.
Reply With Quote
Old 18 July 2018, 19:47
The Fat Guy's Avatar
The Fat Guy The Fat Guy is offline
The Sagacious One
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Getting off the lawn.
Posts: 14,542
Sua Sponte....
No one will take better care of us, than us: Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Reply With Quote
Old 19 July 2018, 04:52
Ole crusty bastard's Avatar
Ole crusty bastard Ole crusty bastard is offline
Authorized Personnel
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Port Charlotte FL
Posts: 5,108
The action may be from 2009, but that does not diminish his actions. A well deserved award.
...when in doubt...over prime.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Our new posting rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:24.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc. All Rights Reserved
SOCNET 1996-2018