SSG Murphrey was SGT Mark's team leader on two tours in Iraq. SSG Murphrey was killed in action in Afghanistan Sept. 6. Earlier in the year, SSG Murphrey was awarded the Unit V clasp and the Bronze Star. His father has sent over a narrative of the award this morning and asked that I post it. I am honored and salute Michael's heroism and service.
On 4 APR 09, SSG Murphrey performed above and beyond his duties during the broad spectrum of combat operations his squad endured. Securing a defensive position, SSG Murphrey’s squad came under heavy direct enemy fire that impacted in his immediate vicinity causing his Squad to drop behind cover in shallow ditch.
SSG Murphrey, with no regard to his personal safety, moved through the hail of enemy fire, positioned himself where he could provide an effective support by fire, for his Squad to follow. SSG Murphrey screened the enemy with smoke, and laid down accurate fires, simultaneously emplacing his squad behind cover, and then assigned sectors of fire to be covered by his multiple weapon systems.
SSG Murphrey then provided Support by fire so his Platoon Leader could move through open terrain to conduct link up with the other element of his platoon. SSG Murphrey then courageously led the assault forward to clear the enemy’s strong point that his
platoon was pinned down from, drawing enemy fire himself.
He coordinated the entry on the movement forward and secured the foothold to the house the insurgents were occupying. SSG Murphrey was the key element that allowed the platoon to clear the first objective without flaw, with very little support by fire do to the open terrain.
After clearing the first objective nearly single-handedly, he continued to lead his element towards a tree line that more suspected insurgents were occupying. After bounding around the base of a hill, SSG Murphrey’s squad came under direct enemy heavy machine gun fire, later identified as a NSV. Once again, without regard to personal safety, SSG Murphrey bounded forward, through the imminent danger ensuing to his front, placing effective small arms fire upon the enemy, enabling his Squad to take cover in the open field.
SSG Murphrey then valiantly maneuvered his element through the enemy’s wall of fire, returning fire leaving him in exposed, and in jeopardy for the safety of his Soldiers. Once behind cover, he marked obscured enemy targets with precise accuracy exposing their position. This enabled A-10 aircraft to fix, and finish the insurgent forces with their heavy volume of multiple weapon systems.
SSG Murphrey’s actions on this day allowed the safe exfiltration of all members of his platoon, simultaneously weakening the insurgency network in this Global War on Terror and strengthened the political future of the Nation of Afghanistan. SSG Murphrey’s actions on this day reflect great credit upon himself, the Army, The Geronimo Battalion, and The Spartan Brigade.