Face of Defense: Infantry Soldiers Inducted Into Order of Saint Maurice
American Forces Press Service
BAGHDAD, April 2, 2008 Two U.S. soldiers from Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq were inducted into the Order of Saint Maurice and received the infantry medallion in Baghdad.
U.S. Army Sgts. 1st Class Tim Leckie and Fidel Cisneros, both convoy security platoon sergeants in 1st Provisional Motorized Infantry Company, received the prestigious medallion of the Centurion level, awarded by the National Infantry Association and the Chief of Infantry of the United States Army for outstanding contributions to the infantry.
"The infantryman displays courage, candor and commitment," U. S. Army Col. Alfred Dochnal, Coalition Army Advisory Training Team's chief of staff, said as he presented Leckie and Cisneros their awards.
The infantry medallion is named after the 3rd-century leader of the Roman Theban Legion, Saint Maurice. It is awarded to officers, noncommissioned officers, and special nominees who have made a significant contribution to the infantry.
"These soldiers are committed to excellence and committed to get out on the road day in and day out," Dochnal said.
Leckie, from Oklahoma City, Okla., with more than 22 years in service, and Cisneros, from Seattle, Wash., with more than 16 years in service, are deployed from 104th Division (Institutional Training) Command. Both have conducted more than 840 combat missions without loss of life or equipment during their tour and have been submitted for the Bronze Star Medal.
"This award is important for me personally. With as many changes we've seen in the infantry over the years, it's important to hold on to our most basic tradition in the infantry and observe them and give our younger soldiers pride in the infantry," Cisneros said.
Each of the sergeants leads a platoon of 18 soldiers and provides convoy security for Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq's coalition and Iraqi personnel. Their soldiers escort congressional and subcommittee members, many other distinguished visitors, and provided personal security for Kurdish Prime Minister Necherban Barzani.
"I love the infantry. The things we do, the pain we endure in training, and the sacrifice and worry that our families go through as a result of doing this job in combat is huge," Leckie said.
Some notable members who have received the award are Colin Powell, retired U.S. Army general and former U.S. secretary of state; Dale A. Dye, decorated retired U.S. Marine Corps captain and founder of Warriors, Inc.; and John Abizaid, retired U.S. Army general and former U. S. Central Command commander.
Leckie and Cisneros will return home from their deployments at the end of April.
(From a Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq news release.)