The All-American Commander presented the Distinguished Flying Cross to Chief Warrant Officer Carlos M. Roman, at Simmons Army Airfield, Mar. 14, for his actions while serving in Afghanistan with the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade.
Soldiers, Family members and friends gathered to honor Roman, an AH-64D Apache helicopter pilot who now serves with the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, as Maj. Gen. James L. Huggins, the commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division, pinned his award.
The medal, which is America's oldest military aviation award, is awarded to a service member who distinguishes himself by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight.
"This happens more than we recognize, in that ordinary people do extraordinary things," Huggins said. "That's what this service is all about."
On Oct. 30 2010, while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with the 3rd CAB, Roman answered the call for help in response to a close combat attack request in support of the ground troops of 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment during a fire fight near Marga in eastern Afghanistan's Paktika province. Instead of remaining at an altitude out of small arms range once they arrived at the scene of the attack, Roman and his crewmember descended in order to positively identify and engage the armed insurgents.
"I wasn't scared, I just wanted to make sure I was shooting the right people," said the Fayetteville, N.C., native.
His rapid response, superior situational awareness and exemplary airmanship resulted in the safe recovery of all friendly forces and successful destruction of more than 80 enemy personnel. His actions saved the lives of countless American Soldiers and were critical in defeating the enemy.
"He answered in the most heroic way that a person could, putting his own self in harm's way for the good of others," Huggins said. "And, that's about the noblest thing, I think, that can occur in mankind."
Nobility is not the only virtue this pilot possesses, as he was rather humble about his prestigious award.
"I never fly for awards," Roman said.
Perhaps this humility comes with the job.
"Ordinary people that do extraordinary things, that's what this uniform is all about," Huggins said.
Article by Staff Sgt. Jill People, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs