From another forum ******************************************* NARRATIVE FOR AWARD OF THE SILVER STAR PRIVATE FIRST CLASS MARC B. SOLOWSKI PFC Marc B. Solowski, United States Army, distinguished himself by exhibiting exceptionally valorous conduct in the face of an enemy attack as an assistant gunner for 2nd Platoon, Battle Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan on 23 October 2007 during Combat Operation Rock Avalanche. Combat Operation Rock Avalanche was a high visibility operation in which Battle Company was tasked to move throughout the Talasar Ridge where intelligence predicted the enemy sending upward of 140 fighters into the Korengal Valley to face the Coalition Forces. At this time, 2nd Platoon, the Main Effort for Battle Company, occupied a defensive position on top of hilltop 2435 where PFC Solowski's M240B team was arrayed facing the south. Hilltop 2435 was key terrain for 2nd platoon as it offered dominating observation of the valley to the south and potential enemy avenues of approach to the platoon's patrol base. The six-man scout team, who was attached to the platoon for this operation, also occupied a critical position further to the southwest on top of hilltop 2435 where they mutually supported PFC Solowski's gun team. At or around 0730z, PFC Solowski's gun position took intense and highly accurate bursts of PKM and AK-47 fire from the southwest. Immediately PFC Solowski returned aimed fires with his M-4 to suppress the enemy whom were engaging his position from multiple locations to his south and southwest. Within one minute of the initial contact PFC Solowski emptied one magazine and bounded back for better cover and concealment as the pressing enemy moved forward. Under fire, PFC Solowski found cover 10 meters behind his initial position where his squad leader and gunner had already sustained urgent-surgical injuries. There, PFC Solowski attempted to contact his squad leader and fellow gun team members without avail. As the enemy approached his position PFC Solowski bounded back to where the scouts had moved and quickly coordinated with the scout team leader to flank the enemy from the north side of the hilltop. As two enemy moved within feet of his position and under continued accurate enemy PKM and AK-47 fires within feet of his position PFC Solowski single-handedly engaged the enemy with deadly M-4 fire. This action potentially halted the enemy who had overrun the hilltop and killed Wild Cat 1, the scout team leader at the time, from taking his body into their custody. Almost immediately, PKM rounds again landed within feet of PFC Solowski's position stunning his advance back to the top of the hilltop. Shortly thereafter, one team from 1st squad had bounded from their location east of the hilltop and regained security near the position where PFC Solowski had been overrun. PFC Solowski's selfless service, blatant disregard for his life, and heroism under fire to secure hilltop 2435 and prevent a fellow soldier's body from falling into the hands of the enemy proved invaluable and courageous. PFC Solowski prevented the enemy from enveloping hilltop 2435 while fearlessly moving under intense and effective PKM and AK-47 fire within inches of his life throughout the engagement. His courage under fire and unrelenting dedication to the mission prevented others from losing their lives or from potentially taking a fellow soldier's body into their hands. I am convinced that had PFC Solowski not organized and led a counterattack alongside the scout element that the remainder of the forces on the hilltop would have been quickly cut off from reinforcements and likely subject to deadly fires from the dominating key terrain. PFC Solowski is a true warrior who optimizes the values of duty, honor, and country while leading the way in the most intense of combat operations.