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First Name: Andrew

Last Name: Small

Birthplace: Bath, ME, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Richard

Date of Birth: 20 June 1987

Date of Death: 11 August 2006

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served: 2005 - 2006
Andrew Richard Small

•  Afghanistan War (Operation Enduring Freedom) (2001 - present)


Andrew Richard Small
Private First Class, U.S. Army

On 11 August 2006, Private First Class Andrew Richard Small was serving as a Squad Automatic Weapons Gunner, Company B, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, (Task Force Chosin) while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan.

On that day, PFC Small was a gunner in the lead element of a 22-man platoon on patrol in the mountains of Nuristan, Afghanistan. Three hours into the patrol, insurgents ambushed the Americans, waiting until the patrol's point man had passed their concealed position before opening fire. The attack caught the entire lead group in the kill zone and 3 Americans were killed immediately, the remainder of the platoon was pinned down under enemy fire. PFC Small was located as the 6th man in movement in an extremely tight trail. During the initial fire, PFC Small and the rest of the squad were pinned down by accurate small arms fire. The only cover available was to hug the side of the mountain, which did not allow his squad to return fire. PFC Small's team leader, SGT Smallwood, was then hit by an RPG that seriously wounded him and left him exposed to enemy fire. PFC Small exposed himself and laid down suppressive fire against the well-fortified enemy position. By doing this, he drew fire to his own position, but PFC Small refused to seek cover. The action allowed his team leader to drag himself over a cliff to cover. At this time, the enemy launched another barrage of rocket propelled grenades into PFC Small's position. This volley severely injured 2 soldiers who later succumbed to their wounds and PFC Small was hit in the back by shrapnel. Although PFC Small was wounded, he got back up and continued to lay down suppressive fire, refusing to seek cover or medical aid until he was able to facilitate the maneuver of his squad out of the kill zone. PFC Small continued to engage, and be engaged, by the enemy that outnumbered him by 7 to one. This allowed the rest of the platoon and close air support to suppress and kill the enemy. When the patrol leader was able to move up to PFC Small's position, he found him lying in the trails, weapon in his hands, orientated toward the enemy and out of ammunition. PFC Small's selfless sacrifice directly saved the lives of 3 other squad members and denied the enemy an opportunity to pursue its advantage over the pinned down Americans. PFC Small's sacrifice was the most significant reason members of the squad were able to survive the ambush attack. PFC Small’s courageous actions that day earned him, at the cost of his life, the U.S. Army's third highest award for valor, the Silver Star Medal.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Silver Star Medal
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart
Army Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon
Combat Infantryman Badge

Silver Star Medal Citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Private First Class Andrew R. Small, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action on 11 August 2006, while under intense hostile fire as a Squad Automatic Weapons Gunner, Company B, 1st Battalion, 32d Infantry Regiment, 3d Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, (Task Force CHOSIN), during combat operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, at Nuristan, Afghanistan. Private First Class Small's courage and dedication to duty were paramount as he ran into enemy gunfire in order to return fire on the enemy fortified position and allow a fellow wounded Soldier time to drag himself out of the kill zone. Private First Class Small's selfless and heroic actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service, reflecting great credit upon himself, the CHOSIN Battalion, the Spartan Brigade, Combined Joint Task Force-76, the United States Central Command, and the United States Army.


Private First Class Andrew Richard Small is buried at Pine Grove Cemetery in Dresden Mills, Lincoln County, ME.


Honoree ID: 8551   Created by: MHOH




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