December 7

Young Kate Nesbitt awarded the MC for bravery in Afghanistan

Kate Nesbitt of the Royal Navy saw a British soldier fall during a fire fight in Marjah District in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Her act of bravery has moved the Korean Veterans Association to salute her in the commendation which is published below this video.

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"Without a second’s delay she sprinted 70 yards under enemy fire, got to his side, began opening a new air way so that he could breathe. The enemy continued firing, bullets snapping past her. The soldier, a private from the First Rifles, of Number 3 Commando Brigade, had been hit in the flak jacket by a rifle bullet. It ricocheted, entered his throat and exited through his jaw. Without Kate’s intervention he would have choked to death, or eventually bled to death. She stayed with him under fire, working on his wound for 45 minutes while her comrades fought with the enemy shooters and finally flushed them out. Of it all she said later, 'I was really overwhelmed that they trusted me to do the job and never doubted me at all, that’s what was important. I just did what I’m sure everyone else would have done for me.'”  

 

"AB Kate Nesbitt was very proud when HRH Prince Charles presented her with the Military Cross for bravery in an investiture service in Buckingham Palace on 27 November.She is the first woman in the Royal Navy and the second woman ever to receive the decoration."

"Standing just five feet tall it was necessary for Prince Charles to bend deeply to present and discuss the decoration and her exploits under fire in Afghanistan."

"She was surrounded while waiting with other Military Cross by other recipients, all men and some among them tough, agile commandos who had been cited for the decoration for hand to hand combat under fire. Several were commissioned officers. "

"Kate's mother and father were in the audience and she told reporters later, 'When it all happened (rescuing the soldier under fire) we were in the middle of an operation but I wouldn’t in a million years have thought anyone would follow it up. It was the biggest shock when I got the news (about being recommended for the Military Cross).' ”

 

“ 'It made it all seem real being here today. It has been so special. When I looked over and saw my mum and dad in the audience, it was the proudest day of my life.' ”

"The citation for her decoration reads, 'Under fire and under pressure her commitment and courage were inspirational and made the difference between life and death. She performed in the highest traditions of her service.' So who says the front lines are no place for a woman, if that’s where she chooses to be?"

"Veterans from Commonwealth nations will recall that during the Korean War era the Military Cross was a medal awarded to officers up to the rank of captain. It could be recommended for a single act of bravery or for meritorious service in the face of the enemy over a prolonged period. In 1993 the United Kingdom began to change its honours to eliminate rank distinctions."

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"The Military Cross was made available to everyone in the UK armed forces, regardless of rank. The Military medal, formerly the much haloed decoration for other ranks for 'bravery in the field,' was eliminated.  Kate, who turned 21 since rescuing the soldier under fire last March, is now working in the Surgical Assessment Unit at the Military Hospital Unit in Derriford, UK.

"'We are receiving terrible injuries on a daily basis and it is a tough job but nothing compares to having to treat one of your colleagues that you have worked alongside for weeks.' 

"Well done, Kate! Well done, from Korean War Veterans all over the world!” 


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