NAME: Gabriel D. Conde
PLACE OF BIRTH: Loveland, Colorado
DATE OF BIRTH:
DATES OF SERVICE: ?? ??? ???? - 30 April 2018
UNIT ASSIGNED: 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division
CAMPAIGNS: Operation Freedom Sentinel - Afghanistan
AWARDS: Combat Infantry Badge, Parachutist Badge, Purple Heart Medal (posthumous), Bronze Star Medal with “V” Device (posthumous), Mertorious Service Medal (posthumous), and Army Commendation Medal with “Combat” device (posthumous).
SUMMARY OF SERVICE:
SPC Gabriel D. Conde served with distinction in 3-509 Infantry holding the positions of Rifleman, Grenadier, and M249 SAW Gunner, from his arrival to Alaska in April 2016, until he paid the ultimate sacrifice and was Killed In Action on April 30, 2018, in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan. SPC Conde was the absolute epitome of an Airborne Paratrooper. He set the example every day and left us all too early, doing what he loved to do- protecting his brothers to his left and right. Very few Soldiers have made as lasting of an impression on any of us in the 509th as SPC Conde did. Conde felt it was his calling to serve his country and put his life on the line for his fellow Paratroopers, and that’s exactly what he did.
SPC Conde was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Valor for the following event: SPC Conde served as a MK-48 Gunner during a clearance operation in Margah Bazaar, Paktika Province on 15 December 2017 while attached to Special Forces Operational Detachment – Alpha (SFOD-A) 0214. His courage under fire, technical expertise, and violence of action ensured the safety of SFOD-A 0214 and Police Special Unit (PSU) Paktika personnel and directly contributed to the successful clearance of a known enemy safe haven, resulting in 14 enemy killed in action and the recovery of substantial enemy intelligence.
During the clearance of Margah Bazaar, PSU Paktika, SFOD-A 0214 and SPC Conde received effective enemy indirect fire and direct fire, as well as RPG fire from as close as 200 meters. The constant enemy fire halted the momentum and pinned down the assault force. SPC Conde identified the enemy’s RPG position and engaged it with the MK-48, killing one enemy fighter and forcing the enemy to retreat. This allowed the assault force time and space to regain their momentum and continue their assault.
As the mission progressed, inclement weather made satellite communications with Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan (SOTF-A) extremely unreliable. SPC Conde voluntarily exposed himself to enemy fire in order to suppress enemy fighters and allow a small element to maneuver to a position more advantageous for establishing communications. This allowed the Ground Force Commander to communicate to SOTF-A and overhead air assets in order to request air-to-ground strikes to neutralize the enemy threat.
SPC Conde manned a security position holding the flank of the main assault force as sensitive site exploitation was conducted. A group of 15 enemy fighters attempted to out-maneuver and cut off the security position from the main force. SPC Conde, with little regard to his personal safety, again exposed himself to enemy fire in order to engage the enemy and prevent the assault force from being flanked. His actions prevented the enemy from isolating and maneuvering on friendly positions./End of BSM-V Citation/
Gabe’s daily courage and fierce intention to serve and sacrifice, regardless whether it was in training or in combat, made him an unforgettable member of the 509th. He was a man amongst boys in Able Company. His presence and technical prowess, even as a young PFC upon arrival, was inspiring for not only his squad, but also his platoon and the entire company. He was a quiet professional and led by example, letting his actions speak for himself. He was truly a special Paratrooper, and will be missed greatly by all of us.
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