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  1. #1
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    Default U.K. Michelle Norris, Military Cross, Iraq

    The Military Cross (MC) is the third level military decoration awarded to officers and (since 1993) other ranks of the British Armed Forces and formerly also to officers of other Commonwealth countries.

    The MC is granted in recognition of "an act or acts of exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy on land to all members, of any rank in Our Armed Forces…".[2] In 1979 the Queen approved a proposal that a number of awards including the Military Cross could in future be awarded posthumously.




    Michelle Norris – Royal Army Medical Corps – Military Cross

    "At just 19 years of age and having only recently completed basic training, Private Michelle Norris was deployed as a medical orderly with The Queen's Royal Hussars Battle Group in Al Amarah, Southern Iraq. 11 June 2006 saw the largest and most intense battle in Iraq since 2004. A search operation in Al Amarah turned into a war–fighting engagement when her Company Group came under heavy, accurate and sustained attack from a well–organised enemy force of over 200.

    "During the heaviest of the fighting the company commander's group came under accurate sniper fire and the commander of the Warrior carrying Private Norris was shot in the face and seriously injured. Private Norris realised the severity of the situation immediately and without thought or care for her own personal safety, she dismounted and climbed onto the top of the Warrior to administer life–saving first aid to the casualty. On seeing her on the top of the Warrior the sniper opened fire again, firing a further three rounds at her, one hitting the radio mounted on the side of the turret inches from her leg. Despite this she continued to administer first aid through the commander's hatch to the casualty until the gunner pulled her into the turret for her own safety.

    "Despite the very real risks from sniper fire, heavy small arms fire and rocket propelled grenade she deliberately ignored the danger to her own life in order to administer live saving first aid to the commander of the vehicle. Private Norris's actions on 11 June were extremely courageous and outstandingly brave and have rightly earned her the Military Cross for actions to save the life of a comrade when under fire."
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails pte_michelle_norris.jpg   michellenorrisDM_468x796.jpg   michellenorrisPA_600x456.jpg  
    Last edited by bobdina; 08-26-2009 at 01:10 AM.

  2. #2
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    An eighteen year-old Army medic has become the first woman ever to win the Military Cross, one of Britain's highest awards for gallantry in combat.

    Private Michelle Norris braved heavy sniper and machine-gun fire from 200 insurgents during a fierce battle in southern Iraq earlier this year, clambering on top of an armoured vehicle to give life-saving treatment to a severely wounded comrade, ignoring the bullets smashing into the turret around her.

    It was the first time she had ever been confronted with a casualty on the battlefield.

    The teenager, who had dreamed of joining the Army after watching old war movies with her father as a child, spoke of her pride at receiving the coveted medal, and said she hoped the award would help convince doubters that women can cope well with the dangers of frontline combat.

    At a special ceremony in London yesterday the head of Britain's armed forces Air Chief Marshall Sir Jock Stirrup described the astonishing bravery which led to her ground-breaking gallantry award.

    The Military Cross is awarded to soldiers 'for exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy', and ranks only below the Victoria Cross and Conspicuous Gallantry Cross as a recognition of bravery in battle.

    Michelle Norris was a newly-qualified private in the Royal Army Medical Corps, only a few months out of basic training, and was sent to Iraq last summer as a company medic with the 1st Battalion the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment, aged just 18.

    On June 11th this year her unit was caught up in 'the largest and most intense battle in Iraq since 2004', according to her medal citation, and 'came under heavy, accurate and sustained attack from a well organised enemy force of over 200.'

    At the peak of the battle the commander of her Warrior armoured vehicle was shot in the face and seriously injured while standing with his head outside the turret hatch.

    She climbed out of the vehicle and onto the turret to give first aid. Seeing this, enemy snipers concentrated their fire on the Warrior, sending bullets smashing into the armour 'inches from her leg.'

    Pte Norris continued giving treatment regardless, until other soldiers dragged her to safety inside the vehicle.

    Speaking at the ceremony Michelle, now 19, told how the wounded man, Colour Sergeant Ian Page, was a good friend, and 'like a father to me.'

    She recalled: 'The gunner shouted down to me that the vehicle commander was injured. I couldn't see how badly until I got out of the vehicle.

    'A bullet had hit his rifle and actually gone through it and into his face.

    'At first I didn't realise they were still firing at us. I was more worried about whether I would remember all the training and do the right thing, but it did all come rushing back to me.

    'I remember the gunner yelling at me to get down. I heard rounds come whizzing past my head and I thought 'Yes, I probably do need to get down now.

    'Before I could move he grabbed me and dragged me down into the vehicle.'

    Thanks to her bravery Colour Sgt Page subsequently made a full recovery and has since returned to duty.

    Pte Norris said: 'I've always wanted to join up. I was a bit of Tomboy as a girl, and was always out playing in the woods with my brother. I joined the cadets at 13, and really enjoyed it.

    'This medal hasn't really sunk in. I'm really proud to be the first woman to get the MC.

    'I know some people doubt whether we can work properly on the frontline. I hope I've proved we can.

    'We do the job to the best of our abilities, and sometimes even better than the men.'

    Michelle's mother Susan and father Peter, from Stourbridge, West Midlands, voiced their delight at her award.

    The parents of Michelle Norris last night told the Daily Mail of their immense pride in their daughter, who is now based in Germany.

    Susan Norris, 55, said yesterday: 'It is impossible to put into words how I feel.

    'I am so proud of Michelle - it is just amazing what she has achieved.

    'But at the same time I feel so sad for all of the people who have lost their lives out there. And for their families.

    'It is a real mix of emotions."

    Mrs Norris, a full time carer, added: 'We had no idea before that Michelle was the first woman to get a Military Cross.

    'It is overwhelming.

    'None of us dreamt this would happen when she joined the army two years ago.

    'She loves her job and were are so grateful that she is safe.

    'She has done incredibly well and her brother and sister are so so proud of her too.

    'Now we are all looking forward to her being home for Christmas."

    Peter Norris, 58, added: 'Seeing Michelle get the award brought a tear to my eye.

    'We are so proud of her and it has been a very emotional day. Especially when you think of her fellow soldiers who never made it home.'

    Michelle said: 'I didn't want to tell my parents too much about it at the time, as I didn't want them to worry.

    'They've all been a bit worried while I was away, although my mum was the worst.'


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz0PG5hLXOs

  3. #3
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    Braving the bullets: Private Michelle Norris has become the first woman to be awarded the Military Cross
    Ignoring the bullets ricocheting around her - one blasting through her rucksack - the young medic clambered on top of an armoured vehicle to help her injured commander.

    It was the first time she had been confronted with a casualty on the battlefield.

    Private Norris from Stourbridge in the West Midlands, who had dreamed of joining the Army as a child after watching old war films with her father, spoke of her pride after being presented with her award by the Queen.Speaking after the ceremony at Buckingham Palace Private Norris said: "It hasn't sunk in yet. I'm here with my mum, dad and sister and they have been very proud and supportive of me all the way through it."

    She added: "I was more concerned about doing my job then what was happening around me. That is what I'm trained for, that is what I was doing."

    The Military Cross is awarded to soldiers 'for exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy', and ranks only below the Victoria Cross and Conspicuous Gallantry Cross as a recognition of bravery in battle.

    Just past her 18th birthday and newly qualified as a private in the Royal Army Medical Corps, Private Norris was sent to Iraq in the summer of 2005 as a company medic with the 1st Battalion the Princess of Wales Regiment.

    On June 11 last year, she "came under heavy, accurate and sustained attack" according to her medal citation, after her unit was involved in "the largest and most intense battle in Iraq since 2004".

    After the commander of her Warrior was shot in the face, she climbed out of the armoured vehicle to give first aid despite the obvious danger.

    Snipers turned their fire on the Warrior, sending bullets smashing into the turret "inches from her leg", but Private Norris continued administering treatment for three minutes until other soldiers helped her drag the injured commander inside the vehicle.

    Thanks to her bravery the injured soldier, Colour Sergeant Ian Page, made a full recovery.

    Private Norris described coming under fire during her heroic dash.

    She said: "I jumped out of the Warrior and climbed up. I didn't realise at the time I was being shot at. I managed to get him to the back of the vehicle and give him first aid.

    "It was only afterwards that I really realised how close it had been."

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    Wow more women in the military need to aspire to be like her........men too.
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