Sergeant Perfect - MC

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Sergeant Perfect was a Rifle Platoon Sergeant and Warrior Commander in C Company, 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment when they were deployed to Al Amarah, in Southern Iraq, for the duration of Op TELIC IV.

Sergeant Perfect commanded his multiple in numerous contacts throughout the deployment with quiet, unassuming professionalism. On the 14th May 2004 his platoon was scrambled to the assistance of a light-role patrol that had been ambushed near the Danny Boy permanent vehicle checkpoint near the hostile town of Majar-Al-Kabir. Sergeant Perfect's two Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles were the first to arrive on the scene but were also ambushed on arrival. The vehicle weapon systems failed and so Sergeant Perfect began to engage with his rifle from the turret, despite the exposed position that this put him in from the heavy incoming fire. He ordered the dismounted troops in the back of the Warrior to open the top mortar hatches to assist. The Warrior was hit by a rocket propelled grenade, which knocked one of the troops in the back unconscious. The other closed down the hatches and began to administer first aid.

At this stage it became apparent that the vehicle was on fire; the dismounted soldiers fought the fire but the fumes from the extinguisher began to asphyxiate them. They were struggling to reopen the top hatches to get air and so Sergeant Perfect climbed out of the turret, still under heavy accurate fire which was hitting the sides of the Warrior, to put his weight on the top to allow the catches to disengage. Once he was happy the crew were able to continue fighting the fire he returned to his turret taking a light machine gun with him.

Sergeant Perfect located the light patrol south of the checkpoint and with his Warrior fought his way through to assist them, destroying a number of enemy positions en route. Sergeant Perfect then ordered the vehicle forward to where he could see friendly troops assaulting an enemy position. Providing fire support from the top of the turret with the light machine gun, he assisted with the assault before moving forward to collect a wounded friendly soldier and a prisoner of war. He returned back to the check point where he re-established control of his second vehicle and a tank which had been sent to his assistance. From here he continued to suppress and engage enemy positions for over an hour, while still opened up and exposed to considerable enemy fire with little regard for his own safety. At this stage it became apparent that his Warrior had lost forward gears and still had an unexploded projectile embedded in the side. He was ordered to withdraw and extract his vehicle with casualty and prisoner some 18 kilometres back to the coalition force base in reverse.

Sergeant Perfect's offensive action in going in to assist with the dismounting attack, despite the failing weapon systems, almost certainly prevented further friendly casualties. His level headed leadership and disregard for his own safety in the face of heavy incoming enemy fire prevented his crew from becoming casualties themselves. His persistent engagement of enemy targets with a light machine gun from the turret prevented the enemy from reorganising and maintained the initiative with the friendly forces. He set the highest example to his men and for this he was awarded the Military Cross.