Soldiers inducted to Order of St. Maurice for actions in combat

| May 7, 2010 | 0 Comments

Tripler Army Medical Center
News Release

Brig. Gen. John Seward, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army-Pacific, congratulates Staff Sgt. Michael Champ, after presenting Order of St. Maurice medals to Champ and Sgt. 1st Class Gabriel Camacho, at left. (Courtesy Photo)HONOLULU — Recognized for serving with distinction as members of the Warrior in Transition Battalion cadre, Sgt. 1st Class Gabriel Camacho and Staff Sgt. Michael Champ received the Order of St. Maurice, April 20.

Brig. Gen. John Seward, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army-Pacific, awarded the medals during an infantry induction ceremony, here.

“These Soldiers are examples of commitment to excellence and moral character,” Seward said. “It is my honor to be able to come here today to award these medals.”

Both Soldiers were previously Warriors in Transition and now serve as members of the battalion’s cadre.  

“Camacho served four years in the infantry as a combat medic with the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized),” said Seward. “As a medical platoon leader, he not only set the example but executed tough, realistic training.  

“He helped accomplish over 200 casualty evacuations and saved the life of his company commander while under fire,” Seward added. “He was able to bring his 140-member line company home with zero loss of life. That is pretty amazing.” 

Champ, a seven-year infantry rifleman with 1st Battalion, 21st Light Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th ID, served in positions ranging from anti-armor specialist to grenadier, automatic rifleman, team leader and squad leader.

“Champ set the example of a true infantryman by leading his squad through two combat operations in Iraq,” Seward said.  “He was awarded the Purple Heart for taking multiple gunshot wounds to his leg during a combat patrol while engaging the enemy.  

“This Soldier was so determined for a full recovery, that he not only re-learned to walk, but he has the fastest two-mile run time in the entire battalion, running it in an 11-minute timeframe,” Seward said.

Camacho, married with three children, is from Guam. Champ is from Washington, and he and his wife have four children.  

Established in 1994, the Order of St. Maurice recognizes infantrymen who maintain the highest standards of integrity and professional competence.  

Dating back to 287 A.D., St. Maurice, the Primicerius  (leader) of the Theban Legion, marched in service of the Roman empire and exemplified the bravery, commitment and gallantry associated with the infantry Soldier, as do Camacho and Champ.

Being awarded this medal is a great honor for both Soldiers, and they both believe that being infantry-groomed has prepared them for positions of leadership.   

“It has made me more effective now, so that anywhere I go, I can be an effective leader,” said Camacho. “The award is for significant contributions to the infantry, and to me, a non-infantry Soldier, to be inducted into the order, really means a lot.”

Category: News

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