Soldier cited for holding off up to 30 Taliban by himself
Acting Sgt. Dipprasad Pun of the Royal Gurkha Rifles displays his Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.
June 2nd, 2011
09:03 AM ET

Soldier cited for holding off up to 30 Taliban by himself

Britain's newest hero is a Nepali.

Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday awarded Britain's second-highest award for bravery, the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, to Acting Sgt. Dipprasad Pun of the Royal Gurkha Rifles.

While stationed as a lone sentry at a checkpoint in Afghanistan's Helmand province on September 17, Pun fended off an attack by up to 30 Taliban fighters.

"There were many Taliban around me," Pun said in an interview with British Forces News. "I thought they are definitely going to kill me. ... I thought before they kill me I have to kill some of them."

During the 15-minute battle, Pun fired more than 400 rounds of ammunition, detonated 17 grenades and a mine and even threw his gun tripod at a Taliban fighter climbing toward his position, according to British Forces News.

"He was just about to climb up there and I hit (him) with my tripod and he fell down again," Pun told British Forces News.

Pun's actions saved the lives of three fellow soldiers at the checkpoint and were the "bravest seen in his battalion over two hard tours in Afghanistan," according to his medal citation.

Pun was not wounded in the firefight.

“That he survived unscathed is simply incredible," his medal citation says. “Throughout Dip’s actions he was under almost constant intense fire. Dip’s courage and gallantry were simply astonishing."

Pun, 31, joined the British military in 2000 and also has served in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Like other Gurkhas, Pun is from Nepal. The Gurkhas were incorporated into British forces after their fighting skill impressed the opposition British during the Nepal Wars of 1814 to 1816. As part of the peace treaty ending that conflict, Gurkhas were admitted into East India Company's army and then into the British military.

Gurkhas recruited solely in Nepal remain Nepalese citizens during their service. Gurkha unit officers are British.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Military • Nepal • Queen Elizabeth II • United Kingdom • World
soundoff (806 Responses)
  1. LaoShur

    A man named "Dip"...and a "Boy Named Sue"? Sounds like reasons to be a good fighter!

    June 2, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. UtahJohn

    How can you be a lone sentry and "save the lives of three fellow soldiers at the checkpoint?" Were they unarmed soldiers at the checkpoint or did they just curl up into balls?

    June 2, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Curious

      Thank you. Why is no one else discussing this? I understand the "lone sentry" on duty part, but in 15 minutes wouldn't the other 3 soldiers have woken up and joined the fight?

      Dear CNN's Brad Lendon – did you not wonder this yourself when typing this story???

      June 2, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dkoy

    they forgot to mention he prob used his killstreaks, blackbird, dogs and chopper

    June 2, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Oh, I hope none of the dogs got hurt. But I do wonder if he got the last 5 with a tac nuke

      June 2, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. donna

    A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when you can't put together a coherent sentence. The fact that they continue to get support worries me. Seriously, are these people crazy? The Republicans of today are far removed from the party of Lincoln. Anyway, I hope she does run, the US will be the laughingstock of the world if she wins.

    June 2, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pino

      US already is for a lot of countries.

      June 2, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Keith Richardson

    Killing 30 guys and not dying in any armed conflict is an accomplishment in itself.

    June 2, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bob Ramos

    Why did he not get the Victoria Cross. By any yardstick, he richly deserved it.

    June 2, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • nam-vet 6869

      Had he been British he might have gotten it, but the Victoria Cross is not given out very offten at all.

      June 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. HK

    No doubt on person I bravery.
    This is how poor and slaves are used...fighting the war..and to guard your own citizen!!

    June 2, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • JM

      Its a pity you call them poor and slaves. I see them as world citizens who freely choose their fate. Sadly, you don't see this in China or North Korea, many die in vain.

      June 2, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • KS

      Even if I could fully understand what you are saying, what the??? He is not a slave.

      June 2, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Barry

    I am proud of you, Sgt. Dipprasad Pun.

    Well done.

    June 2, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Grumpster

    I want that guy on my side wherever we go.

    June 2, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Vaxine

    That's not Prince Charles

    June 2, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joe B-b-b-b-bob

    Yeah, it's cool all these comments by you video game heroes - bet that's how this guy trained, roughing it on his parent's couch, nothing but a bag of chips and a cool one on the side. . . .

    June 2, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. kinny

    He did not get the VC because the British standard for VCs is extremely high... watch Jeremy Clarksons docu on youtube

    If he were a US soldier, he would have received alteast 15 Medals of Honor ( 1 for every couple of Taliban)

    June 2, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bloatedhippo

      You cheapen the moment of a brave man by attacking percieved policies and proceedures of another system, sir. SHAME ON YOU! It seems clear you have never been in the company of heros or earned the right to be called a soldier. Be comforted that Dip is one of a handful of people providing the security blanket you nestle your timid soul. Dip, congrats! You are a true credit to the Ghurka's storied legacy!

      June 2, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      That is a dumb comment. Considering that half the US medals were awarded in the Civil War the different in total awards is less than 600 since the 1870's. Considering the US had significantly more people involved in WWII and the also fought in Vietnam and other areas since they are hardly handing the MoH out like candy.

      June 2, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. trudy

    Bravo! He is Sergent York all over again!

    June 2, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Napoleon Bone-her-part

    Plus, he's got a lot cuter hat that what those ragheads wear.

    June 2, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. David

    Badass. Absolute Badass.

    June 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
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