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. Cletus

    1 real human takes out 20 sub-humans...that sounds about right.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      This is how Hitler thought. Good job.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mapexvenus

    Very sad that people can't accept the fact that a hero doesn't (always) have to be American.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. grko468

    A Gurka, go figure.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. AUWeagle

    He was "...awarded Britain's second-highest award for bravery..." I've got to wonder what it takes to be awarded the first-highest award.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

    He came at 'em like a spider monkey.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ricky

    what a badass

    June 2, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      badass in deed.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Navy vet

      Got to say badass doesn't even begin to describe his badassness. oh well guess badass is the only word.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • nosepicker

      Is he the off-spring of Chuck Norris?

      June 2, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • nick2243

      serious badass

      June 2, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. stranger

    That's again a following miserable attempt to encourage their coward union's forces.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • FormerSoldier

      Only a shirking coward, who has never worn a military uniform could come up with such a rediculous statement about the incredibly brave actions of a courageous soldier!! It is a major honor for these men just to be chosen as a soldier in the Ghurka units, & their families are more than proud of their service!! Unlike yourself, they truly know the meaning of the words DUTY, HONOR, & DISCIPLINE!! In essence, I suggest that you slink back under the rock from which you came, & leave your silly little political agendas unto yourself!! My only disappointment is that Acting Sergeant Pun DID NOT receive the Victoria Cross for his actions!!

      June 2, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • mar23

      soldier dude,he is correct! this is PAT TILLMAN ALL OVER AGAIN! ooh and I cant forget the girl from west virginia who supposedly "fired every round in her chamber" before she was captured by the Iraqi's!! americans and brits ALWAYS lie about their actions in combabt to drum up ill gotten support for the country.

      this is the same country that calls COFFINS "TRANSFER TUBES"!

      June 2, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Mar23 and stranger, I think you guys need to learn more about the Gurkhas. It is said that "one who says is not afraid is either a fool or a Gurkha". Believe me but brits could not capture Nepal even though they captured India easily during the 1800's. Go google yourself of how fierce the Gurkhas are but in the same time how calm and friendly they can be.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'this is the same country that calls COFFINS "TRANSFER TUBES"!'
      Except it doesnt of course, that is a urban legend that sprang up from a reporter misunderstanding the term 'transfer cases' but nevermind.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • mar23

      @john.....sure they are brave, but I guess you have already forgotten all of the lies that Bush and his generals and admin people told about pat Tillman? or that Jessica girl from west Virginia? I havent! unless I see actual footage of the "alledged" heroic events it didnt happen! who would believe any of this propoganda after the Tillman incident? thats a great source, why dont you just go and ask them if they belive this british based propoganda and lie?

      June 2, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • mar23

      @cedar rapids...go and tell that to Donold Rumsfeld (rummy) or dick chaney!

      June 2, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • ItsMe

      to mar23 – So you need proof to believe something happened huh!! Did you see the proof of your existence you moron!!! Did you see your mom giving birth to you? Read the article – if you don't like something at least don't discredit someone's achievement. Get a life dude.

      June 2, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      @Mar23, This incident happened in last fall and I think they recovered around 20 dead bodies from the site where the fight happened. Another 10 or so ran away....that's the proof. If you think any story you hear about Gurkhas are false then you need to read stories from their enemies..you will find plenty online.

      June 2, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • mar23

      @its me......I read the article, guess what other articlesI read? "PAT TILLMAN DIES FIGHTING AGAINST THE TALIBAN"
      "PAT TILLMAN KILLED WHIILE HOLDING OFF A PLATTON OF TALIBAN TERRORIST ALL BY HIMSELF"
      "PAT TILLMAN TOUGHER THAN SCHARWZENAGER" you grow a brain and stop believing everything that govts tell you! didnt you learn from the Tillman episode?

      June 2, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • mar23

      john..you were probably hyping up Pat Tillman just as Bush was immediately after they announced his death too correct? that jessica girl? how can you ever believe any of this ever again after that debacle?

      June 2, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      @mar23....believe or don't believe, but all stories of Gurkha Soldiers are believable and true. Look at the history and the rich tradition they have had in the battle fields. Even before airplanes was created or machine guns were invented, they were the bravest with just their khukuri knifes cutting enemy heads with one blow. Stories of them are still being told till this day by allies and foes who have fought with them or against them. I may not believe other stories like you but this story is sure believable to me.

      June 2, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. paulm5545

    The second highest medal? Sounds like he should have received the highest medal.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • sighingman

      nowadays to get the VC you essentially have to undertake actions with the conscious decision that you are going to die (although your around to be wrong and surive) and also positevly effect the outcome of the encounter. Whilst Pun was brave and obviously affectred the outcome. I'm not sure he ever made a decision to stay and die (rather than just being trapped there)

      Very few people since the korean war have passed that hurdle, and from his citation i don't think he had the opportunity to win a VC here

      June 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John

    It's better to DIE than to live like a COWARD – by Gurkhas

    June 2, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lugnut

    Rumor has it he'd just finished watching a Chuck Norris movie, so he knew exactly what to do.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rajiv

      I heard that rumor as well. Jack Bauer claims it was actually an episode of 24 that triggered such heroism but I think we all know it was Chuck Norris who gave him the courage to fight off 30 people.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • mar23

      @rajv..LOL! cue action hero music!

      June 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • sighingman

      come on, british army, it would have been sharpe

      June 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. John

    lol so this is how it all started...

    "Cpl Pun, an acting sergeant during his Afghan deployment, was on sentry duty at the time of the attack when he heard a clinking noise outside the small base.At first he thought it might be a donkey or a cow, but when he went to investigate he found two insurgents digging a trench to lay an improvised explosive device (IED) at the checkpoint's front gate."

    google the story for more

    June 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. cris

    job well done and deserving of the medal.. I salute you SGT Pun!!!

    June 2, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rene

      Yes.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • megafairandsquare4

      Indeed! Such a courageous, fearless act. I, too salut you Sgt Pun

      June 2, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. BobZemko

    The Ghurkas have always been bad*ss. Look at their service in the CBI campaign in World War Two.

    June 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. human nature

    LOL, I read these threads everyday and crack up! I love watching how it escalates into senseless arguing, and by the end of the thread it's not even related to the original article. lol thx for the entertainment. :)

    June 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bourneblogger

    This guy should be a character in the new Modern Warfare game...

    June 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
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