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. haihai

    I don't know how he detonated a mine during a firefight. Somebody asked how he got 400 rounds off in 15 minutes. I don't know if he had a belt fed Minimi LMG which fires around 700 rounds a minute with a 100 round belt or an SA80 which fires over 600 rounds a minute and has a 30 round magazine. One can zip through 30 rounds in a couple of seconds and do a quick mag reload. It's not good ammo management but it's doable.

    June 2, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zabilde

      Mine as in a claymore mine.

      June 2, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • ObjctvOpnion

      Not good ammo management? I would say that ammo management was not his first priority. Let's say he was left with a couple rounds, but was dead. Would that have been 'better ammo management'? Not trying to argue hear, as the point is he did a great job, and incredible job. Our troops should have as much ammo as they lay down.

      June 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • andy williams

      easy a m249 squad automatic weapon 200 box drum and about 4 boxes totaling 800 rounds claymores and how he found 17 grenades beyond me

      June 2, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      apparently it was good ammo management.... he is still here!!

      June 2, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • jessie

      he didnt find anything he already had the stuff set up. they were at a checkpoint. the mine was set up in advance in case they were attacked and the attackers get too close. and im sure he had an ammo point at the checkpoint.

      June 2, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      I'm guessing its a Claymore mine, or something like a Claymore.

      June 2, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • PCola Vet

      Not sure what kind of mine he issued, but he could easliy do so, with the manual detonator right by his side. Much like the clappers used in Nam, just click, click and BOOM.

      June 2, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JD

    What kind of a name is Pun?

    June 2, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boheme

      Local kind of name, dumbo..

      June 2, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nep

      It's a common last name in Nepal.

      June 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Babbar

      Commanche Indian

      June 2, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • jocq

      Excuse the Pun but this shows ppl in the world ohowits done in your own neibourhoods and playgrounds...

      June 2, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ronchris

      Pun intended

      June 2, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • PCola Vet

      What kind of name is JD? Jeez dude, not everyone in the world is Tom, or Rick, or Bill.

      June 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • BK

      I am from Nepal. Pun is common Nepalese name. "Pu" is pronounced as "pu" as in "put". Try pronouncing Pun like you pronounce Put.
      Yes these guys are born soldiers. Probably his father, grand father, uncles, cousins, etc are all in Army. His name should be spelled as Dip Prasad Pun (First name, middle name, last name)

      June 2, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • dougcc

      Sorry that nobody but Mr. Babbar got your "Fletch" reference. Rest assured that it didn't go unappreciated.

      June 2, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Peter

    Excellent job. For decades Gurkhas have had the reputation of being tough guys and this one is certainly no exception.

    June 2, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Salem

    The Gurkha reputation lives on

    June 2, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mikel

    Gurkhas are the absolute best.

    June 2, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Duane W

    Seems like this is one guy you don't ever want to mess with. I wonder if the Taliban are really embarrassed that one soldier mopped the floor with them? They have to wonder who is better trained and if Allah is really on their side?

    June 2, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diver

      "Fending off" is not the same as "mopping the floor".

      The Talibs have managed to stymie the US and NATO, so Allah doesn't seem to have forsaken them yet.

      June 2, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • PhaReal

      I dunno 1 man beating up, killing and fending off 30 armed Taliban insurgents coming to kill him and his crew sounds like a mop up to me. Thats some Jackie Chan sheit. Great work

      June 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. boomhauer

    Pun fully intended

    June 2, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. josh

    gurkhas are the fremen of real life.

    June 2, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. BigBill8517

    Britain's second highest award? He saved three fellow soldiers and did Audie Murphy type fighting. What do you have to do to win their highest award?

    June 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • jon

      good point....

      June 2, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • TILAD-X

      You probably have to be injured or die to be awarded the Victoria Cross.

      June 2, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • zuttoharu

      Be British.

      June 2, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • petz

      The recipient would probably have to be a British citizen

      June 2, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Celeste

      What do they have to do to be awarded the highest order? I'm guessing they have to die while being brave. Seems to be the usual order of things...

      June 2, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • PKW

      Usually take the death of the recipient.

      June 2, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • RetiredOfficer

      Being British is not a requirement to be awarded the VC; The Gurkhas have in fact won a relatively high proportion of VCs over the years, testament to the fact that they are indeed amazing soldiers, as anyone who has been through Sandhurst will testify.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. joanna

    wow!

    June 2, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Thor

    ....I wonder if they actually hit him, how many more he would have killed? Good job soldiering brotha!

    June 2, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Gaurav

    Ayo Gurkhali !!

    June 2, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. SonOfSoldier

    "If anyone tells you he is never afraid, either he is a liar or he is a Gurkha".... Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw.

    June 2, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. steve

    You guys are amazing....how could you even begin to hate on someone like this....Ill just say it, your all a bunch of racists!

    June 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bill

    Way to go Soldier.

    June 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
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