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. Kingofthenet

    The best part was when he hit the guy with the Tripod, 'Get back in your hole,Grub'!

    June 2, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • ModernMan

      Amen to that! He probably would have beat them with their own arm if they got close enough.

      June 2, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. hamaca

    Had to sign in to compliment the two responders to the dolt who demanded proof. Well done!

    June 2, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. FloridaDave

    One tough pickle!

    June 2, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Kevin

    This guy is like the Nepali Chuck Norris.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Earnán

      Chuck Norris is a lousy actor.

      This guy is a real bad ass.

      Chuck Norris isn't man enough to hold Acting Sergeant Pun's jockstrap.

      June 2, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. GW

    "Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday awarded Britain's second-highest award for bravery".
    What do you have to be Caucasion to win the highest?
    No surprise he was a Ghurka though. Those boys are Bada$$!!

    June 2, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Earnán

      Caucasian? No, usually you need to be dead to get the VC.

      June 2, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheMovieFan

      He may not be eligible since Nepal may never have been occupied as British territory.

      June 2, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Earnán

      One of the few living recipients of the Victoria Cross, Rambahadur Limbu, is a Gurkha.

      June 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • iknow

      Not true. In their history, there has been 26 gurkhas awarded the VC; the last in 1965.

      June 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      13 of those 26 VC's were to British Officers. 13 to actual Gurkah's. VC's aren't handed out like candy similar to other countries awards. This guy was awarded the second best award and he's a bad ass. Just shows what an absolute bad ass you are if you actualy get a VC. As a note, the VC isn't awarded for bravery. It's awarded for courage in the face of the enemy. A very important difference. All soldiers are brave.

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

    haha... camper

    June 2, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • TRH

      +1 Internetz for you.

      June 2, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      Haha, truth. Whatver works, though!

      June 2, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. zoundsman

    What can one say? Astounding gallantry.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. the Moose

    What a loser you are. Pathetic

    June 2, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. wisdomVSknowledge

    Awards like that are not given based on speculation or rumor. The soldiers of Nepal are historically brave and vicious when the need arises. he is yet another example of their courage. I salute him and any other soldier who fights for freedom. If you've never actually fought in a war... shut your trap. You are ignorant of the horror.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Christian

    This guy could take on Chuck Norris and Steven Segal no problems. Well done sir.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. redone

    Wow! Congratulations Dipprasad Pun! 17 grenades in 15 minutes plus how many round of amunition? I'm glad he's on our side. Someone should recrute him to pitch baseball. I bet he'd throw a great fast ball.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joe The Plumber

    This is the real meaning of "hero." This is refreshing after hearing Republicans referring to ALL combat troops as heros. A hero is something that goes BEYOND what is expected.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. J. Weaver

    This dude is a personal hero of mine forever. Obama needs to congratulate him, along with all the other UN/NATO nations who fight terror. Everyone who is against killing innocents and families should honor him. This story could help perpetuate democracy (or atleast the responsibility to fight for stability and non-violence) for the rest of the world. 17 Grenades? I don't even get that in videogames... Also maybe the other 3 were wounded or being Pansy's, but guess what, Pun is now among men above NFL stars, Actors ,Rockstars don't even come close. Pun was a god in beastmode.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Naruto

      AGREED!!! Every word of it!!! This guy should be featured in next Call Of Duty!!!

      June 9, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  14. Antje

    Didn't one of the Nepal princes single-handedly kill all 20+ royal family members? And thus causing the end of the dynasty as he of course was not accepted as new king... They really don't quit at half time.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • sslj

      do research first, he was very loved prince and was made king still unconscious in hospital bed

      September 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. James

    For everyone wondering why he wasn't awarded a Victoria Cross, it's not because he isn't white. 13 VC's have been awrded to Gurkahs in the past. It's just that VC's are awarded very sparingly. Couple that with the fact that they are made from a finite material resource (the cascabel of russian cannon captured during the Crimean war). So each medal is made from history itself.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
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