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. Jason

    How did a lone sentry at a checkpoint save the lives of three other soldiers at the checkpoint? Does not compute.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      He was the lone sentry, the other 3 were actually at the checkpoint. His defence saved the other 3.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dayga427

    He only won the second-highest decoration for bravery? I'd say his actions merit the Victoria Cross, a lengthy round of applause from Parliament, and a nice, all-expense paid vacation somewhere that drinks are cheap and the beach is warm and sunny! That's not really asking a lot when you have a warrior like this on your side. I'd say he's earned it!!

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

    This man is a hero.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mark G.

    A very courageous man. I am glad he is on our side. Another Sgt. York.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Toby

    For those of you that respond to article comments, not knowing what a "checkpoint" actually is...Not to mention, IN Afghanistan.....This man, along with several others, are charged with controlling access into a secured or semi-secure area. They are called Entry Control Points. Most check points are manned by various troops, some are Gurkhas, some are local Afghans, some are US Armed Forces. These men/Women in uniform, are out at these points of entry with ONE charge, PREVENT entry by force, WITH force. So, unless you have been over there (I worked at an Entry Control Point in Afghanistan). The first check, is far enough ahead of the actual installation or secured area. The remote location this soldier was at, required him to battle the insurgent fighters alone, but I assure you, he was ready to give his life, as are our OWN US Military, to prevent unnecessary deaths. I am proudd to be American, proud of our fighting forces that maintain MY freedom and my children's freedoms. Just accept that not everyone can be a hero of great magnitude, congratulate the man that fought valliantly and survived to tell his story. His children and family will see him again. Peace is achieved through much conflict.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Gern

    He was really in a pickle. No pun intended.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      that was a good'un

      June 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • thefurious

      It said he was the lone sentry, yet it claimed that his heroism saved the lives of, what was it, three soldiers? What were they doing during this conflict?

      June 2, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dbarak

    Please everyone, no puns about Sgt. Pun's last name. ; )

    In all seriousness and with all due respct, this is NOT someone I'd want to mess with. This guy absolutely deserved the award.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. PeterD

    An US Soldier will call F16 for help instead. Bravo!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 2, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • ned

      That's why it's nice to live in a real country.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jackson

      I have too agree with you on that; seems like everytime american soldiers get shot at; they call for an airstrike;;;"wheres da plane; where da plane!!!!!"""" lol Hold on grunts; the us air force is usual........

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

    His a regular Fredrick Zoller!

    June 2, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. akhan

    He's a regular Fredrick Zoller!

    June 2, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Fupped Duck

    Those Taliban deserved PUNishment from Pun. PUNitive damages are not good enough for this Pun. Is his family from PUNjab? That dePUNDS!

    June 2, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bribarian

    impressive, well done sir

    June 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kabel

    Congrats Sgt. Pun on a job well done!

    Proof...proof...where's the proof??? Come on people, what is the deal with everyone wanting a mountain of proof to justify anything these days, it's gotten past the point of radiculous. This guy is a hero, plain and simple, until someone shows me proof that he isn't. The whole proof thing can slide both ways. So until you show me proof that this guy is lying and that this never happened I am going to believe him, the British military and the British Government.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sam

    What a BOSS!

    June 2, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. John

    Gurkha Regiment has the highest amount of VC received in all of regiments in the UK.....believe it or not..

    June 2, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
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