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. The Man

    I March this year a gurkha right in front of me walking away. The next I know someone pulled a gun, pointed to the back of his neck and pulled the trigger. The gurkha calmly turned around bent down a bit and caught the bullet between his teeth (incisors) and quicky threw it back at the attacker hitting him square in the temple and he died on the spot standing.

    We tried to clap for him but he put his midle finger on his lips and hushed us all. We ran!!!! Bravo all gurkha.

    June 3, 2011 at 5:12 am | Report abuse |
    • The Dude

      Grow a pair. This is a triumph, celebrate the victors. Don't be a nitpicker.

      June 3, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tan

    well-done dipp!

    remember what's Mike Keran says....

    Don't sell yourself short. You might be surprised how you handle a desperate situation.

    June 3, 2011 at 5:52 am | Report abuse |
  3. Pramod

    Now thats what called brave GORKHALIS.

    June 3, 2011 at 6:29 am | Report abuse |
  4. careworn

    And isn't it the Gurkhas whom our MoD wanted to pay much reduced pensions, but for the publicity from actress Joanna Lumley? Does the MoD still think a Gurkha is worth less and fights less bravely than a British soldier? Perhaps they should get off their fat backsides and into the battlefield a bit more often. Oh yes, and forking out cash for that medal and ribbon must have really riled the MoD.

    June 3, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  5. giantkaraoke

    The first Gurkhas made a name for themselves by slaughtering Muslims in (what is now called) Afghanistan. Today, Gurkhas still making name for themselves slaughtering Muslims in Afghanistan. What good is this doing?

    June 3, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • awaysaway

      Well its sounds like we are getting a lot of slaughtering done. However, don't take it so personally by throwing around the word "Muslim" and so imply that they are racially motivated... Gurkha's are happy to kick the ass of anyone no matter their deity of choice.

      June 3, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sanjeev Thapa

    Well done mr pun. We whole Nepali are proud of you and my great salute to you.

    June 3, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  7. chuck norris

    to self: maybe i am not the most badass man on the planet

    June 3, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  8. George

    If you believe this then I have ocean front property in Arizona for sale.

    June 3, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      George, you've obviously never met one of these men from Nepal. These short but very strong men would kill you in an instant without thinking twice. A lot of them focus their entire lives around getting into the Gurkha Rifles, and stories similar to this have popped up all over Afghanistan and Iraq, and men I have served with have worked with them and will stand behind this story and their bravery and courage under fire.

      June 3, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lt. Bromhead

    Shouldn't he get the Victoria Cross?

    June 3, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. paris

    that's hot

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


      June 4, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. lili

    How can you even debate about this?

    The man is a hero no matter how you cut it.

    Unless, of course, you support genocide of Shia and Tajiks and oppression of women and the destruction of Afghanistan by the Taliban. Just going to assume you don't. Okay then.

    Let's all raise a glass to Acting Sgt. Dipprasad Pun of the Royal Gurkha Rifles. Honored his country, honored his family, and honored civilized people everywhere. HOOAH!

    June 3, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Harley Roy

    From an old "Brit Vet", a friendly word of advice. Forget Texas, don't mess with Nepal !!!!

    June 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steamboat Jack

      He could be a Texan. I would trade all the Donks in Austin just for him.

      June 4, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Higlander Gorkhali

      Thank you Sir!

      June 4, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sudesh

    Therefore the last place for a Taliban or Al Queida Hideout is Nepal, they just roam around Pakisthan or India.

    June 3, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TR Ojha

    On the Battle Field THE BRAVE GURKHA think two things ," I am dieing and makes it worthed by killing enemies."
    Better away from GORKHA's sight...

    June 3, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. psycho1

    In the U.S. all you have to do is go to the airport and be molested by the TSA, because there everyone is considered a terrorist. It is all part of the conditioning plan brought to you by the Dept. of Homeland Security. Welcome to the Gulag of the states of what used to be america.

    June 3, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
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