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. Steve K.

    Seems worthy of the VC.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Jam

      Gorkhas are well known for their heroic deeds. Secondly, they are well known for being extremely dedicated. I'm not surprised that this guy battled with 30.

      June 2, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • pinky

      hey steve k, what do you mean by VC?

      June 2, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Nep

      Should have gotten a VC.

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

      To 'pinky': the VC is the Victoria Cross, Britain's highest decoration for bravery. Think Congressional Medal of Honor.

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

    This guy should get the highest award not second. Taleban are hardened veterans. Even if it were 30 farmers his actions are commendable. This might save lives in the future as Taleban will be less likely to storm an individual checkpoint.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Earnán

      The Taliban are thugs and religous nutjobs.

      Some of their "braveery" has included throwing acid in the faces of little Afghan girls for going to school.

      It's not too surprising 30 of them couldn't beat one real man.

      June 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Hasher Iva

    Good job Sargent! The Ghurka's are proud of you.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  4. AchmedTheDead terrorist

    Good Job, also with equality!

    June 2, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  5. blertybot

    what a brave guy. incredible story

    June 2, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  6. Just Jim

    This is something for the Discovery channel to re-create.

    How do you load, re-load, fire, and get 400 rounds off in 15 minutes AND 17 grenades AND a mine? Then take a moment to smack a guy around with your tripod?

    I bet this guy was moving so fast he was just a blur.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • SoS

      That's plenty of time to do all that. When in situations like that 15 minutes seems like a lifetime. It's not the time-frame that matters here. It's the fact that this brave man succeeded against such odds, saved his comrades, and managed to do it without a single injury.

      June 2, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. Wildcatter63

    Sounds like what is expected, by both sides, when the solder is a Gurkha. Good Show Sgt.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  8. eskay

    There is an old saying
    One who says he knows no fear is either lying.... or is a GURKHA

    The British and Indian armies are so lucky to have them !!!

    Jai Mahakaaliiiiiiiiiiii......Aayo Gurkhaliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii...............

    June 2, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  9. Kevin

    Surprised he didnt call in a tactical nuke after a 25 kill streak.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  10. Orville

    Very impressive and inspiring.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  11. Cesar

    Pun did a great job. Reminds me of Sergeant York.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    Sgt. Dipprasad "RAMBO" Pun.....Your are a baddass my friend! Thank You for your sacrifice.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  13. Big Chief

    Ghurkas...the only soldiers the German Weremacht soldiers were scared of facing. Each one carries a Kukri knife that must be blooded before it can be returned to it's sheath. Bad mama jamas!!

    June 2, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  14. Raj

    Dip ji, you made me proud again.....proud to be Nepali.........

    June 2, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  15. SoS

    Now that's a real soldier. He brings credit to himself, his unit, and the British army as a whole. Congratulations Mr. Dipprasad Pun. You sir are definitely a hero and deserve the recognition.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
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