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. AJ

    Gurkhas are fine fighters, and fine cigars, too!

    June 2, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tom

    Any fire fight that you can walk away from is a good fire fight!

    June 2, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. paradoX187

    This guy's balls must clang when he walks. Unbelievable.

    June 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    Holy sh!t

    June 2, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Osama from Canada

    does anyone even read these articles?
    "While stationed as a lone sentry at a checkpoint " or "Pun's actions saved the lives of three fellow soldiers at the checkpoint" so where was everyone else during this 15 minute gun battle? sleeping?
    and he had a box of grenades sitting with him? this story reminds me of another one in Iraq...i suspect it is used for a morale booster to get the browns to keep fighting!

    June 2, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan in Michigan

      What the article is stating is that he was the "lone sentry." The sentry stands guard while the others sleep or eat, often away from the sentry. That's standard military procedure. Don't forget, it's extremely rocky mountains in Afghanistan, so it could take up to likely half an hour before his fellow soldiers woke up, dressed, and were able to scale/descend the mountain to where he was at. Also, having at least one box of grenades on hand sounds like standard issue for an outpost. Who knows – he may have had them on a belt at the time or they kept twenty or so at his sentry post away from the actual outpost.
      Unfortunately, you have to think sometimes when reading CNN articles.

      June 2, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • PCola Vet

      Dude what do you think is kept at a checkpoint, a lunch box and an fm radio, lol? AMMO and plenty of it, especially in his AO.

      June 2, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vapor

      Osama from Canada. If you are hinting at government making something up what I see here is rather a poorly written story. You are assuming the reporter has provided all the information possible or asked a single question. Yes, lone sentry. Doesn't mean he was the lone person there. The three others could have been traversing the checkpoint. And what were the others doing? Don't know since the reporter didn't ask apprently. Usually the first guy detonates a bomb or guns down the guards and the rest storm the entrance. Logic to me would assume they were the first ones hit before he could begin firing. Attackers don't usually announce their intentions so you can be ready. You sound like a synical person by nature. I am sure there is a 12 step program for that. So is "the Browns" your term for them or are you making an attempt at humor using an "assumed" Government reference of the Nepalese. I'm not sure who you are trying to insult, the British or people from Nepal. I'll tell you what. Why don't you go tell that Sargent your opinion and see what reaction you get.

      June 2, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • mojorunnin

      I'm glad he received the honor and all, and that we was unharmed in the fight... but I have the same question as everyone else. Why weren't the actions of the three other soldiers unaccounted for? How can someone be the "lone" sentry, if others are present? Just clear that up and we can continue dispensing the praise and glory.

      June 2, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ian C

    what were the other 3 soldiers doing?

    June 2, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Manny

    Everyone likes a good Pun !

    June 2, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. tom rix

    Wow! I'm impressed and awed at this soldier's heroic efforts. If Sgt. Pun is a typical representative of Nepalese fighters, then God forbid anyone who engages that country in hand to hand combat.

    June 2, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. pnyrpbcan

    Good job Acting Sgt. Dipprasad Pun! You truly deserve the award!
    I'm also quite surprised the media showed a non-white hero. Typically, the media puts a low-priority on this type of story especially in the US.

    June 2, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Anon

    Awesome job Pun! If only some politicians had balls with your mass, we'd get sh!t done.

    June 2, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mr. Kanks

    I read an article a couple of days back about this guy here: (NSFW language)...the link pretty much covers the details better than this article

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

    What's this guy got to do to get a Victoria Cross?

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

      be white

      June 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • RRR

      The last recipient of the (UK) VC was Johnson Beharry,from Grenada. And he isn't white.....

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

      Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry nearly died from the wounds he received in the action that won him the Victoria Cross.

      He was the first living recipient of a VC in the British Army since 1965, when L/Cpl Rambahadur Limbu-gee, look at that, another Gurkha-won a VC during the "Indonesian Confrontation."

      To claim that you have to be white to win a VC... Well, facts aren't your friend here.

      June 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Islam4fools

    LOL at Islamic Inbreds!

    Muslims are only good at killing unarmed civilians and children by cowardly suicide bombings. When it comes to fighting someone face to face, they get their a$$es handed to them.

    June 2, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • saywhat

      We are pretty good at it too @ Islam4fools.
      Civilians of Hiroshima,Nagasaki lest we forget. Mei lai in Vietnam & such.
      10000 innocent civilians killed in Iraq, scores killed everyday by drone attacks in Afghanistan & Pakistan. Tens of thousan dead in the past decade.
      However we do have the courtesy to call it collateral damage or issue an occasional apology.

      June 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diver

      Video gaming drones from thousands of miles away is manliness personified.

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

      The vast majority of the civilians killed in both Iraq and Afghanistan have been killed by the Islamic fascists that folks like "saywhat" and "diver" love to make excuses for.

      June 2, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JR

    Bravo Zulu!

    June 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TomT

    Definitely a hero..
    My question: Where the heck were these three other soldiers? Hiding in the bunker?

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