Carson City native to be awarded Bronze Star

A Carson City native will be awarded the Bronze Star today for service in Iraq.

Air Force Master Sergeant Michael Bernard, son of Marcia and David Bernard and a 1984 graduate of Carson High School, will be honored along with nine others during a ceremony at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho this afternoon.

According to the citation, Bernard, 41, is being honored for his service as the noncommissioned officer in charge of the 447th Explosive Ordinance Disposal Flight, 447th Civil Engineer Squadron, 447th Air Expeditionary Group and he 332d Air Expeditionary Wing, housed at the Baghdad International Airport in Iraq from January-July 2007.

"As NCOIC of forward operating base Yusufiyah, Sgt. Bernard was solely responsible for commanding EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) teams in support of Task Force 4-31 Infantry. His pivotal leadership as operations NCOIC was key to safe resolution of over 1,000 EOD emergency response missions including 516 IED (improvised explosive device) incidents," the citation reads.

"These missions were critical in defeating insurgent IEDs and destruction or recovery of 20,670 ordnance items available to anti-Iraqi forces potentially to kill or injure US and coalition soldiers and Iraqi civilians."

Bernard also personally led 130 missions, including the first air assault mission with embedded explosive ordinance disposal forces into areas surrounding the Yusiufiya Thermal Power Plant, also known as Patrol Base Dragon. During the 50-plus hour dismounted operation, Bernard led his team as they completed destruction of three enemy caches and an IED.

"His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect credit upon himself, this command, the United States Army and the United States Air Force," the citation reads.

Bernard's parents will be in Idaho to watch their son receive his medal.

The Bronze Star is an individual military decoration and is the fourth highest award for bravery, heroism or meritorious service. The medal was first authorized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Feb. 4, 1944, to recognize ground troops during World War II.

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