Kentucky Army National Guard Soldier receives Bronze Star for Valor

By Sgt. Scott Raper, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

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Brig. Gen. Stephen Hogan presents a Bronze Star certificate to 1st Sgt. Timothy McClish during a ceremony held in Richmond, Ky., Nov. 2011. McClish was recognized for his heroic actions in Afghanistan in 2006. (Courtesy photo)

RICHMOND, Ky. — On May 21, 2006, half the world away from home, a Kentucky Guardsman heroically distinguished himself under heavy fire during the course of a four-hour battle near a village called Tizney in southern Afghanistan.  For his courageous actions, 1st Sgt. Timothy McClish was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” device for Valor.

McClish was presented the medal in November of 2011, after years of waiting for the Army to authorize the award.  Brig. Gen. Stephen R. Hogan was on hand to pin the medal during a ceremony at the Richmond Armory.  Congressman Ben Chandler also attended the event to support the Kentucky hero.

“I am truly humbled by the award,” said McClish.  “Being recognized by senior leaders and peers will rank very high for me because I always want people to know I will always be there for them, no matter what.”

McClish’s actions came during a deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2005-2006 while serving as the Senior Office Mentor for an Embedded Training Team with Task Force Phoenix.  He deployed as a contingent from the 2nd Battalion, 138th Fires Brigade.  His team was attached to an Afghan National Army (ANA) unit when they came under fire in the Baghran Valley of Helmond Province.  In his role as a trainer, McClish took positive control of his Afghan counterparts and effectively reacted and responded to the threat.  According to his award citation, McClish’s “tactical and technical expertise ensured the unit’s success in an extremely hazardous situation.”

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1st Sgt. Timothy McClish and his wife, Lisa, stand with Congressman Ben Chandler during an award ceremony in Richmond, Ky., Nov. 2011. Congressman Chandler attended in support of McClish's awarding of the Bronze Star for valorous actions in Afghanistan. (Courtesy photo)

McClish has worn the Army uniform in the Kentucky National Guard for 25 years. Currently he serves as the Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge of the drug eradication program and rappel master with Joint Support Operations. He also holds the position of first sergeant for the 301st Chemical Company in Morehead, Ky.  That is where he continues to lead by example, utilizing his experience to pass his values on to younger generations of Kentucky Guardsmen.

“…Loyalty and commitment, to yourself and especially the people around you, them having the confidence to know that you are always behind them,” he said.  “Through my experience, loyalty has always been what I live by, and hope to carry on.”

The Bronze Star Medal is the country’s fourth highest award for heroism and meritorious service.  Since the War on Terror began in 2001, over 400 Bronze Stars have been awarded to the men and women of the Kentucky National Guard.  Of that number, only 20 have been awarded for Valor.

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