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Rancich '80 Awarded Bronze Star


Admiral V.E. Clark presents Bronze Star to Thomas Rancich

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Bronze Star Medal to Lieutenant Commander Thomas C. Rancich United States Navy for service set forth in the following citation: For meritorious achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy while serving as Commander, Naval Special Operations Forces Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM from 21 April to 21 July 2003. LCDR Rancich planned and executed multiple combat operations, including no fewer than fourteen reconnaissance missions and two direct action missions.

Demonstrating exceptional knowledge and expertise as a Special Operations Commander, he led his unit to the pinnacle of efficiency and professionalism, whether it acted as a supported or supporting unit. His ability to rapidly assimilate operational situations enabled NAVSOF-A to begin combat operations almost immediately upon deploying. LCDR Rancich's careful planning and stalwart leadership were key to the success of a direct action mission against an enemy compound that required the coordination of multiple air, blocking and assault forces, especially when the assault force was surprised by the presence of over fifty unknown personnel on target. His strategic understanding and operating acumen led to the development and execution of a successful strategic reconnaissance and area denial campaign in the Tora Bora Mountains.

LCDR Rancich's unparalleled leadership, zealous initiative and exceptional dedication to duty reflected great credit on him and were in the keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.


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