Captain Stephen M. Gabrys

Stephen Gabrys

Captain Stephen M. Gabrys

Following his graduation from the State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College, Captain Stephen Michael Gabrys was commissioned an Infantry Officer upon graduation from Infantry Officer Candidate School Class 12-66, 14 September 1966. At the time he was Killed in Action Captain Gabrys was commanding a Mobile Strike Force with Detachment B-20, Company B, 5th Special Forces (Airborne), 1st Special Forces. CPT Gabrys was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

CITATION: Captain Gabrys distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 29 April 1969 as commander of a mobile strike force company during a reconnaissance-in-force mission near the Ben Het Special Forces Camp in Kontum Province. Two North Vietnamese Army platoons approached within fifty meters on one side of the unit's defensive perimeter. Exposing himself to the enemy fire in the ensuing struggle, Captain Gabrys skillfully directed his men in enveloping a portion of the hostile force. He exchanged fire with three North Vietnamese whom he saw trying to escape and killed one, but was struck in the chest by an enemy small arms round. After binding his serious injury with battle dressing from his first aid pack, he gave no further attention to his wound and led a small element in pursuit of the fleeing foe. Encountering several of the enemy, he killed another of them before he was mortally wounded by their return fire. Captain Gabrys' extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

His military awards and decorations include: Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.

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