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Army cook proves that all soldiers must be warriors first.

Every Soldier, even a cook, must be prepared to be a warrior. Quartermaster Chief Warrant Officer (W-3) David J. Longstaff proved this as he was returning from a procurement mission to Baghdad in August 2003. Longstaff's convoy of two high-mobility, multipurpose, wheeled vehicles (humvees) and one 5-ton truck encountered a burning humvee whose Soldiers were pinned down in an ambush.

Longstaff provided covering fire while Sergeant First Class Richard Bryant, a member of Longstaff's convoy, assisted the Soldiers trapped behind a civilian vehicle. Longstaff then provided rear security while the casualties were evacuated for medical treatment.

In December, Longstaff was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor for his quick reaction to the situation, which allowed the ambushed Soldiers to move out of the kill zone.

"I was intrigued that as a cook, I found myself in the middle of Baghdad taking fire," said Longstaff. "It just goes to show what you can do when put into any situation. So you should just be prepared." Longstaff, who is now the manager of the Army Culinary Team, commented further, "Regardless of where you compete in the world of chefs, we are warriors first, and that's important."
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Publication:Army Logistician
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2006
Words:195
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