(Fort Bragg) – The U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, the Army Special Operations Center of Excellence, will present the Soldier’s Medal for Heroism to Sgt. 1st Class Erik Kingsley on December 13th, at 9 a.m. in Kennedy Auditorium, Kennedy Hall, 3206 Ardennes Street. Sgt. 1st Class Kingsley is an instructor in the 4th Bn., 1st Special Warfare Training Group.
As a Green Beret, Sgt. 1st Class Kingsley has found himself in many dangerous situations, but his quick thinking and action on a North Carolina interstate resulted in the rescue of an unconscious driver from a vehicle that was engulfed in flames. Without regard to his personal safety, he removed the injured driver from the wreckage, moments before the gas tank exploded sending flames 20 feet in the air. He moved the unconscious driver 200 meters from the flames and performed first aid until emergency personnel arrived on the scene. Sgt. 1st Class Kingsley immediately informed firefighters there was no one remaining within the wreckage, thereby avoiding additional risk to the first responders. Sgt. 1st Class Kingsley acted selflessly to assist a civilian motorist in an extreme time of need. His swift actions, without hesitation or concern for his personal safety, undoubtedly saved the driver’s life.
The Soldier's Medal is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States or of a friendly foreign nation who, while serving in any capacity with the U.S. Army, distinguishes themselves by heroism not involving conflict with an enemy. The criteria for receiving the medal is that the performance must have involved personal hazard or danger and the voluntary risk of life, and is not solely awarded on the basis of having saved a person's life.
SFC Kingsley enlisted in the United States Army in 2005, and completed basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland. After completion of AIT he was assigned to Bravo Company, 2-27 Battalion, 2nd Brigade, and 25th Infantry Division (ID). While serving with the 25th Infantry Division, he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) for a total period of 18 months. While assigned to the 25th ID, he served superbly as a mechanic, wrecker driver, and primary gunner. In April 2008, SFC Kingsley attended the Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS), and commenced the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) graduating the SFQC as a Special Forces Weapons Sergeant on February 2010. SFC Kingsley was then assigned to the Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha (SFODA) 0223, Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Carson, Colorado. While assigned to 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), he deployed once to Romania and twice to Africa. During his tenure in 10th SFG (A), SFC Kingsley attended and successfully completed the Special Forces Advanced Reconnaissance, Target Analysis, and Exploitation Techniques Course (SFARTAETC), and was later assigned to the Commanders In-Extremis Force (CIF) Company in 2013. SFC Kingsley forward stage in Germany as a member of the CIF, where he deployed multiple times to Africa in support of United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM) Contingency Operations. In 2016, he moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina and was assigned to Alpha Company, 4th Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne) as a Special Forces Trainer, Advisor, and Counselor (TAC), in the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) Section. Due to his demonstrated competence and leadership, he was later re-assigned as the NCOIC of the SFQC Culmination Exercise (CULEX) Section, and subsequently as the Alpha Company Operations Sergeant.
SFC Kingsley’s military education includes: Senior Leaders Course, Warrior Leaders Course, Advanced Leaders Course, Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) Course, the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC), Special Forces Advanced Reconnaissance, Target Analysis, and Exploitation Techniques Course (SFARTAETC), Special Forces Level 2 Sniper, Advanced Special Operations Techniques Course (ASOTC), United States Army Unmanned Aerial Vehicle(UAV)-Raven Course, Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat Course (SFAUCC), Senior Mountaineering Course, Master Mountaineering Course, United States Army Airborne School, United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) Static Line Jumpmaster Course, Army Instructor Course, and the Military Free Fall Parachutist Course (MFFPC).
SFC Kingsley’s awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal with 2 Oak Leaves, The Army Achievement Medal with 1 Oak Leaf, Valorous Unit Award with 1 Oak Leaf, Meritorious Unit Citation, Army Good Conduct Medal with 4 Knots, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal with 2 Stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with “2” device, Special Forces Tab, Combat Action Badge, Drivers Badge, and Parachutist Badge.
SFC Kingsley is currently married to Ashley Albertazzi from Mililani, Hawaii. They have two children, Olivia, age 8, and Nora, age 2.