20 September 2011

Iowa Red Bull Soldier Awarded Bronze Star

NaMaster Sgt. Todd Eipperle, 46, received a hero's welcome with a Marshalltown, Iowa, parade and ceremony Sat., Sept. 17. A member of a 16-member Embedded Training Team (E.T.T.) in Panjshir Province, Afghanistan, Eipperle was wounded when he responded to a July 2011 attack by a rogue Afghan security officer that killed fellow Iowa Army National Guard soldier Sgt. 1st Class Teryl L. Pasker, 39, and retired Connecticut State Trooper Paul Protzenko, 47. Eipperle shot and killed the assassin, and himself suffered gunshot injuries.

The incident took place in a province considered so secure that U.S. personnel do not typically wear body armor, and drive armored Sport Utility Vehicles (S.U.V.) rather than heavier Army trucks. The shooting also occurred just days or weeks before Eipperle and Pasker were slated to return home with the rest of Iowa's 2nd Brigade Combat Team (B.C.T.), 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division.

See previous Red Bull Rising blog posts about the incident here and here.

Saturday's event included a proclamation from the acting mayor of Marshalltown, declaring "Master Sgt. Todd Eipperle Day," as well as a parade and ceremony attended by hundreds. Boy and Cub Scouts featured prominently throughout--in his civilian career, Eipperle is District Director for the Boy Scouts of America's Mid-Iowa Council. Before the Marshalltown crowd, Eipperle was presented a Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service during his Afghan tour. Previously, he had been presented the Purple Heart during a hospital stay in Germany. He continues to be on active-duty orders at Fort Riley, Kansas pending medical release, His family anticipates he will be home full-time by mid-October.

Media coverage of the Saturday event included:


  1. Sorry I missed you when I was in Iowa last week, but I had a tie in, in a way. Next to our conference dinner room was a wedding reception for a Red Bull vet who was home from deployment. He and his wife came over and thanked us for our service. They are a cute couple. Maybe if you come to GA I can buy you a cup of coffee at the Waffle House.

  2. Almost sounds like it should have been a Silver Star. The Reg Army unit I was attached to in Iraq was giving Bronze Stars to most E-7s and above- regardless of they ever went out and did anything. A few below E7s I knew should have been given Bronze Stars with V...but got nothing.

  3. @ Coffeypot: Roger that! Wished I'd been able to break away from my current temporary gig. Great to know that you still connected with at least one Red Bull, however! And you know I'll take you up on that waffle offer someday!

    @ CI-Roller Dude: I'm tracking as you are. I have to hope that someone has put Red Bull soldiers like MSG Eipperle in for recognitions of valor, too! We the public might find out more when the returned units go through their Freedom Salute ceremonies in a couple of months. Will keep you posted!


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