Staff Sergeant Michael Ollis; Baby named for hero soldier

| January 29, 2015

Michael Ollis

On Aug. 28, 2013, Army Staff Sergeant Michael Ollis sacrificed his own life for that of Polish Lieutenant Karol Cierpica when he shielded the Pole from a suicide bomber’s blast. Eighteen months later, the lieutenant repaid the gesture to the young hero;

Earlier this month, the Polish soldier became the proud father of a baby boy he named in honor of Ollis.

Robert Ollis and his wife, Linda, called the tribute to their son “unexpected” and “wonderful.”

“I thought of the baby as a grandson,” Ollis Sr. said “We are very happy and honored.”

To thank Cierpica and his wife, the Ollis family sent the couple a teddy bear they had specially made out of their son’s Army fatigues.

More on SSG Ollis’ actions that day;

According to Combined Joint Task Force-101, Ollis charged toward attackers that had breached the base in a “three-pronged attack.” He stepped between a Polish officer and a suicide bomber who was part of a “three-pronged attack” that breached the base. When the insurgent detonated his vest, the officer was shielded from harm. Ollis, however, was killed. He was 24.

Poland is scheduled to honor Ollis with the Polish Armed Forces Gold Medal on Nov. 8 in New York.

SSG Ollis, a member of the 2/22 Infantry (the Triple Deuce) of the 10th Mountain Division, was on his third deployment to the war against terror, his second to Afghanistan, when he was killed.

SSG Ollis’ sacrifice has already earned him a Silver Star Medal to accompany the Polish honor and now his story will be told by the next generation and he’ll live on in the memory of a Polish child.

Category: Real Soldiers

Comments (30)

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  1. propsguy says:

    Damn, I gotta clean the dust out of here, my eyes are watery.

  2. Hondo says:

    Poles tend to have both long memories and a sense of honor. And they remember their friends.

    Dobrze zrobione, mój polski brat w ramiona – i bardzo stosowne. Dziękujemy.

  3. TankBoy says:

    I feel a sense of honor just having served in the same military as this fallen hero. The difference between him and David Moore is night and day. This is also why I so hate and despise the valor thieves. They steal directly from real warriors like this.

    • GDContractor says:

      “This is also why I so hate and despise the valor thieves. They steal directly from real warriors like this.”
      I agree, and it is why I also hate that Civilian Chauvinist prick and pricks like him who have no clue about the young men and women who are taking the fight to the enemy.

      SSG. Michael Ollis, not forgotten.

  4. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    Tears in coffee.

    Hand Salute … Ready To.

    OUT.

  5. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    Wow, just…wow…SSG Michael Ollis amazing man never forgotten indeed…now a child to be named after the man who save his father…yeah that’s a tale that will be told watery-eyed for generations…

  6. Ex-PH2 says:

    What an honor!

  7. Martinjmpr says:

    James Michener said it more than 50 years ago but it’s as relevant a question today as it was back then: Where do we get such men?

  8. Sparks says:

    Dusty in here this morning. Way to go troop, way to go. God bless your family.

  9. OldSoldier54 says:

    Bless you, Brother Mike! See you in a while … when I hope to shake your hand.

    May Lieutenant Karol Cierpica’s son, young Mikey grow tall and strong, with a spirit after his namesake, a credit to his parents and his Polish heritage.

    Remember Katyn Forest!

  10. NHSparky says:

    Damn allergies acting up….

  11. Thunderstixx says:

    No words exist to honor this man more than he so rightly deserves.
    Slow Hand Salute…

  12. Tman says:

    What a wonderful tribute.

    Can someone explain to me why this wasn’t considered for a Medal of Honor?

  13. David Maciel says:

    The timeline of life has many of these HEROS to thank.

  14. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    Saving another person at cost of one’s own life is not by itself sufficient for award of the MOH.

    For example, if he was running to attack the enemy, and had no idea he was about to be a human blast deflector, it would not rise to a MOH.

    Dive on a grenade to shield your buddies, versus trip and fall on one accidentally.

    The SIlver Star may be an interim award, while higher HQ considers a higher award.

    I would predict he may be upgraded to a DSC, but unless there is clear evidence of deliberate intent to throw himself in front of a bomb to save a comrade, collaborated by two witnesses, he probably won’t get the MOH.

    Quality of write up is also key to getting people their proper award, as is sufficient commander interest and effort.

    • Tman says:

      There were 10 suicide bombers that day.

      9 were neutralized by gunfire.

      The 10th and last suicide bomber stepped out from behind containers near the Staff Sergeant and the Polish soldier.

      From the narrative at Jonn’s link, it appears Sgt. Ollis first headed towards the suicide bomber, and then stepped in front of the Polish officer right before the suicide bomber detonated himself.

      Now I wasn’t there, but I’m thinking Sgt. Ollis knew this was a suicide bomber, because why would a suicide bomber at that time of night and involved in complex surprise attack against a base, care to hide his vest bomb? And a 9th suicide bomber was killed shortly before this 10th bomber.

      The way I see it, Sgt. Ollis knew what he was doing, and gave up his own life to save that of another man.

      Now I get all the eyewitness statements, write ups, and politics involved in these sorts of things.

      But surely Sgt. Ollis’ actions met every criteria of being honored with the Medal of Honor. I certainly hope at least there’s some discussion about this.

      • 11B-Mailclerk says:

        No disrespect to the man, just my read on how the MOH process works. I believe it has become increasingly picky, perhaps excessively so. Then again, we need to zealously guard our awards, so that we do not devolve any valor award into an “I showed up” sort of thing.

        I believe they capped the MOH at one per recipient, no matter what the circumstances of subsequent events. why? A Brave man tends to do brave things. I see no reason to short-change a man because he is both repeatedly brave and lucky enough to survive his heroism.

        The Silver Star is not small stuff. Nor is the DSC.

        I want to make sure that we do not treat the other valor awards as trivial, or as consolation prizes. To me, an ARCOM with V device is impressive, and honoring its recipient in no way detracts from higher awards to others.

        But in this particular case, I suspect there will eventually be an award of higher.

  15. JimW says:

    My allergies seem to have kicked up

  16. BinhTuy66 says:

    No greater love… For a brother soldier.

  17. George Klebak, CW3, says:

    Never serving with him is my loss, having served in the same army is my gain.

  18. George Klebak, CW3, USA Ret says:

    Never serving with him is my loss, having served in the same army as he did is my gain.

  19. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    Stupid allergies…

  20. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    “Ollis Sr. said ‘“We are very happy and honored.”’ To thank Cierpica and his wife, the Ollis family sent the couple a teddy bear they had specially made out of their son’s Army fatigues.”

    He is honored? My God, it is no wonder they raised such a man as their son. Now, to go dry my eyes…