Kevin J. Bishop saving the world

| July 15, 2017

Chief Tango send us a link to the story of National Guard Staff Sergeant and Alabama Corrections Captain Kevin J. Bishop who was awarded the Soldier’s Medal for his actions on March 11, 2016 at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama.

At approximately 9:15 p.m. on March 11, 2016, correctional officers at Holman Prison were called to a disturbance in one of the prison dorms. In the process of breaking up a fight among several inmates, a correctional officer was stabbed.

On receiving the report of the stabbing, the warden, Bishop, and a corrections captain entered the dorm. While assessing the situation, a lone inmate attacked and stabbed the warden multiple times in the back and head. Bishop responded to the attack by deflecting the inmate’s follow-on attempts to stab the warden; shielding him and applying pressure to the warden’s wounds. Bishop was able to hold off the inmate and successfully lead the warden and the other officers out of the dorm to safety.

In addition, Bishop assured emergency medical services and the corrections emergency response team were mobilized in response to the incident.

Despite being injured in the attack, Bishop remained on duty and initiated measures to ensure the disturbance was contained.

Category: Real Soldiers

Comments (31)

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  1. Usafvet509 says:

    Bravo Zulu!

  2. IDC SARC says:


  3. O-4E says:

    General Perry Smith there at his side. Dude has 40 years of service. 100% of that in the same state and 70% of that in the SAME BATTALION

    Yet I was told I wouldn’t be competitive for O-6 because I wasn’t diversified enough. I was too specialized.

    • Blaster says:

      AND,,never deployed either

      • SSG E says:

        Looks like he was commissioned right after Vietnam, and was a one-star general by the time we went into Iraq, so it’s hard to hold his lack of deploying against him – I mean, it’s not like there’s a BG slot in an artillery battery or something…I don’t know the guy, but if I were him, I know that would have frustrated the hell out of me…

        • O-4E says:

          I’m certainly not bashing him for not deploying.

          As a retired Guard AGR Officer (who spent 13 years in the RA prior to AGR) I can certainly attest to the fact that if you were a Guard O-4/E-8 at 9-11 that deployment opportunities were hard to get.

          My point is I’ve seen hundreds of guys with more well rounded careers than him get passed over.

  4. Atkron says:

    I’m curious as to why he was awarded an Army medal for actions he undertook while performing his ‘civilian’ job. I could see the Dept of Corrections awarding him something, but the Alabama Military?

    I’m not criticizing his actions at all, they were very heroic. I am really glad he was recognized for his valor. I am just curious is all.

    • IDC SARC says:

      a lot of Soldier’s Medals have been awarded for off duty heroism

      • Atkron says:

        I guess I have always thought of off-duty acts as something like pulling someone from a burning car during a morning commute. As in off the clock from any responsibilities.

        Again, I think he was very heroic; and this isn’t a criticism of Alabama’s NG, Big Army, or Kevin Bishop.

        Thanks for the response IDC SARC, I appreciate you opening my eyes a little more. Coffee hasn’t quite kicked in here in the PDT time zone.

  5. Claw says:

    Initial gut reaction: Wrong.

    Using a federal award to reward valor in a non public, internal state prison event where no lives of John Q. Public citizen were endangered, is IMHO, just wrong.

    To me, it follows a ARCOM for Facebook trolling way of thinking.

    And let the Claw bashing begin in 3…2…1…

    • Sparks says:

      Have to agree with you Claw. This was his civilian job. Not a roadside accident he came upon, or drowning person. If it had happened outside his work place and he saved someone’s life, that is what the Soldier’s Medal is for.

      • IDC SARC says:

        a soldier’s medal is not exclusively for outside work incidents it’s for heroism not involving actual combat…many are earned on and off duty.

        I agree there are innumerable times people have done heroic things and received nothing, but this guy was recognized by the awarding authority through the appropriate processes.

        The awarding criteria per AR 600-8-22 is:”The Soldier’s Medal is awarded to any person of the Armed Forces of the United States or of a friendly foreign nation who, while serving in any capacity with the Army of the United States,
        distinguished himself or herself by heroism not involving actual
        conflict with an enemy. “

        • Claw says:

          “heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy.”

          So I guess an inmate with a shiv is not considered an enemy of a correctional officer.

          Do I have that right or am I missing something?

          Here’s another scenario. Active duty soldier moonlighting as an overnight stocker in sporting goods at Wal Mart. All of a sudden they see a metal five gallon Igloo cooler slipping off the top shelf and it will bash the head of a co-worker. Leaping in the air, they slap the cooler away from the co-worker, thus preventing a serious injury.

          Should a Soldiers Medal be awarded? Who determines the “heroism?” The Wal Mart night manager or AR 600-8-22?

          Or do you just say “Doing my job.” Now back to work.

          • IDC SARC says:

            “Who determines the “heroism?” The Wal Mart night manager…”

            possibly.. if he’s also someone with granting authority as a member of the Guard. As long as we’re being absurd though sure, why not? 🙂

            • Claw says:

              Absurd? I think not.

              I’ll just leave this here. The WIKI description you cited conveniently left out the word “armed” when it comes to describing an enemy.

              The same degree of heroism is required in the award of the Soldiers Medal as is required for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross. Awards will not be made solely on the basis of having saved a life.

              I think the Alabama National Guard is stretching the criteria just a bit by applying a federal level award to actions internal to their own state prison system that posed no danger to the general public and perhaps their lack of a state level equivalent award.

              And I’m done.

              • IDC SARC says:

                That wasn’t a wiki it was out of the AR 600-8-22…the wiki you read may have C&P’d it.

                and carry on

                • Claw says:

                  Not too familiar with the new 600-8-22.

                  More of a 672-5-1 era soldier myself and it always said armed enemy.

                  Inmate stabbing the warden with a shiv in a state prison “disturbance?”: Armed enemy or just plain enemy? But I guess the two corrections officer and the warden just happened to wander into the cell block and all of a sudden the shit went down.

                  I’m not demeaning his actions. I’m just thinking those actions in his line of work and in a non public state owned work area don’t meet the criteria for a federal level award just because he’s a member of a state National Guard.

                  • IDC SARC says:

                    I understand your point.

                    IME however, I don’t see anything inappropriate in this award.

                    • 2/17 Air Cav says:

                      I see both your points. One, I believe, goes to the letter of the award’s criteria and the other goes to its spirit. In my view, only the letter of the reg was followed and if the warden hadn’t been stabbed and saved, we wouldn’t have ever heard about this or a medal. All of that aside, Bishop done good.

              • Perk7 says:

                Claw, keep in mind HQDA is the approved of his medal. The Alabama National guard doesn’t have the authority to approve this. HQDA deemed the SSG worthy of this award. Keep in mind the citation doesn’t always give the entire story.

        • desert says:

          “While service in ANY capacity with the
          army of the United States?” What capacity with the Army??

  6. 2banana says:

    Getting a soldier’s for doing your civilian job?

    There are literally thousands of police and firemen in the NG.

    We going to give a soldier’s medal to all?

    • ASR5580 says:

      Amen. Was just thinking that. Very heroic actions but I don’t think they warrant award of a federal award.

    • gitarcarver says:

      Getting a soldier’s for doing your civilian job?

      And doing it poorly to boot.

      People shouldn’t be rewarded for resolving a screwup they helped create.

  7. HMC Ret says:

    Look at the size of that guy. He could control an entire cell block by himself.

  8. Skippy says:

    HOOOAH ! !!!!!!!!

  9. Trent says:

    I worked 21 years with the Bureau of Prisons and I have no problem with SSG Bishop receiving this award. His actions assisting the Warden and fending off the attacking inmate saved at least one life, possibly others.

    The reason I support this award is because the BOP just had a trial conclude against an inmate who killed a correctional officer. Senior Officer Eric Williams was working his post alone in a housing unit and was stabbed almost 200 times and stomped to death. None of you know his name unless you live in Pennsylvania.

    SSG Bishop put himself in harms way, when he didn’t have too and he saved lives. I am proud of him.

    Every day correctional officers face these dangers, it’s nice to know they are recognized outside of the prison they work at.

    • Retired Grunt says:


      That was unfair, some of us do read the officer down memorial page. Before I became career military I served as a CO for a while, then an LEO. I understand the frustration of list colleagues, most of us here do. I believe OFC. Williams was also mentioned in the MSM as well.

  10. LiRight says:

    As all of us would likely say….”I’d share a foxhole” with this fine man, anytime!!

  11. ALVO says:

    I think any time that you can honor a person for their bravery it is a good thing. The “label” of that award is of secondary. — that said, the CMOH, DSC et al, carry extra weight intrinsically for their given actions and the awardees, if they survive the action, often/usually deflect to honor those that did not come home.
    All Give Some, Some Give All. My RESPECT is profound.