Soldier Survives Machine Gun Ambush

Posted by Kris Vermillion on 4 months ago
Soldier Survives Machine Gun Ambush

Staff Sergeant Bryan McQueen is now the coolest guy you know.

Here's why:

In a very real sense, US Army Staff Sergeant Bryan McQueen survived being shot in the head by a machine gun from just twenty feet away. His survival is in no small part due to the fact that his helmet took the blunt of the blast for him.

McQueen survived an ambush attack from Afghan police officers, and recently the Army returned the helmet to McQueen along with a plaque celebrating his heroism and survival.

Photo Courtesy of Tim Barber/ ABC 7 WJLA

PHOTO COURTESY OF TIM BARBER

From ArmyTimes:

Staff Sgt. Bryan McQueen was nearing the end of his tour in Afghanistan with the 1st Security Forces Assistance Brigade on Sept. 3, 2018. He, his fellow soldiers and nearly 50 Afghans were headed to a security meeting, as routine as any other daily assignment.

Machine gun fire erupted.

McQueen felt what he could later only describe as a horse kick to the back of his head and he fell flat to the ground, landing on his face.

But in seconds he was on his feet with a simple question.

“Did these (expletive deleted) really just shoot me in the head?” he said.

What he would learn a short time later was that two rogue Afghan police within the formation had planned an attack once the group reached a vulnerable choke point. One opened fire with a Russian PK machine gun while another aimed to take out as many soldiers as possible with his AK-47.

This week that same helmet, bisected and mounted on a plaque with McQueen’s name and the appropriate unit coinage, was presented to him here at a Personal Protective Equipment soldier return ceremony.

The ceremonies are conducted through congressional authorization to return the property to soldiers who were wounded once the service branch has completed its analysis of the equipment. The returns began in 2013. The last public ceremony for such a return was held in 2016. Since the inception of the program there have been 35 PPE returns to active duty soldiers. Current efforts are underway to allow for damage PPE to be returned to wounded veterans who used the gear.

The 1st SFAB didn’t go unscathed that September day. They lost a long-serving soldier when Cmd. Sgt. Maj. Timothy Bolyard, 42, was killed in the Logar province insider attack. Another soldier, Cpl. Joseph Maciel, 20, died in a July insider attack on the same deployment.

Read the entire article, and you can learn about advancements that have made the gear the Army uses today stronger and lighter than what McQueen was wearing during his deployment.


About Kris Vermillion

About Kris Vermillion

Kris Vermillion is a lifelong shooter who focuses his training on defensive shooting techniques and the shooter’s mindset. Kris works with the Palmetto State Armory E-Commerce and Marketing teams.