Sergeant First Class (SFC) Joshua LeBel joined the Army on 21 March 2003 where he attended OSUT (One Station Unit Training) at Ft Knox, Kentucky and became a 19D (Cavalry Scout). During his career, SFC LeBel has served as a Stryker Driver, Gunner, and Team Leader, as well as Squad/Section Leader and Platoon Sergeant. His previous units include 1st Armor Division, Headquarters Headquarters Company, Wiesbaden Germany. C Trp 1-14Cav, 3rd BDE 2nd Infantry Division, Ft Lewis Washington.
Scout Platoon HHC TF 3-66 AR, 172nd Grafenwoehr Germany, a Small Group Leader in the 7th Army Non-Commissioned Officer Academy, Grafenwoehr Germany, and as a Geronimo Platoon Sergeant in D Troop 1/509th OPFOR Airborne "The Most Hated Unit in the Army". He has deployed to Iraq in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, October 2003 through September 2004 and again in August 2009 through July 2010. His last deployed was to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from July 2011 through June 2012.
SFC LeBel's military and civilian education includes: Army Reconnaissance Course, AWG Leaders course, Evergreen mountain M4 course, Environmental Compliance Officers course, Airborne, Warrior Leaders Course, Advanced Leaders Course, Maneuver Senior Leaders Course, Advanced Terrorist Drivers Training, Hazmat awareness training, Counterinsurgency awareness, Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below Course (FBCB2), and Combat Lifesaver. SSG LeBel is currently perusing a Master's Degree in Forest management.
SFC LeBel's awards and decorations include: Order of Saint George (Black Medallion) Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal (4rd OLC), Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Citation, Army Good Conduct Medal (4rd Award), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (Numeral 2), Army Service Medal and Overseas Ribbon (Numeral 5) NATO Medal, and the Combat Action Badge.
AN EXCERPT FROM JOSHUA'S STORY
The room went black. I couldn’t hear anything for what felt like minutes. I also didn’t feel any pain right away. The blast was strong enough to toss SSG Celona out of the door-way, slamming it closed while throwing half the contents of the room behind it. When I tried to stand, I could feel the pain shoot through my body. My legs and my arm were where it resonated first. After getting out of the room, my Doc (Medic) looked at my arm, bandaged it up and then bandaged the back of my head. I didn’t even know my head was bleeding until he told me.
“We’re going to need to get him back to the base,” Doc told SSG Celona.
We gathered up the team and made our way out of the building and to our trucks. Sitting in the back of the truck, my arm started to tingle like that feeling you get when your arms or legs lose feeling due to blood being cut off to the nerves. It was only about a 20-minute convoy back to the base, but by then the pain in my body had doubled. My legs and back started to burn.