April 12, 2009
UZI® Combat Commander Twice Saves Soldier’s Life!
Having a good knife is like an insurance policy – it’s worth the investment and hope you never have to use it. Having a good knife in the line of duty can also be the deciding point between your life or the other guy’s. Such is the case of American soldier, Sergeant Thomas D. Morgan, where his knife- the UZI® Combat Commander saved his life not once – but on two different occasions.
On December 12, 2005, Sgt. Morgan and his Field Artillery unit were conducting convoy operations support for the Operation Iraqi Freedom Theater in Arifjan Kuwait. Upon the return trip back to Baghdad, an Explosive Formed Penetrator (EFP) struck his command vehicle; the EFP penetrated the front axel and engine block. Once the gasoline soaked EFP detonated, the vehicle immediately became engulfed in flames. The explosion rendered such force, the driver’s side door was bent and the only exit was through the flames. Sgt. Morgan cleared the fire, but his driver was unable to cross the radio mounts and wiring, without getting caught in the exposed wires. The driver was able to free his head but his equipment was still stuck on the wires. Sgt. Morgan was then able to free his driver with his Combat Commander knife; the wires were ½” to 1” thick and the Commander cut through them “with ease”. Sgt. Morgan was able take the driver to safety, with minimal burns and lacerations. The driver returned to full duty within days and continued with over 456,000 miles of missions with Sgt. Morgan.
July 24, 2008, duty calls to Sgt. Morgan and his trusty Combat Commander once again. During a personal security detachment with the unit’s Battalion Commander, a call came down for the arrest of a high-level security target. Upon the home breach, Sgt. Morgan and his team found bomb materials and began making arrests. Military protocol dictates that while transporting a detainee, your weapons is handed off to another team member, to prevent being disarmed by the detainee. Once the weapon was handed over, the detainee fell to the ground, sweeping Sgt. Morgan’s feet out from under him and began wrestling with him. Sgt. Morgan’s cover was unable to get a clear shot. Sgt. Morgan was able to reach his Combat Commander, which was hidden laterally across his back. His only choice was to throw the knife so the detainee could not reach it or stab him in a way that the detainee could not scream but still live. The detainee immediately stopped fighting as soon as he was stuck and was handcuffed. The detainee is serving a life sentence in Iraqi prison for manufacturing Improvised Explosive Devises and Explosive Formed Penetrators. Sgt. Morgan said he doubted the detainee “would ever fight an American again, and although I didn’t have a trick up my sleeve – I had a reliable knife.”
Our thanks to Sgt. Morgan and all of the men and women bravely serving in the United States Armed Forces.