Army Master Sgt. Michael Lambert, a 1983 graduate of Cooperstown Central School, has earned a Bronze Star for meritorious service and courage while serving with the U.S. military in Afghanistan.
Lambert, a medic, who has completed two tours in Afghanistan, was recognized for his contributions between March 9 and Oct. 31 of last year. During that period, he was the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Surgeon's Section, combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan.
A citation with the award from Maj. Gen. John Mulholland states, ``Lambert's operational knowledge and understanding of the theater medical system resulted in top-notch medical support for both combat and humanitarian operations.
``As the senior medical operations NCO ... he served as a conduit during crisis management and assisted in the medical regulation of over 190 United States and Coalition Force soldiers and over 80 local nationals to higher echelons of care.
``Sergeant Lambert provided oversight of the plans, organization and procurement of $50,000 in Title 10, Commander's Emergency Relief Program funds to execute over 30 medical civic action programs throughout Afghanistan,'' the citation said.
These programs provided treatment for more than 20,000 Afghanis and more than 2,000 domestic animals, Mulholland wrote.
Lambert's service as part of his commander's security detail and his courage and clear-thinking while on a mission in Konar Province also were cited by the general.
Lambert's father, Paul, of Cooperstown, said he was ``incredibly proud'' of his son, who lives in Fayettville, N.C., near Fort Bragg.
The senior Lambert, Cooperstown's former school superintendent, recalled one day in the 1980s when his son, then a college student, came to him, and his wife, Barbara, and said, ```I've made a career decision and I hope you won't be upset by it.'''
Michael Lambert had decided to sign up with the Army Rangers.
``I told him, `The Rangers are pretty tough,''' his father said, ``and he told me, `I can handle it.'''
In more than two decades since then, Michael Lambert has shown he knew what he was doing, his father noted, adding that his son has now earned two Bronze Stars.
The master sergeant is a Green Beret, one of the few in the Army to move from the Rangers to the Green Berets.
Lambert's brother, John Lambert, Otsego County's chief assistant district attorney, said his family is proud of his brother.
``I think it's great," he said. "There's no way I could do what he's done.''