AN ARBROATH soldier who put himself on the line for his unit has been awarded a Mention in Despatches (MiD).
The gallant leadership of Sergeant Daniel Buist (37) when he served with The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS) during a tour of duty in Afghanistan reversed a potentially dire situation when his platoon came under attack in November last year.
Daniel’s platoon was patrolling as part of a route clearance operation when it was attacked by machine gun fire and grenades. Hemmed in by a barrier of IEDs 400 metres from the base, the platoon was pinned down with the situation becoming desperate.
With complete disregard for his own safety, Daniel stood up to draw fire so his men and the supporting attack helicopter could identify the enemy firing points. Two enemy rounds narrowly missing him as they shot past his head. His heroism allowed his men to extract to better cover.
The fight however continued and after a third day of attacks, Daniel realised the company needed to breach the enemy lines.
The mission involved creeping along a 300 metre compound line through ground littered with IEDs, and then sneaking behind the enemy. Undeterred, Daniel led his platoon forward, fighting at close quarters with the insurgents in the winding and narrow alleyways of the compound.
The enemy launched a counter attack with machine guns and grenades from a number of firing points. With shooters just 80 metres away from him, Daniel charged on – leading his men through the danger to take control of the ground.
Daniel’s actions secured a buffer zone around Loy Mandeh, an act which turned the tide against the insurgents in northern Nad-e Ali.
The citation, of the former pupil of Arbroath and Carnoustie High School states: “Buist’s gallantry and inspirational leadership, in the face of great danger, not only won the tactical battle on the day, but set the pattern of the success that was to follow.
“His courage in the face of overwhelming odds on complex ground, of the enemy’s choosing, was truly exceptional.”
The Mention in Despatches is one of the oldest forms of recognition for gallantry within the UK Armed Forces. Since 1993 the Mention in Despatches has been reserved for gallantry during active operations.
Daniel is living in Hamilton with his partner and their daughter having recently been posted as a Permanent Staff Instructor (PSI) with 52nd Lowland, 6th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (6 SCOTS) which has its headquarters in Glasgow.
He has been given the responsibility of running one of the battalions’ outstations in Motherwell a task which he does with little supervision due to his trustworthiness and dependability.
The announcement was made today (Friday) with the release of the latest operational honours and awards list which includes 106 personnel. The awards are for actions during the period September 2011 to March 31 2012 during Operation Herrick 15.
The Mention in Despatches (MiD) is the British Armed Forces oldest gallantry in combat award. Originally it was literally just a mention by name in the Commander in Chief’s despatch.
The decoration is a single silver oakleaf. In each case the decoration is pinned or sewn diagonally on to the appropriate campaign medal ribbon. If no campaign medal is awarded, the oak leaf is worn on the left breast of the dress uniform.