For putting his own life at risk to save another person and other actions under fire, a 1995 Beaver Local graduate has earned the Bronze Star Award with Valor.
United States Navy Ensign Dominic R. Frank, son of local attorney Dominic Frank and Carol A. Frank of Texas, was awarded for "exceptionally meritorious achievement" as the explosive ordnance disposal officer in charge during an action on January 28, 2010.
The citation noted Frank "distinguished himself by supporting the operational detachment Alpha with his steadfast courage and professionalism. His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect distinct credit upon himself, Operational Detachment-Alpha 3336 and the United States Navy."
While assigned to the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan, Frank played a vital role in mission accomplishment due to his heroic leadership, technical and tactical aptitude and professionalism, according to a press release.
During an air assault to clear compounds suspected of housing enemies of Afghan leaders, Frank put himself in front of the assault force and cleared a path from the insertion point up to the target compound, using a metal detector and mine probe.
Under fire and intercepting enemy radio communications outlining a plan to mass as many as 100 enemy fighters, Frank took a watch position on the rooftop of the compound to identify enemy composition and disposition, rotating members of his explosive ordnance platoon to ensure manpower where needed in the event of a strike.
From his position, Frank confirmed reports that enemy forces were using women and children to cover their movement between compounds as they made their way closer.
"Putting mission first, Ensign Frank positioned himself in the line of direct enemy fire so that he could identify enemy muzzle flashes and direct the fire of sniper teams and the commandos to these targets," the release noted.
As enemy forces attacked from three sides, Frank volunteered to go with a patrol of commandos to secure three compounds to the south and one to the east, exposing himself to machine gun, rocket propelled grenade and small arms fire as he moved across the street.
He then cleared a foot path of improvised explosive devices and directed the commandos into adjacent compounds.
As his element made its way back to the main assault force, Frank realized an interpreter was missing and, under a high volume of enemy fire, went back and searched all four buildings until he located and recovered the missing interpreter.
He again exposed himself to enemy fire while rejoining his element.
Several hours of battle took place, with six members of the team wounded.
Frank again exposed himself to enemy fire as he assisted with the wounded, taking command of one Air Force combat controller who was shot then fell 14 feet from a rooftop, carrying him on the lead stretcher to the helicopter landing zone.
Surrounded on three sides by constant enemy fire, he made his way across rutted ground and four-foot-deep canals to the waiting helicopter then began returning fire, covering the wounded and aircraft.
Frank, also the grandson of former East Liverpool residents A. Rudy and Angeline Frank, enlisted in the Navy in July 1995. He has served as an operation specialist aboard the USS Stump, and in 1998 volunteered and was accepted into the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) program, graduating from Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal at Eglin Air Force Base in June 2000.
He transferred to NAVSCOLEOD in 2004, serving as an IED instructor until 2005 and transferring in 2007 to NAVEODTECHDIV, where he deployed twice to Afghanistan, serving as a CEXC platoon LCPO.
After serving 14 years enlisted service and attaining the rank of Chief Petty Officer, Frank was commissioned to ensign and was transferred to EOD Mobile Unit Six.
He has deployed from EODMUS twice to Afghanistan as the Officer in Charge of Platoon Six One Two with Army Special Forces Group 3, Fort Bragg, N.C. and as the training officer for Regional Command.
In 2011, he received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Saint Leo University and is currently stationed in Seattle.
In addition to the Bronze Star, he has been awarded the Defense Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal twice, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, U.S. Army Commendation Medal twice, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal three times and the Combat Action Ribbon.
His sons, Lux A. and Giovanni R. Frank live in East Liverpool.