A Ranger medic who helped to save the lives of six of his comrades during a firefight from hell has been recognized as the USO Soldier of the year.

Sergeant Ty Able, a combat medic assigned to 1st Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, was part of a Ranger assault force that was going after a High-Value-Individual (HVI) in Afghanistan last summer. Although it was just another routine Direct Action (DA) mission, the Rangers quickly found themselves under withering enemy fire. With the assault force quickly suffering numerous casualties. Sgt. Able and his fellow combat medic, Staff Sergeant Charles Bowen, went above and beyond to save the lives of their brothers-in-arms.

What distinguished the actions of the two Ranger medics, even more, was their employment of a new and extremely tricky medical procedure on the battlefield. Seeing that some of their comrades would perish if they didn’t try something extreme, they performed the Ranger O-Low Titre (ROLO) protocol. Essentially, ROLO is a blood transfusion on the battlefield.

Sergeant Ty Able (Image courtesy of USO).

In choosing Sgt. Able for the Soldier of Year position, USO said in a statement that “Ty Able, a native of Carlsbad, New Mexico, has distinguished himself in the Special Operations community. While serving as a Combat Medic in support of Operation FREEDOM’S SENTINEL, Able performed triage and multiple advanced medical procedures while under heavy enemy fire during a direct action operation to remove enemy forces in Afghanistan.”

The United Service Organizations (USO), is an American non-profit charitable corporation. USO focuses on the members of the United States Armed Forces and their families. The organization provides live entertainment, social facilities, and other programs to servicemembers and their loved ones.

Each year, USO chooses a servicemember from each branch that has distinguished himself and his unit through his actions, whether in a combat or peacetime setting. In addition to Sgt. Able, USO chose the following servicemembers for the servicemember of the year initiative:

  • Staff Sgt. Adam J. Wasson | USO Airman of the Year 2019
  • Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Newberg | USO Coast Guardsman of the Year 2019
  • Phoebe Renae Ortiz | USO Marine of the Year 2019
  • Staff Sgt. Jami DeVries | USO National Guardsman of the Year 2019
  • Yeoman John M. Norman | USO Sailor Of the Year 2019