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2019 NININGER AWARD Recipient Announcement

The West Point Association of Graduates is pleased to announce that Captain Lindsay Gordon Heisler, Class of 2012, has been selected to receive the 2019 Alexander Nininger Award for Valor at Arms. The Nininger Award will be presented on October 24, 2019, at West Point, New York. Heisler is soon to take her second company command of Delta Company, 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, “Wolfpack,” 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

In 2015, Heisler deployed as a platoon leader with Alpha Company, 1-101st Aviation Regiment, Task Force Shadow, to Bagram, Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. On December 5, 2015, she was serving as a co-pilot/gunner of an AH-64 Apache helicopter with Chief Warrant Officer 2 David Woodward when they received orders to assist the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment with the extraction of a Ranger unit engaged in a firefight with enemy troops near the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Once over the objective area, Heisler proceeded to engage the insurgents with 120 rounds of 30mm high explosive dual purpose ammunition. She then identified a mortar team located just inside Pakistan and, after receiving clearance of fire from the Joint Terminal Attack Controller, eliminated that threat as well. Heisler and Woodward then positioned their Apache directly between U.S. troops and enemy forces as the extraction got underway, continually using rounds from their 30mm chain gun to draw fire away from the assault force and suppress the enemy in the area. According to the narrative of the Distinguished Flying Cross she received for her actions, “1LT Gordon’s exceptional aerial coverage and application of timely and accurate fires allowed the Helicopter Assault Force to safely land and extract the ground force despite the assault aircraft receiving significant battle damage on the LZ.”

In addition to the Distinguished Flying Cross, Heisler has been awarded two Air Medals, the Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Army Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Combat Action Badge, the Aviator Badge, and the Air Assault Badge.