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Maj. Gen. Donald Ryder, the Army's top law enforcement officer, thanks Pfc. Terrence Jacobs for possibly saving the life of a Korean woman earlier this month just outside Yongsan Garrison in Seoul.

Maj. Gen. Donald Ryder, the Army's top law enforcement officer, thanks Pfc. Terrence Jacobs for possibly saving the life of a Korean woman earlier this month just outside Yongsan Garrison in Seoul. (Teri Weaver / S&S)

YONGSAN GARRISON — When the Army’s top law enforcement officer visited with military police throughout South Korea earlier this month, he also made time to honor a young soldier whose quick thinking may have saved a Korean woman’s life.

During a meeting with the 19th Military Police Battalion, which supports criminal investigators in South Korea and Japan, Maj. Gen. Donald Ryder attended a brief ceremony honoring Pfc. Terrence Jacobs, of LaFayette, La., a mechanic with the unit.

Jacobs was leaving Yongsan the afternoon of April 7 when he saw a Korean woman lying in a car. He rushed over, realized she was choking, and performed the Heimlich maneuver on her, according to Command Sgt. Maj. Benjamin Kellam, the battalion’s ranking enlisted soldier. Jacobs said the woman quickly became alert again after resuming breathing; Korean officials rushed her to a hospital.

Jacobs “did what any soldier would have done,” said Ryder, Army provost marshal general and commanding general, Army Criminal Investigation Command. “It’s a reflection of our soldiers. It’s an example of what we should do,” he said at the ceremony.

Jacobs said, “I just received the award for something I was trained for. ... It was something anybody should have done.”

Of the criminal investigators’ work in South Korea, Ryder said Thursday morning, “The commanders are very pleased with their performance.”

The U.S. investigators execute their mission similarly to other military police units throughout the world, he said; the difference is that they work so closely with their South Korean counterparts.

Members of the criminal investigation unit in South Korea “feel they really have a mission here on the peninsula,” said Ryder. “The uniqueness is the strategic defense with the Koreans.”

“This time, it really jumped out at me,” said Ryder, who has visited South Korea several times in the four years he’s commanded the criminal investigations unit.


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