A soldier from Middlesbrough, who is being honoured for his bravery at today's Operational Honours and awards at Sandhurst, has described his actions as "instinctive".
Private Lewis Murphy, of the Yorkshire Regiment, took off his own body armour while under attack to carry an injured colleague across a deep river to safety in Afghanistan while on tour last year.
"At first, I didn't know how serious it was but when you realise there are casualties everything changes. I was in the swamp and couldn't see the enemy. My first reaction was to get my sight up to look for them.
"It was instinctive. I didn't think about the danger of it, I just thought if I leave my equipment on I'll drown."
The 24-year-old has spoken about the difficulty in carrying his colleague, as well as the 100 kg of equipment he was still wearing, across the river.
"I remember being so angry with myself. I screamed out and thrashed the water in a rage, asking myself why I couldn't do it.
"After running to the helicopter with him in my arms for another 80 metres, I was totally shattered. I've never felt so drained in my life."
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The events were part of the work of the Commission for Health and Social Care Integration in the North East.