A rmy Master Sgt. Robert S. Guidi of Cambria was honored in Germany June 8, receiving the Defense Meritorious Service Medal for his exceptional noncombat service from Jan. 2011 through Jan. 2012 as the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Joint Special Operations Task Force under special ops Command Africa.
Guidi is currently stationed in Stuttgart, Germany, serving his fifth tour in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
According to http://olive-drab.com/od_other_medals.php, Guidi’s honor is the 12th highest-ranking medal given to “individuals serving in the U.S. Military” “for distinguished heroism, valor and service.”
Karina Tiwana — past commander of Cambria’s American Legion Post No. 432 — said in an email from Stuttgart that Guidi’s medal is the highest medal one can earn while serving in a non-combat mode.
“It ranks just below the Purple Heart and just above the five services versions of the Meritorious Service Medal in the general order of precedence that has been established for the proper display of all military decorations,” she explained. “It is typically awarded to field grade officers and senior non-commissioned officers for outstanding non-combat meritorious service where the acts performed are similar to those for which the Legion of Merit is awarded.”
Born in Atascadero, Guidi is the son of Adeline “Addie” Guidi of Cambria and the late Andre Guidi, who died while his son was serving in Afghanistan.
Rob Guidi is a 1981 graduate of Coast Union High School, where he was captain of the Broncos football team and also participated in basketball and track and field programs. In 1981, he volunteered with the North Coast Ocean Rescue Team. He then became a Morro Bay firefighter and paramedic, before joining the Army in 1995.
In 2007, he was deployed to the Pentagon. Guidi is an active member of Cambria’s legion post.
He’s also an elite athlete attaining All-American status numerous times, and holds several triathalon titles, including a silver medal in the 2008 World Championships.
When at home in Cambria, he enjoys surfing, inline skating, mountain biking, playing the guitar and visiting with family and friends.
For details on the medal, go to www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/Awards/defense_meritorious.aspx.