Corporal Sean Jones, 25, of 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Regiment, "reversed a potentially dire situation" when his patrol came under attack in a carefully planned ambush in October last year.
The soldier, of Tern Hill near Market Drayton in Shropshire, was second-in-command of the patrol which was trying to draw out insurgents laying homemade bombs in Kakaran village, Helmand.
As the patrol moved through an open field it came under heavy and accurate small-arms fire from the north and east.
Caught in the killing zone and unable to advance into the hail of fire, the soldiers withdrew to the relative safety of the water-filled ditch to return fire but were trapped as the insurgents moved in to try to overwhelm their position.
Firing a rocket at one of the insurgent positions, Cpl Jones ordered three of his men to fix bayonets before breaking cover and leading them across 80 metres of open ground raked by enemy fire.
As two of the soldiers provided fire support, Cpl Jones prepared a hand grenade for the final assault. He raced towards an alley and was about to throw the grenade but said he realised that the buildings were occupied so put the grenade away. But the speed, aggression and audacity of his response caused the insurgents to fall back in disarray.
Sporadic enemy fire continued.
Cpl Jones rallied his men to launch another assault just as the platoon commander and the rest of the patrol, who had been suppressing the other enemy position during the charge, rejoined the group.
The insurgents melted away.
The soldier's citation states that Cpl Jones demonstrated "unflinching courage and extraordinary leadership in the face of extreme and tangible danger".
He "epitomised the best qualities of the British infantry: gritty determination, controlled aggression, tactical cunning and complete disregard for his own safety".
UPDATE: For the US Army folks who think they don't need a bayonet as much as the USMC and the British Army - here is a great quote from another article WSTR linked to in comments.
"The undergrowth is so dense in the 'Green zone' that I often ordered bayonets fixed because you knew the distances between you and the Taliban could be very short. It is also good for morale."