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U.S. Army
Awards of the Silver Star

for 
Conspicuous Gallantry
in Action in the
Global War on Terrorism
(2001 - Present)

Links to Army GWOT Silver Star Citations

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 To All Who Shall See These Presents Greeting:
This is to Certify that
The President of the United States of America
Authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918
Has Awarded


THE SILVER STAR
TO

 

GAGNE, ERIC
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Eric Gagne, Master Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as the Reconnaissance Platoon Sergeant for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2d Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2d Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Camp Striker, from 28 October 2006 to 7 March 2007, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, 06-08. Master Sergeant Gagne's personal bravery and selfless actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 10th Mountain Division, and the United States Army. 

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: 
Master Sergeant Eric Gagne, markedly distinguished himself with exceptionally heroic conduct in the performance of outstanding service to the United States as the Reconnaissance Platoon Sergeant for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2d Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2d Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Camp Striker, from 28 October 2006 to 7 March 2007, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, 06-08. His gallantry in the days following the Battalion's seizure of the Yusufiya Thermal Power Plant (YTPP) and subsequent offensive operations greatly contributed to the establishment of a foothold in the highly contested Euphrates River Valley (ERV) tribal lands and the Brigades success in eliminating a former Sunni extremist safe haven in Al Qaeda's self-declared Baghdad Southern Belt. On 28 October 2006, Master Sergeant Gagne, led the Reconnaissance Platoon on a screening mission in support of a series of cordon and search operations with Company A, 2d Battalion, 14th Infantry in vicinity of Qarghuli Road and Route Caveman. At approximately 0500 hours as his team moved into a palm grove, he noticed a copper wire, halted the patrol, and used his tactical aim light with infrared filter to trace the wire to a choke point on the southeast side of the power plant's wall. The choke point was on Company A, 2d Battalion, 14th Infantry's planned ingress route. Having discovered a possible improvised explosive device (IED), he continued into the palm grove as a guide so the company could avoid being engaged in the insurgent's planned IED kill zone. The other end of the wire led into the palm grove where it was tied to a palm tree in an area littered with fresh foot prints and matted grass indicative of an active IED site. Maximizing the use of micro-terrain and camouflage, he established a hide about 15 feet from the trigger point for immediate interdiction if the triggerman arrived. At 1309 hours, a local national male moved toward the trigger point. Master Sergeant Gagne noticed a boy following the man and decided against the use of deadly force to prevent traumatizing or injuring the youth. He waited for the triggerman to divert his attention before exposing himself, overpowering, and detaining the man and boy at great personal risk to himself. As the patrol continued movement, Master Sergeant Gagne discovered a white grain sack containing an IED initiation system, a video camera, and a black mask. The triggerman indicated the presence of more "Koombalas" (bombs) in the area. The triggerman drew a map in the dirt detailing the location of another IED that Master Sergeant Gagne deciphered to be the intersection of Route Malibu and Qarghuli road. He immediately notified the Alpha Company element already en route and had them halt their patrol and change their route to avoid the possible IED. Master Sergeant Gagne's recon team moved to the intersection and verified the presence of a command wire. They then moved to an overwatch position to cover Alpha's withdrawal. After the mission, an Explosive and Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team determined the first IED to be three 155-mm. artillery rounds and the second to be a forty pound directional charge. On 6 November 2006, Master Sergeant Gagne led a patrol to overwatch the container yard to the east of the YTPP to deny its use by Sunni insurgents. At 1930 hours, the team entered a building whose balcony he intended to use as an observation post (OP). The patrol halted in place when a pressure plate was found at the foot of the stairs. The element exited by retracing their steps while he interrogated the pressure plate. He led them to another building to set up the OP, but they were forced to conduct a deliberate clearance when numerous IED components were found scattered throughout the building. In the midst of the ensuing search, an IED composed of five artillery rounds was found atop the building's "false ceiling". The search also yielded numerous chemicals, scales, mixing devices, and a fair amount of hair clippings. The Combined Explosives Exploitation Cell (CEXC) assessed the location to be a "suicide bomber's lair" yielding the name of a known Al Qaeda member amidst pervasive insurgent propaganda and graffiti. On 30 JAN 07, Master Sergeant Gagne led a five-man interdiction team in support of TF 4-31's Operation Polar Ice in vicinity of Route Caveman. They established an overwatch position near a presumably abandoned house that in fact contained 24 local nationals, including women and children. At 0958 hours, five armed individuals in a Bongo truck arrived at the apparent insurgent safe house. Master Sergeant Gagne audaciously attempted to detain the gunmen, resulting in a brief but fierce firefight. Two of the insurgents managed to escape, however three insurgents were detained with various weapons, ammunition, and fraudulent identification cards. On 7 March 2007, Master Sergeant Gagne again led the recon platoon on a long-range reconnaissance patrol and screening mission in support of Operation Avalanche Landing. He covertly infiltrated deep into openly hostile territory rife with infighting among rival insurgent groups vying for supremacy. En route to their final overwatch position, he encountered two groups of insurgents engaged in armed combat near Route Trailblazers. The recon element sought cover and concealment in hopes of remaining unnoticed, but then became engaged by a three-man insurgent machine gun team. Master Sergeant Gagne gallantly exposed himself to the withering machine gun fire, neutralized the enemy position, and forced the enemy withdrawal. After capturing the enemy machine gun, he then occupied an abandoned house south to overwatch the Task Force main effort during the interrogation and removal of two semi-trucks and trailers suspected of being enormous VBIEDs. Master Sergeant Gagne continued to provide timely aid when they were unexpectedly called upon to secure a 13-vehicle logistics patrol that was halted on Route Mustangs by a massive IED's destruction of one of their vehicles. Master Sergeant Gagne and a small element interrogated and marked two potential IEDs ensuring the safety of recovery assets and the safe extraction of all coalition forces off the objective and the heavy IED-laden Route Mustangs. Master Sergeant Gagne's superb execution of reconnaissance and sniper operations ensured he was always at the forefront of the battle against a very elusive and determined enemy. While leading the battalion's initial reconnaissance effort around the YTPP by personally locating and marking numerous IEDs, his gallant actions prevented significant U.S. casualties. His numerous exploits of marked distinction and courage in support of various Task Force missions greatly contributed to the permanent presence of U.S. forces in the former Al Qaeda safe-haven and to the Task Force's success throughout AO Dragon.
Born: at Francestown, New Hampshire
Home Town: Francestown, New Hampshire


GANT, JAMES
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to James Gant, Major, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Chief of the Iraqi National Police, Quick Reaction Force Battalion Transition Team, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 11 December 2006, in Iraq. After six weeks of fighting insurgents Major Gant and his team were returning home to Baghdad along the road to Balad. Major Gant and his small American advisory team were riding in three up-armored Humvees. These were mini-tanks on tires with bullet proof-glass, blast-proof armor plate, and turret mounted machineguns. The Iraqi National Police were riding in 23 soft-skinned trucks. Major Gant was leading the convoy south when machinegun fire erupted from a dense palm grove on the west side of the road. Major Gant's gunner, Captain James Kim, returned fire, and the convoy of more than two dozen vehicles raced past the first enemy emplacement. During this short encounter, one of the Iraqi commandos had been shot in the face. Major Gant immediately stopped the convoy and raced to the aid of his fallen comrade. The Iraqi was gravely wounded, so Major Gant radioed for an immediate evacuation, then ordered his men to clear a landing zone as he administered combat first aid. He cleared the man's airway, saving his life. By now, the enemy was closing in and a close quarters fight ensued to secure the landing zone and a defensive perimeter. Soon, a Black Hawk helicopter swooped in and the wounded Iraqi was quickly loaded aboard the airborne ambulance. "You have about two minutes before we start receiving mortar fire," Gant told the flight medic. No sooner had the helicopter lifted into the sky, than mortar rounds began to fall among him and his men in the LZ. Major Gant immediately turned his attention from the wounded Iraqi to the fight at hand. He opened fire on an enemy machine gun position with his M4, dropping an Iraqi insurgent in his tracks. Captain Kim killed five more of the charging enemy. Major Gant's priority now was to get his men away from the enemy's established positions. He ordered his men to remount their vehicles. The convoy continued to take fire from both sides of the road as they started to move south. There was so much fire that two of his men were pinned down. Major Gant ordered his driver, Sergeant Bob "Doc" Minor, to peel off and return to the hot zone at the tail of the convoy. As they rolled up, Major Gant's gunner sprayed the enemy with machinegun fire while his driver positioned their vehicle between the enemy and the soft-skinned Iraqi trucks. This gave the remaining commandos the opportunity to mount up and drive away from the hail of gunfire. Once the entire convoy was moving south, Major Gant raced back to the head of his unit. Just ahead was a built-up area and he knew that in an urban environment the danger would be much greater, as there would be myriad places for the enemy to hide. The threat of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) would increase, so would the threat of Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) attack. And Gant was not disappointed. In the road ahead, Major Gant's second-in-charge, Captain Paulo Shakarian, noticed an IED planted in the median. He immediately reported his discovery to Major Gant. The insurgents had planted the device hoping that the explosion would force the embattled convoy to stop in a prepared kill zone. There was no way that Major Gant would force his men to stop in their soft-skinned vehicles, so he made a command decision. He ordered Captain Kim to get down out of the turret and Sergeant Minor to drive straight for the IED. As they rolled within twenty feet, the device detonated. The enemy unleashed a heavy mortar attack from both sides of the road. Major Gant kept the column moving through a vicious close-range gun battle. Then a second IED was spotted only five hundred yards ahead. Again, Major Gant and his driver went after the planted explosive and, again, a thunderous explosion failed to disable his vehicle. The convoy was still receiving machinegun fire from the front and both sides of the road so Major Gant pressed forward through the gauntlet. As the convoy rounded a mild bend in the road, he noticed a third IED. Just as before, he rolled up on the device, but this time there was no explosion. Then Major Gant received word that an Iraqi woman in a civilian vehicle had been critically wounded in the second blast. Still under fire and less than a kilometer from the large American compound at Taji, he ordered his men to stop once again and to establish a hasty defense around the civilian vehicle. Then he jumped from the relative safety of his armored Humvee and rushed to the woman's aid. He found her in the front seat bleeding heavily from both legs. She was hysterical and certain that she was going to die. She refused to let Major Gant touch her. His Iraqi counterpart, Colonel Dhafer, reassured the woman and said to her, "Its okay. He is my brother." The woman calmed and Major Gant quickly applied tourniquets to both legs, saving her life too. After treating the civilian casualty, the convoy resumed its journey to Baghdad.
Born: at Las Cruces, New Mexico
Home Town: Las Cruces, New Mexico
If you can help us locate Major Gant's Citation &/or Narrative, Please E-Mail us.


GHENT, RICHARD
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Richard Ghent, Specialist, U.S. Army, for exceptionally valorous conduct in the face of the enemy as a HMMWV (humvee) gunner for Bravo Troop, 1st Battalion 104th Cavalry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division, (1st Battalion, 172nd Armor), Camp Ramadi, Iraq, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 1 March 2006. While on patrol, Specialist Ghent was the first to notice the dismounted attack on a bridge and subsequently alerted the crew when he yelled, "Grenade!" Before being able to traverse his machine gun to engage the insurgent assault force, Specialist Ghent was ejected from the turret of his HMMWV by the blast force of the grenade hurled at his vehicle. This blast left him the only soldier capable of continuing the fight with the vehicle commander severely wounded and the driver killed instantly. Initially dazed and having sustained wounds to his face, back and extremities, Specialist Ghent quickly regained situational awareness and recognized and sized up the threat at hand. Demonstrating great courage and intrepidity of action, Specialist Ghent drew his 9-mm. pistol, having been ejected from the vehicle without his M-4 carbine, and engaged the insurgent forces that had attacked his HMMWV. Specialist Ghent charged the insurgents and drove them away from the Observation Post without any benefit of cover and concealment. He held his ground, expending nearly all his ammunition, until relieved by elements of his platoon which had been patrolling MSR Mobile. Specialist Ghent's His heroism and bravery under enemy fire was directly responsible for preventing the annihilation of his crew and the break up of a complex enemy attack against his position.
Home Town: Rochester, New Hampshire
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart
If you can help us locate Spc Ghent's Citation &/or Narrative, Please E-Mail us.


GOLTRY, BRENNAN S.
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Brennan S. Goltry, Captain (Infantry), [then Lieutenant], U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as 2d Platoon Leader, Company C, 2d Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 2 February 2007, in Iraq. On that evening, Captain Goltry was in command of the second truck in his platoon's five-vehicle convoy as it moved through Sammara, just north of Baghdad. Though the sun had set, a moonlit night provided little cover for the convoy--perfect conditions for an ambush. Suddenly, in a complex "L-shaped" attack, enemy combatants unleashed a barrage of machine-gun fire at the convoy, disabling the lead humvee and wounding its gunner. Captain Goltry saw his fellow paratrooper's vulnerable position, and realized that the only way to protect the wounded soldier would be to imperil his own safety. He ordered his driver to move his vehicle in front of the damaged truck to create a buffer and draw away fire. Captain Goltry opened his door to return fire, even as his vehicle bore the brunt of the enemy's bullets. He was shot twice in his left leg, but this didn't stop or apparently even slow him down. He jumped from his vehicle, rallied his men, and killed a hostile combatant as he led the offensive against the ambush. Rather than retreat, the squads pursued the enemies for several hundred meters and took over strategic positions as they cleared nearby houses. These efforts yielded the capture of an enemy combatant. Captain Goltry refused to be evacuated in a medical vehicle and instead stayed with his platoon.
Born: at Bakersfield, California
Home Town: Bakersfield, California
If you can help us locate Cpt Goltry's Citation &/or Narrative, Please E-Mail us.


GOOD, CHARLES
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Charles Good, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Special Operational Detachment Alpha 531 (ODA-531), 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, near Sadah, Iraq, on 21 October 2003. Staff Sergeant Good and his team were on a mission to halt foreign fighters who were infiltrating Iraq from Syria. Their convoy drove into the enemy-friendly town of Sadah when one of the vehicles was hit by a RPG. Eight members of the team went after the enemy fighters, while Staff Sergeant Good and two others provided security. A soldier was hit, and Staff Sergeant Good provided cover fire while the injured soldier was loaded into the vehicle. Staff Sergeant Good's vehicle was disabled, but he negotiated with an Iraqi man in a run-down Toyota to drive them to the camp. After dropping off the wounded soldier, Staff Sergeant Good returned to the fight along with other soldiers to assist those still trapped in the village.
Home Town: Altoona, Pennsylvania
If you can help us locate S/Sgt Good's Citation &/or Narrative, Please E-Mail us.


GREGORY, KARL
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Karl Gregory, First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Troop F, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 24 June 200r, in Iraq. On that date, First Lieutenant Gregory led a quick-reaction force mission from Forward Operation Base WARHORSE in Baqubah to a traffic circle in the city center. After two rocket-propelled grenades hit his Bradley fighting vehicle, temporarily blinding his gunner, Gregory took over the gun and killed at least three foreign fighters while his platoon got into position. Maneuvering toward the stadium under intense fire, Lieutenant Gregory's Bradley absorbed three more grenade hits. He stayed in the exposed turret and continued firing even after taking shrapnel wounds in his face. During his unit's withdrawal, another grenade and a roadside bomb hit his vehicle, knocking him briefly unconscious before he recovered and reorganized his force.
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GRENZ, ALLEN
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Allen Grenz, Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as leader of A Team, 2d Squad, 1st Platoon, Company A, 87th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, during combat operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, on 29 September 2003, in Afghanistan. During an intense battle that lasted 12 hours, Sergeant Grenz killed an enemy who held a detonator in his hands. The detonator was wired to several different mines near the company's position and Sergeant Grenz continued to maneuver his company and a wounded Soldier away from the enemy into a more defendable position. Realizing the Soldiers were in dire of need of ammunition and a communications device, Sergeant Grenz exposed himself to enemy fire and maneuvered himself to nearby squads to retrieve what was needed. The selfless acts of bravery that Sergeant Grenz portrayed helped save the lives of the entire company.
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GROSS, NICHOLAS S.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Nicholas S. Gross, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for gallantry in action against enemy forces from 7 August 2005 to 9 August 2005, while assigned as the Communications Sergeant for Operational Detachment Alpha 316 (ODA-316), 1st Battalion, 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne), Combined Joint Task Force 76, during Operations ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan. Staff Sergeant Gross demonstrated superb tactical proficiency and leadership in providing machine gun fire from the turret of his vehicle during multiple engagements over a times span of fifty-six hours. He continued to engage enemy positions, even when his vehicle was hit by a rocket propelled grenade. Staff Sergeant Gross' outstanding performance in a combat zone is in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the Combined Joint Task Force 76, and the United States Army. 

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: 
Staff Sergeant Nicholas S. Gross distinguished himself by exemplifying spirited bravery as a Communications Sergeant for Operational Detachment Alpha 316 (ODA-316), 1st Battalion, 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne), Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM from 7 August to 9 August 2005. Staff Sergeant Gross distinguished himself in seven fierce enemy engagements with a well trained, tactically emplaced, and aggressive enemy firing a time span of fifty-six hours while operating as the 50 cal. Machine gunner on the second vehicle of his element, while conducting operations in the Zabol Province of Afghanistan while deployed to A-Camp Lane. Staff Sergeant Gross's calmness under fire and tactical competence were imperative to the detachment's survival. During the unit's first engagement in the Buka Ghar Valley, Staff Sergeant Gross was instrumental in helping fix and engage enemy positions that had the entire element pinned down. His continuous engagement without concern for his own well being allowed the heavily suppressed elements to get to positions of better cover and his relentless punishment to the enemy while fully exposed later caused them to retreat. During the second contact in Buka Ghar Valley, Staff Sergeant Gross once again was instrumental in accurately putting down heavy volumes of fire on well emplaced machine gun positions so other members of the unit could move up to pinned down Afghanistan National Army (ANA) elements that were part of the patrol and help consolidate, assess, and gain control of their situation. The ODA continued to receive heavy volumes of machine gun fire and RPGs from numerous positions. He played a crucial role in the final elimination and forced withdrawal of the enemy by providing cover for the ODA's mortar team while they engaged the extremely fortified machine gun positions. If it wasn't for the cover fire and marking of these positions by Staff Sergeant Gross, the element would have been seriously devastated by the well-emplaced, heavily armed and numerically superior forces. The element continued to pursue the enemy during their retreat when they sent ahead for reinforcements to set up what was to be the third ambush. Upon the third Anti Coalition Member (ACM) ambush, Staff Sergeant Gross immediately located and fired upon the well emplaced and trained enemy force without care for his own life while being engaged himself by a flanking element. His bravery allowed the ANA element to maneuver on the larger ACM element, later causing the enemy to maneuver to a location they thought would give them a tactical advantage. This only led them to a better vantage point for Staff Sergeant Gross, who was able to eliminate them during their maneuver to what would have been a position devastating to the ANA element. The remaining ACM elements broke contact again, only to reform and gather more experience and trained fighters further down the route. The fourth ACM contact opened up on the lead element with concentrated fire, but Staff Sergeant Gross quickly and effectively responded as he had done in the previous contacts, knowing that he would draw fire upon himself. Immediately to the flank of his vehicle, the major portion of the ambush opened up with an extraordinary amount of heavy machine gun fire. Staff Sergeant Gross, while fully exposed, quickly and effectively spun his turret and machine gun in the direction of fire and began to engage. The whole time rounds were impacting all around his vehicle and him. He continued to engage without care for his own welfare or safety, his only care being that of his fellow team members. He continued to suppress the well- concealed enemy until aircraft came on station. Staff Sergeant Gross was able to spot and lay down effective fire so the aircraft knew where to fire to completely eliminate the enemy threat. The ODA intercepted ACM communications that again said they were reorganizing at a location that they had success within the past. Staff Sergeant Gross demanded that the ODA continue on and finish the enemy. As the ODA entered the Cakyan Ghar Valley, the ACM element opened up on the lead element as before with extraordinary volumes of machine gun, RPG, and AK-47 fire. Staff Sergeant Gross immediately pinpointed and engaged this highly trained, numerically superior, and well-equipped ACM force that the ODA had been dealing with and pursuing for the past thirty hours. Staff Sergeant Gross continued to engage without care for his own life. His only concerns were for the care of his fellow team mates and trying to eliminate, or draw some of the fire from those machine gun positions that had the lead element pinned down. No sooner had Staff Sergeant Gross begun to engage the well-emplaced enemy positions, when the rest of the ACM ambush opened up with an enormous amount of fire on the entire element. Within minutes Staff Sergeant Gross was the only machine gunner still in operation and engaging in the fierce enemy with pinpoint accuracy by himself. Staff Sergeant Gross played an instrumental role in the ability of other members of the team to move Staff Sergeant Falkel's body down from his turret by placing high volumes of fire on the enemy forces with hopes to draw fire away from Staff Sergeant Falkel's vehicle and onto his own position. He continued to engage without care for his own welfare or safety, his only care being that of his fellow team members. Staff Sergeant Gross single handedly continued to lay down heavy volumes of fire on the well-emplaced positions while receiving heavy volumes of fire on his positions until the whole element was able to move to a place of protection from the enemy fire. The following morning, the element began its final pursuit of the ACM forces in the Marah Valley. The element didn't get thirty minutes down the route when the ODA made its sixth contact with the highly trained enemy force. Once again, Staff Sergeant Gross quickly fixed the enemy positions and engaged them with pinpoint accuracy allowing the trail vehicle to pick up an engage in the same fashion. This was instrumental in the element being able to clear the pass and make link up with the ground quick reaction force (QRF). Within minutes of link up and movement with the QRF element, the seventh contact began with what would turn out to be the largest, most violent ACM force of all the contacts that the ODA had faced in the prior fifty-six hours. Staff Sergeant Gross quickly fixed and began to lay down heavy volumes of fire on the ACM element that opened up on the lead element with extraordinary volumes of machine gun, RPG, and AK-47 fire. Staff Sergeant Gross' vehicle was quickly struck by ordinance that knocked him back of his machine gun, within seconds he quickly gained control of his machine gun and once again began to fiercely lay down fire so the rest of his element could clear the choke point at which the enemy had directed tremendous amounts of fire. His continuous engagement without concern for his own well being allowed the heavily suppressed elements to get to positions of better cover and his relentless punishment to the enemy while fully exposed later caused them to retreat. Staff Sergeant Gross willfully and voluntarily chose to serve in Operation ENDURING FREEDOM supporting his fellow soldiers, the legitimate Government of Afghanistan, and the United States of America in the global war on terror. The distinctive accomplishments of Staff Sergeant Gross reflect great credit upon himself, the Combined Joint Special Forces Operations Task Force-Afghanistan and the United States Army.
Born: at Indiana 
Home Town: Indiana


GROVER, MARK
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Mark Grover, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 3d Platoon, Company A, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3d Brigade, 2d Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 5 April 2007, in Iraq. Without regard for his personal safety, Staff Sergeant Grover braved a hail of enemy bullets to rescue Soldiers, directed fire-fighting efforts, and prepared his men for an enemy counter-attack. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect the highest credit upon himself, the 2d Infantry Division, and the United States Army. 

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: 
Staff Sergeant Mark E. Grover distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous acts in the performance of outstanding service to the United States as Vehicle Commander, 3d Platoon, Attack Company, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division, on 5 April 2007 during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. On 5 April 2007, Staff Sergeant Grover, while escorting the Attack Company Commander to the PJCC, responded to the aid of U.S. Soldiers in contact and their catastrophically disabled Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV) in Old Baqubah in the Diyala Province. Staff Sergeant Grover's section of Strykers was the first Coalition unit to arrive on the scene. Concerned with the security and needing to facilitate recovery of the vehicle and its crew, he positioned his vehicles to the east and west, creating effective blocking positions. While enemy fire impacted around the BFV, Staff Sergeant Grover grabbed a fire extinguisher, dismounted and maneuvered into the kill zone. Dodging a spray of bullets, Staff Sergeant Grover found four dismounted and visibly disoriented Soldiers from the BFV section standing in the open. Taking control of the situation, Staff Sergeant Grover ordered the survivors back to the remaining BFV for cover and to secure all of the fire extinguishers they could find. Immediately, .50 caliber RWS suppressed the building where the contact was originating, effectively reducing the threat. After being informed that there was a Soldier still trapped inside the flame-engulfed BFV crew compartment, Staff Sergeant Grover took off his kit, IBA, and helmet, and jumped up onto the BVF. He first checked the driver's hatch, but was unable to see into the crew compartment. He then climbed on the turret; he could not get the commander's hatch to open all the way. Maneuvering to the gunner's hatch, he peered inside but the smoke was too thick to see the trapped Soldier. With one opening remaining on the BFV's top, Staff Sergeant Grover made his way to the TOW (loading) hatch which incidentally had already been blown open, and jumped in. Although blinded by thick smoke, he located the casualty and attempted to lift him, but the Soldier's body would not budge as the heat and flames had seared him to the troop bench. Certain that the soldier was dead, Staff Sergeant Grover struggled with the body for approximately ten seconds until is own need for oxygen and the belief that he was on fire forced him to climb out of the BFV. Emerging from the flames, Staff Sergeant Grover took a few deep breaths and informed the gathering of Soldiers that the BFV crew member was deceased. Identifying that the only hope for recovering the body rested in the group's ability to extinguish the fire, Staff Sergeant Grover once again instructed the assembling first responders to retrieve fire extinguishers and water. Believing that a burning bongo truck next to the BFV was the source of the fire, Staff Sergeant Grover had the remaining BFV crew turn off the vehicle's engine and then hook up and tow the BFV several meters away. With the first responders organized and executing the recovery effort, Staff Sergeant Grover once again jumped on top of the Bradley and worked to douse the flames with a fire extinguisher, but at this point, the vehicle's basic load of 7.62 coax and 25-mm. ammunition began to cook off. Unable to safely continue the recovery effort, Staff Sergeant Grover dismounted the BFV. Within moments a fire truck arrived and its crew worked feverishly to extinguish the fire. Feeling the effects of smoke inhalation, Staff Sergeant Grover returned to his vehicle and checked to ensure that his men were properly emplaced and ready for any enemy counterattack. Staff Sergeant Grover's actions are a true testament to the Army standard of never leaving a fallen comrade. His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect distinct credit upon himself, this Command, and the United States Army.
Home Town: Poulsbo, Washington


GRUIDL, MATTHEW T.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Matthew T. Gruidl, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in connection with military operations against a hostile force in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Sergeant First Class Gruidl distinguished himself while serving as Platoon Sergeant of 2d Platoon, Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, Third Air Defense Artillery, from 27 January to June 2003. On 22 March 2003, Task Force 2-7 Infantry made contact with Iraqi Forces in As Samawah, Iraq. Sergeant First Class Gruidl willingly and without orders volunteered to reestablish linkup for a lost and separated portion of Task Force 2-7 convoy that was receiving small-arms fire. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Sergeant First Class Gruidl continually exposed himself to hostile fire while using his Bradley Linebacker to shield the lost convoy against sporadic AK-47 fire as he led it out of the hostile area to safety and reestablished linkup with the remainder of the Task Fore 2-7 Tactical Operations Center. Numerous rounds of small-arms fire hit his Bradley Linebacker with one round striking his combat vehicle crewman helmet. On 24 March 2003, Alpha Battery was ambushed while securing Objective JENKINS by a large Iraqi infantry force. Sergeant First Class Gruidl maneuvered his Bradley Linebacker toward four Iraqi soldiers hiding in a ditch. The Iraqi soldiers immediately exited the ditch, and one ran around the rear of his platoon leader's track. Almost immediately, one of the Iraqi soldiers leapt onto the platoon leader's Bradley Linebacker. Without hesitation, Sergeant First Class Gruidl engaged the Iraqi soldier with a burst of .50-caliber rounds that removed the Iraqi soldier from the platoon leader's vehicle. His quick action saved the lives of the three-man crew. During the seizure of Objective LIONS (Saddam International Airport) on 4 April 2003, Sergeant First Class Gruidl contributed to the stustainment of platoon operations, which enable the only Air Defense Artillery elements at Objective LIONS to successfully complete their mission. His actions at Objective LIONS directly affected his platoon's success. Sergeant First Class Gruidl's selfless service and dedication to the mission were exemplary. His person courage and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of military services and reflected great credit upon himself, the Third Infantry Division, and the US Army.

 

HALL, DANNY R.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Danny R. Hall, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as the Medical Sergeant for Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 041 (ODA-041), 2d Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne). In action against the enemy at Balad Ruz, Iraq, on 4 April 2005, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, 06-08. Sergeant First Class Hall's personal bravery and selfless actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), and the United States Army. 

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: 
Sergeant First Class Danny R. Hall distinguished himself by gallantry and intrepidity in action against enemy forces near Tawhilla, Iraq on 4 April, 2005 while serving as the Medical Sergeant for Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 041 (ODA- 041), 2d Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Sergeant First Class Hall's heroism and bravery under intense enemy fire was directly responsible for the safety and well being of a combined 140-man US-Iraqi force and the death of 3 Anti Iraqi Forces (AIF) members. While searching for an AIF training camp/cache site in the vicinity of Balad Ruz, the combined force was caught in a 150 meter long L-Shaped ambush by a platoon-sized force simultaneously firing Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG), mortars, PKMs, AK-47s and throwing hand grenades. The combined force broke contact and called for air support. After an initial air strike by F-16 aircraft armed with 500-pound GBUs, the Iraqi Army (IA) element attacked across the objective, immediately receiving enemy fire. The enemy's withering fire wounded numerous soldiers, and restricted the ability to of the Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) to call further Close Air Support. Quickly recognizing the need for action and in an attempt to maintain order and discipline among the Iraqi forces facing overwhelming firepower, Sergeant First Class Hall sprung into action to destroy the AIF fighters and recover wounded Iraqi soldiers. Sergeant First Class Hall, as the senior man of the element, dismounted his vehicle and maneuvered the ODA and attachments against enemy forces. Personally leading the charge, Sergeant First Class Hall exchanged multiple hand grenade volleys with the enemy while being engaged at close range by RPG's and small arms fire. Sergeant First Class Hall then directed his element to enter a nearby trench where they discovered three AIF fighters. Sergeant First Class Hall, the lead man in the element, reacted quickly and engaged the enemy, killing three AIF and saving the lives of the Detachment members behind him. While clearing another portion of the trench line, a number of U.S soldiers assigned to the 1-278th Military Transition Team received debilitating wounds. The Operations Sergeant ordered suppressive fire and attempted to recover one of the American soldiers. The AIF attempted to capitalize on this situation and directed additional small arms and grenade fire at the wounded soldier. Again, Sergeant First Class Hall reacted without regard to his personal safety. Under intense enemy fire, Sergeant First Class Hall moved to the wounded soldier and assisted in his evacuation. Sergeant First Class Hall then called for litters and litter crews, established a Helicopter Landing Zone and casualty collection point while under fire and stayed with the fallen soldiers, rendering lifesaving aid until aircraft arrived. He supervised and prioritized the evacuation of the multiple wounded and killed in action throughout the day. Sergeant First Class Hall's actions were in keeping with the finest traditions of a Special Forces Medic, serving as both a rifleman and a combat medic. His demonstrated exceptional heroism, selflessness and lifesaving medical competence proved infectious to the entire ODA as he rallied his comrades in the face of overwhelming enemy firepower. Throughout the engagement, Sergeant First Class Hall's decisiveness, calm demeanor and aggressive spirit allowed the ODA to close with and destroy the enemy elements, to include 17 AIF Killed in Action, 5 destroyed vehicles and numerous weapons. Sergeant First Class Hall's actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of heroic military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the Special Operations Command Central, and the United States Army.


HALL, RASHE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Rashe Hall, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with First Platoon, Company B, 27th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Airborne), in action against the enemy during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan, on 21 August 2006. Staff Sergeant Hall's personal bravery and selfless actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army. 

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: 
Staff Sergeant Rashe Hall bravery and heroism in his action on 21 August 2006, while conducting a route clearance patrol from Naka, Afghanistan in support of Task Force Catamount and operation Sadra Omnyat. First Platoon, Company B, 27th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Airborne) was ambushed by approximately 20 enemy combatants with approximately seven rounds of RPG-9 and a heavy volume of small arms fire. RPGs achieved four direct hits on three vehicles, totally destroying two M1114s and seriously damaging the RG-31. The enemy forces emplaced themselves in four or five covered and concealed positions and attacked in platoon strength approximately 100 meters from the convoy's position. One ACM ran onto the roadway and directed an RPG-9 at an M1114 from a distance of 25 meters. The ACMs were well equipped wearing BDU style uniforms and armed with AK-47s, RPG9 and crew served weapons systems. Their morale and motivation seemed high given their decision to attack a heavily armed Route Clearance Package. The terrain the enemy chose for the ambush favored the attacker. The wooded terrain made it extremely difficult for U.S. Forces to see the enemy positions and provided excellent cover and concealment for the ACMs. The ambush kill zone chosen by the enemy was extremely steep and wooded with a wadi on one side of the road (west) and a hill on the other (east) side. These factors canalized B Company forces and limited our ability to deploy and repel their attack as they engaged from covered and concealed positions. Additionally, the patrol took nine casualties out of the 17 U.S. Soldiers present during the initial barrage, limiting our ability o fix the ACM forces. The weather was clear and hot with the temperature in the mid 80s. As Staff Sergeant Hall entered the kill zone, the enemy initiated the ambush with RPG-9 rounds, hitting the first M1114 in the order of march. The vehicle became disabled after traveling approximately 40 meters and caught fire. The enemy continued to engage 1st Platoon with RPGs and small arms fire from both sides of the road. Six more RPGs were fired, one struck an RG-31 and the other struck the left rear window of the M1114 in which Staff Sergeant Hall was a passenger, missing his head by only inches. The blast of the RPG caused severe shrapnel wounds and burns to the left side of his face and neck as well as serious shrapnel wounds that left his arm useless. The shrapnel from the RPG cut the straps from his AHC, tearing it from his head, and a large piece of shrapnel also impacted the front plate on his IBA. Staff Sergeant Hall was on fire and rolled out of the vehicle into the wadi. Once the flames on this clothing and face were extinguished, Staff Sergeant Hall ran back up onto the road and took a weapon (M-4) from Specialist Koch, the platoon medic. Although severely wounded and without a helmet or IBA and bleeding profusely from his face and neck and also without use of his right arm, Staff Sergeant Hall not only returned fire but charged up the hill towards the enemy positions in an attempt to break up the ambush and get his Soldiers out of the kill zone. His suppressive fire prevented enemy forces from effectively engaging Soldiers in the kill zone. Staff Sergeant Hall then returned to the temporary casualty collection point and instead of receiving first aid for his own wounds, began assisting t he medic by treating his wounded Soldiers. Enemy fire intensified again and Staff Sergeant Hall then took another weapon from Specialist Urdhal and continued to provide suppressive fire while the wounded were walked out of the kill zone behind the cover of the Husky. Staff Sergeant Hall once again, this time with Specialist Leach in support, bravely ran up the hill towards the enemy positions, providing suppressive fire, while the wounded were cross loaded into the three remaining vehicles. At the rally point, Staff Sergeant Hall conferred with Staff Sergeants Barrett and Cornelius and only after being assured that all of his Soldiers were accounted for, was the last man loaded in a vehicle for the return trip to the FOB. On the return trip to the FOB he continued to monitor the status of his casualties on the radio. This was an increasingly difficult task because his face was swelling and blood was pouring into his throat. Staff Sergeant Hall's bravery and personal sacrifice prevented enemy forces from continuing their assault on our forces. With nine wounded Soldiers out of 17 in the patrol, every Soldier was performing first aid on somebody. Staff Sergeant Hall saw the seriousness of the situation and acted to suppress the enemy positions allowing the wounded to be evacuated. His actions allowed a combat ineffective RCP to extricate itself from a prepared ambush location, saving the lives of his Soldiers. It is unknown how many ACM were killed or wounded during this attack and the site was later secured by elements of Company D, 2d Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment
Born: at New York, New York
Home Town: Ventura, California
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart


*HARKINS, JASON (KIA)
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Jason Harkins, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 3d Platoon, Company A, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3d Brigade, 2d Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 17 March 2007, in Iraq. Staff Sergeant Harkins' squad was ambushed and several Soldiers were initially wounded during the ensuing fire fight. Staff Sergeant Harkins, wounded himself, organized a perimeter to gain fire superiority which defeated insurgent forces, and conducted casualty evacuation for three wounded soldiers.
Home Town: Clarksville, Georgia
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart
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HARRIMAN, ANDREW SCOTT
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Andrew Scott Harriman, Specialist, U.S. Army, for gallantry in action as R & S Medic with Troop C, 5th Squadron, 73d Cavalry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division, while under intense machine gun fire, by providing life saving medical care to a fellow Paratrooper on 5 March 2007, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Specialist Harriman's bravery is in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflects marked distinction upon himself, the 3d Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Task Force HEADHUNTER, the 82d Airborne Division, and the United States Army. 

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: 
Specialist Andrew S. Harriman distinguished himself through his gallantry in combat as a Platoon Medic, C Troop, 5th Squadron, 73d Cavalry (Airborne Reconnaissance), FOB CALDWELL, Iraq, on 5 March 2007 during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Specialist Harriman was moving dismounted with an R & S team from 1st Platoon, B Troop, in an extremely hostile area of the Diyala River Valley, in order to conduct Omni-Sense emplacement and reconnaissance of As Sadah. Enemy insurgents were dug in with machine gun positions, pre-positioned IED's on their exfiltration routes and mannequins in the windows of the village to appear as if the buildings were occupied. The R & S team began their movement from the Iraqi Army compound in Al Abarrah. Specialist Harriman and the R & S team were infiltrating south along Route Canal in a staggered column when they came under intense machine gun fire from the Iraqi Police Station on the north side of the canal adjacent to their position. The R & S team quickly sought cover. One of the soldiers moved to a mound of dirt on the road for cover, but before he could take cover he was shot multiple times through his buttocks, scrotum, and legs. Both of his femoral arteries were severed causing life- threatening bleeding. Sergeant Cole and Sergeant Grimsley attempted to move to the wounded Private First Class' location and provide aid but both were pinned down by the accurate, intensifying machine gun fire. Specialist Harriman, without orders and without regard for his own safety, moved in the open over 100 feet under a hail of machine gun fire to reach the wounded Private First Class. Rounds were striking his body armor and medical bag as he moved yet he courageously pressed on. Multiple rounds hit his aid bag destroying much of his medical supplies. Specialist Harriman treated the wounded man while lying prone, emplacing two tourniquets high on his legs and initiating a Fast-1 IV through the wounded man's sternum, all while under intense direct fire. The Quick Reaction Force arrived from the north causing the Iraqi Police to cease fire when they realized they had been firing on coalition forces. Once the firing stopped, the R & S team and the QRF quickly moved back to the Iraqi Army compound and established the Helicopter Landing Zone for MEDEVAC. Specialist Harriman's heroic actions and resolve under fire were directly responsible for saving the life of a fellow Paratrooper. His courage under fire is in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflects distinct credit upon himself, the 3d Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Task Force HEADHUNTER, the 82d Airborne Division, and the United States Army.
Home Town: Largo, Florida


*HARRIMAN, STANLEY LORN (KIA)
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Stanley Lorn Harriman, Chief Warrant Officer 2, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company A, 3d Battalion, 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne), during combat operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, on 2 March 2002, during Operation ANACONDA, in Afghanistan.
Born: November 1, 1967 at Springfield, Missouri
Home Town: Wade, North Carolina
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), 3@ Army Commendation Medals, Purple Heart
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HERNANDEZ, ABRAM
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Abram Hernandez, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as the Engineer Sergeant for Operational Detachment Alpha 765 (ODA-765), Company A, 2d Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), during combat operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, on 24 June 2006, at Pashmul, Kandahar, Afghanistan. Sergeant Hernandez’ heroic actions and dedication to duty defeated an enemy attack, saved the lives of his comrades, and prevented the destruction of his team. His actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, the Combined Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan, Special Operations Command Central, and the United States Army.

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD
Sergeant First Class Abram Hernandez, United States Army, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry in action as the Engineer Sergeant for Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 765, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. On 24 June 2006, while conducting Operation KAIKA, a cordon and search mission to capture or kill Taliban leadership in Panjawi District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, Sergeant Hernandez was assigned to lead the assault element as part of an effort to seize a compound located on key terrain adjacent to the detachment’s perimeter. As his element prepared for the assault, he came under heavy fire from several directions. Sergeant Hernandez and his small assault force entered and quickly cleared the compound. Under the direction of his Team Sergeant, he assisted in organizing a defensive perimeter. An unexpectedly large Taliban Force immediately counterattacked, surrounded the compound, and established positions as near as 15 meters from the outside walls. The estimated 50 Taliban fighters began pounding the compound from all directions with a relentless barrage of small arms, machinegun and rocket-propelled grenade fires. Sergeant Hernandez scaled a six-meter unstable homemade ladder to the top of a wall in order to engage enemy targets outside the compound. From this precarious position he was able to provide accurate suppressive fires on Taliban elements attempting to close on an isolated support by fire position as well as his own. To engage the enemy, Sergeant Hernandez had to expose his upper body above the top of the wall, causing the Taliban to concentrate their fires on Sergeant Hernandez. From this exposed position, he repeatedly fired on the enemy and evaded incoming machinegun fire and rocket-propelled grenade explosions. A two-story building adjacent to the compound provided the enemy a vantage point to fire directly into the compound at the rear of Sergeant Hernandez’ perch. While enemy bullets tore at the front of the wall around him, and began striking against the inside of the wall around his completely exposed back, Sergeant Hernandez refused to reposition himself. While vulnerable to enemy fires, he shifted fires to support the arrival of a quick reaction force, attempted to suppress the enemy closing on the isolated support by fire position, and engaged the enemy directly attacking the compound. When the quick reaction force departed the compound to recover the two wounded Soldiers at the support by fire position, Sergeant Hernandez concentrated his fires to support their movement from the compound, ignoring enemy fighters nearby who were firing directly at him. The accurate enemy fires from behind him began to dismantle the unstable ladder. A machinegun burst shredded one of the legs and the top part of the ladder, causing Sergeant Hernandez to lose his balance as it collapsed to one side. He was able to maintain his position by balancing himself with one leg propped against an adjacent wall at a corner. He still refused to seek cover, and continued providing accurate, sustained, suppressive fires atop his now disintegrating ladder. The Team Sergeant then instructed Sergeant Hernandez to leave the compound to link-up with the quick reaction force and assist them in recovering the wounded. Sergeant Hernandez slipped out of the compound, maneuvered 200 meters through Taliban fighting positions while receiving heavy fire, and located the isolated quick reaction force. While attempting to organize the element, he learned that his Team Sergeant had been seriously injured at the compound. He immediately returned to the compound, crossing the same 200 meters he had just covered, again while under heavy direct fire from Taliban fighters. He bounded from one covered position to the next before sprinting the last portion through a hail of machinegun fire to reach his wounded comrade. He attempted life-saving measures on his Team Sergeant then reorganized the faltering defense. He ran through the compound, positioning weapons systems, directing fires, and motivating the remaining Afghan Soldiers. His leadership and fearless personal example inspired the defenders to regain the initiative and continue to repel the Taliban assaults. After the Reaction Force arrived with the wounded, Sergeant Hernandez then assisted with the direction of fires from supporting AC-130 gunships, the medical evacuation of the wounded, and reception of an ammunition re-supply. After dark, Sergeant Hernandez and his entire element left the compound and moved undetected through enemy positions to rejoin the detachment at the patrol base. Sergeant Hernandez’ courageous actions and determined spirit not only prevented his small element from being overrun, captured, or destroyed, but decisively engaged and eliminated enemy forces who would have otherwise captured his two wounded comrades. His gallantry, dedication to duty, and selfless sacrifice exemplified the warrior ethos and directly contributed to the detachment seizing the initiative, denying the enemy the use of key terrain, and forcing the Taliban retreat. The heroic accomplishments of Sergeant Hernandez reflect great credit upon himself, the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan, Special Operations Command-Central, and the United States Army.
Home Town: Hidalgo, Texas
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart



HERRING, JAMES B.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to James B. Herring, Chief Warrant Officer Four (CWO-4), U.S. Army, for gallantry and intrepidity in action against enemy forces while serving as the Detachment Commander for Operational Detachment Alpha 2084 (ODA-2084), Special Operations Task Force-North, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 23 December 2006, near Baqubah, Iraq. Chief Warrant Officer Three Herring's heroism and bravery under intense enemy fire was directly responsible for the safety and well being of a combined twenty-three man US-Iraqi force. His actions reflect the highest credit upon himself, the Special Operations Central Command, and the United States Army. 

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: 
Chief Warrant Officer James B. Herring distinguished himself through conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against enemy forces near Baqubah, Iraq on 23 December 2006, while serving as the Detachment Commander for Operational Detachment Alpha 2084 (ODA-2084), Special Operations Task Force-North, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Chief Warrant Officer Three Herring's heroism and bravery under intense enemy fire was directly responsible for the safety and well being of a combined twenty-three man US-Iraqi force. While searching the village of Tahrir for a Sunni-Arab insurgent cell responsible for multiple complex attacks against Coalition Forces operating in the area, the combined force was caught in a complex ambush by approximately twenty insurgents firing machine guns, rifles, and rocket propelled grenades. Chief Warrant Officer Three Herring was the Ground Force Commander and riding in the lead vehicle of the five vehicle patrol. As the convoy moved along a narrow road between two-story buildings, three insurgents opened fire with machine guns on his vehicle. He directed the driver to continue to move forward as the turret gunner engaged and killed the insurgents. As the vehicle moved it was engaged by more than twenty insurgents from a nearby concrete wall from a distance of less than thirty feet. The turret gunner engaged the insurgents with machine gun fire. During this exchange, enemy rounds penetrated the vehicle, critically wounding the driver. As the vehicle came to a stop, Chief Warrant Officer Three Herring observed several insurgents armed with machine guns, firing on his vehicle from a distance of less than fifty meters. Realizing that the turret gunner was facing the opposite direction, Chief Warrant Officer Three Herring dismounted the vehicle and engaged the enemy forces with rifle fire, killing two enemy machine gunners. The ferocity of his action forced the other insurgents to abandon their positions and flee to nearby buildings. An immobilized Iraqi vehicle blocked the remaining convoy vehicles from advancing to support, and Chief Warrant Officer Three Herring's vehicle was alone against the larger enemy force. Chief Warrant Officer Three Herring then realized that the driver was critically wounded, immobile, and in need of immediate medical care. With complete disregard for his personal safety and under constant well-aimed small arms and machine gun fire, and a volley of rocket propelled grenades, Chief Warrant Officer Three Herring exited the relative safety of the vehicle for a second time. He was knocked to the ground by the concussion of an impacting rocket propelled grenade, but got up and continued to fire and maneuver, alone, with only his vehicle gunner to provide suppressive fire to get to the driver' s side. There he removed the wounded driver from the vehicle, and after placing him in the rear seat so that the medic could continue treatment, he climbed into the driver's seat, advised his higher headquarters of the situation, called for medical evacuation, and began to maneuver the vehicle out of the kill zone. Though the heavily damaged ballistic windshield obscured his view, Chief Warrant Officer Three Herring led the combined ground assault force through the narrow side streets of Tahrir and back to Forward Operating Base Gabe. As a result of his decisive and heroic actions, Chief Warrant Officer Three Herring swung the tide of the engagement against a prepared enemy, killing many, and preventing other members of the combined force from being killed or wounded. His gallant action and total disregard for his personal well being directly saved the other four men in his vehicle from certain serious injury or death. Chief Warrant Officer Three Herring's actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of heroic military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the Special Operations Task Force-North, Special Operations Command Central, and the United States Army.
Home Town: Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina


HESTER, LEIGH ANN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Leigh Ann Hester, Sergeant, U.S. Army, for exceptionally valorous achievement during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 20 March 2005, in Iraq. Sergeant Hester's heroic actions in Iraq contributed to the overwhelming success of the Multi-National Corps-Iraq mission. While serving as the Team Leader for RAVEN 42B in the 617th Military Police Company, 503d Military Police Battalion (Airborne), 18th Military Police Brigade, Sergeant Hester led her soldiers on a counterattack of anti-Iraqi Forces (AIF) who were ambushing a convoy with heavy AK-47 assault rifle fire, PRK machine gun fire, and rocket propelled grenades. Sergeant Hester maneuvered her team through the kill zone into a flanking position where she assaulted a trench line with grenades and M-203 rounds. She then cleared two trenches with her Squad Leader where she engaged and eliminated 3 AIF with her M-4 rifle. Her actions saved the lives of numerous convoy members. Sergeant Hester's bravery is in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflects distinct credit upon herself, the 503d Military Police Battalion (Airborne), the 18th Military Police Brigade, and the United States Army. 

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: 
Sergeant Leigh A. Hester is cited for conspicuous gallantry in action against an armed enemy of the United States while engaged in military operations involving conflict with anti Iraq forces (AIF) as a team leader for Raven 42B, 617th Military Police Company, 503rd Military Police Battalion (Airborne) stationed at Camp Liberty, Iraq on 20 March 2005, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. The team's mission was to assist Raven 42 in searching the Eastern Convoy Route for improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and provide additional security to sustainment convoys traveling through their area of responsibility. While patrolling Alternate Supply Route (ASR) Detroit, Raven 42B was shadowing a sustainment convoy consisting of 30 third country national (TCN) semi-tractor trailers with a three vehicle squad size escort, call sign Stallion 33, traveling from LSA (logistics support area) Anaconda to CSC (convoy support center) Scania. The weather for this ASR patrol was 75 degrees and sunny with a 10 knot breeze from the southwest. While traveling on ASR Detroit approximately 50 AIF ambushed the convoy with heavy AK47 fire, RPK heavy machine gun fire, and rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) from the southwest side of the road at 1140 hours. The AIF were utilizing irrigation ditches and an orchard for the well planned complex attack. The AIF had cars combat parked along a road perpendicular to the ASR with all doors and trunks open. The AIF intent was to destroy the convoy, to inflict numerous casualties, and to kidnap several TCN drivers or U.S. Soldiers. The initial ambush disabled and set on fire the lead TCN vehicle, which effectively blocked the southbound lanes of ASR Detroit, stopping the convoy in the kill zone. The squad leader, Staff Sergeant Timothy Nein, directed the squad to move forward, traveling on the right shoulder and passing through the engagement area between the enemy and the convoy. Sergeant Hester directed her gunner to provide heavy volumes of MK 19 and M240B fires into the field where an overwhelming number of insurgents were executing a well coordinated ambush on the convoy. Raven 42 elements were outnumbered five to one. Staff Sergeant Nein ordered the squad to flank the insurgents on their right side. The squad continued to come under heavy machine gun fire and rocket propelled grenade fire when Sergeant Hester stopped her vehicle, the middle vehicle, at a flanking position enfilading the trench line and the orchard field where over a dozen insurgents were engaging the squad and convoy. She then directed her gunner to focus fires in the trench line and the orchard field. Sergeant Hester dismounted and moved to what was thought to be the non-contact side of the vehicle. She ordered her gunner to continue to fire on the orchard field as she and her driver engaged insurgents in the orchard field with small arms. Sergeant Hester began engaging the insurgents with her M203 in order to suppress the heavy AIF fire. Sergeant Hester followed Staff Sergeant Nein to the right side berm and threw two well placed fragmentation grenades into the trench eliminating the AIF threat. Sergeant Hester and Staff Sergeant Nein went over the berm into the trench and began clearing the trench with their M4s. Sergeant Hester engaged and eliminated three AIF to her front with her M4. They then made their way to the front trench and cleared that as well. After clearing the front trench cease fire was called and she began securing the ambush site. The final result of the ambush was 27 AIF KIA (killed in action), 6 AIF WIA (wounded in action), and one AIF captured.
Home Town: Bowling Green, Kentucky


HIBNER, DAN
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Dan Hibner, Captain (Corps of Engineers), U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Commanding Officer of Company A, 10th Engineer Battalion, 3d Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 7 April 2003, in Iraq. When the 3d Infantry Division conducted the final attack on Baghdad, Captain Hibner's unit was a lead element, attacking to breach obstacles on the only feasible avenues of approach that led into the city center and Saddam's Palaces, establishing a deliberate breach from the west.
Home Town: Booneville, Missouri
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HIBNER, DAVE
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Dave Hibner, Captain (Corps of Engineers), U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Commanding Officer of Company D, 10th Engineer Battalion, 3d Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 7 April 2003, in Iraq. When the 3rd Infantry Division conducted the final attack on Baghdad Captain Hibner's company with infantry scouts attached was a lead element, attacking 5 kilometers into enemy territory to breach obstacles on the only feasible avenues of approach that led into the city center and Saddam's Palaces. Though wounded in the final hours of fighting to seize Baghdad, he never left his unit.
Home Town: Booneville, Missouri
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart
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HILLIARD, JON M.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Jon M. Hilliard, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action. Staff Sergeant Hilliard heroically distinguished himself by valorous conduct in the face of the enemy of the United States, as Weapons Squad Leader, Company B, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division, in Baqubah, Iraq, on 24 March 2007, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Staff Sergeant Hilliard's actions and his demeanor were truly inspirational to those present throughout these actions. His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, this Command, and the United States Army. 

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: 
Staff Sergeant John M. Hilliard heroically distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous conduct in the face of the enemy of the United States, as Weapons Squad Leader, Company B, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, in Baqubah, Iraq, on 24 March 2007, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. On the morning of 24 March, 3d Platoon, Bravo Company, 5-20 Infantry had a Stryker hit an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) while traveling through the Mufrek Traffic Circle to participate in a company clearance operation of a volatile neighborhood to establish an Iraqi Security Force Combat Outpost. The IED blast initiated a deadly SAF ambush, disabled the Stryker causing a catastrophic kill, and resulted in seven Soldiers wounded. Staff Sergeant Hilliard was riding in the rear right air guard batch when a deep buried IED detonated on the vehicle, igniting the rear in flames and ejecting him on top of the vehicle. Staff Sergeant Hilliard sustained multiple injuries to his left leg, but immediately refocused his attention to his Soldiers. As he looked down in the hatch, the ramp door was blown off and smoke had filled the troop compartment. As Soldiers arrived to assist in CASEVAC, B33 Stryker received sustained volleys of accurate and deadly machine gun fire. Staff Sergeant Hilliard's M-203 was blown off the vehicle and he had no weapon when chaos exploded on the intersection. As he was about to dismount the destroyed vehicle he saw a M-240B was tangled in the sniper camouflage netting. With little regard for his own personal safety, Staff Sergeant Hilliard used his knife to cut free the M-240B and grabbed the closest box of ammunition. Single-handedly, he exposed himself on top of the burning Stryker while under accurate machine gun fire for approximately three minutes while the Platoon maneuvered to establish a defensive position for CASEVAC. Staff Sergeant Hilliard effectively suppressed multiple enemy machine gun positions, providing covering fire for the evacuation of the wounded Soldiers as withering enemy fire poured on his position and the aid and litter teams. At this point, Staff Sergeant Hilliard was the only Soldier that had identified the enemy positions and was providing life saving covering fires, which inevitably prevented further casualties. After the Platoon established a defensive cordon around B33, Staff Sergeant Hilliard handed down the machine gun and two ammunition cans and dismounted to gain control of what was left of his squad. Staff Sergeant Hilliard retrieved his M-203 and returned fire with nine rounds of HEDP on two more enemy positions to the North, temporarily silencing them. While accounting for his wounded and sensitive items, he realized the 240B he handed down was now with 1st Platoon. As Staff Sergeant Hilliard moved across a 50 meter open area to retrieve the machine gun, he was engaged by SAF and an RPG, which he again returned fire on as he bounded forward. After Staff Sergeant Hilliard gained control of his machine gun he tried to return to the platoon in order to aid with the CASEVAC, but collapsed. He was no longer able to walk and was MEDEVACED to the CSH on FOB Warhorse for injuries sustained from the IED blast. Staff Sergeant Hilliard's bravery in the face of fire, tireless efforts and selfless service were instrumental in the successful recovery and evacuation of men, weapons, and equipment as well as the destruction of numerous AIF. His actions and his demeanor were truly inspirational to those present throughout these actions. His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, this Command, and the United States Army.
Born: at Chehalis, Washington
Home Town: Winlock, Washington


HOBBS, CRAIG
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Craig Hobbs, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Senior Scout with the Scout Platoon, 4th Battalion, 64th Armored Regiment, 3d Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 3 April 2003, near Karbala, Iraq. In the initial movement into Baghdad, Staff Sergeant Hobbs' platoon made initial contact with Iraqi forces in An Najaf, before moving into Karbala. After leaving Karbala, in movement with the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry regiment, the American forces was ambushed on Route CUBS. Forced to stand and fight in place in the middle of the road after the crew of a tank in front of them abandoned their vehicle, Staff Sergeant Hobbs led his scouts in defeating the enemy force in the ambush zone wherein, had the enemy forces been successful, it would have been devastating for the scouts and for much of the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment.
Home Town: Newfane, New York
If you can help us locate S/Sgt Hobbs' Photo, Citation &/or Narrative, Please E-Mail us.


HOLMES, BRUCE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Bruce Holmes, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Operational Detachment Alpha 324 (ODA-324), Company B, 1st Battalion, 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne), during combat operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, on 25 July 2005, in Afghanistan. Sergeant First Class Holmes' actions and his demeanor were truly inspirational to those present throughout these actions. His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, this Command, and the United States Army. 

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: 
Sergeant First Class Bruce Holmes, United States Army, distinguished himself by exceptional gallantry in action under intense small arms and heavy weapons fire against a well entrenched and numerically superior force as the Detachment Senior Medical Sergeant for Operational Detachment Alpha 324, (ODA-324) Company B, 1st Battalion, 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne), Task Force 31, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan in the village of Syahcow, Oruzgan Province, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on 25 July 2005. Sergeant First Class Holmes, while moving as a lead All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) element to conducting an armed reconnaissance of the town of Syahcow came under intense enemy small arms, RPG, and mortar fire. While moving to interdict enemy combatants attempting to reposition themselves on the high ground west of the village, Sergeant First Class Holmes came under intense AK-47, RPG, and PKM fire and was fixed by enemy fires emanating from a compound on the western side of the town. Sergeant First Class Holmes dismounted from his ATV and returned fire, killing one of his attackers. Moments later Sergeant First Class Holmes was able to reposition to the high ground joining two of his fellow team members. Once he reached the high ground, Sergeant First Class Holmes suppressed an enemy position to the west, again killing one Taliban Fighter. Nearly 20 RPGs exploded around their position yet they chose to hold the key terrain, which effectively cut off the enemy's western egress route out of the village. The three men held this overlook as they continued to receive small arms, RPG, and mortar fire from four other positions. Sergeant First Class Holmes continued to defend until AH-64 support arrived on station. At one point the infantry Quick Reaction Force (QRF), assisting the clearing teams, encountered heavy resistance in the middle of the town. The infantry platoon began to sustain casualties, one mortally wounded. Sergeant First Class Holmes, still under enemy fire, moved from his position toward the platoon in order to render advanced lifesaving aid to wounded US and Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers. On multiple occasions Sergeant First Class Holmes ran under direct enemy fire to treat the wounded and stabilize them for transport. Sergeant First Class Holmes moved casualties to an open field and established an emergency HLZ to bring in additional support and evacuate the wounded. He then moved to the clearing teams, under intense enemy fire, carrying critically needed water so they could continue to fight. Sergeant First Class Holmes joined the fight assisting in advancing the clearing elements front line trace. Simultaneously, Sergeant First Class Holmes directed clearing elements toward pockets of enemy resistance allowing individual elements to mass their fires. Sergeant First Class Holmes without question was personally responsible for saving the lives of his fellow team members, members of the QRF, and the ANA. The distinctive bravery and valor of Sergeant First Class Bruce Holmes during the 14 hour long battle in 115 + degree temperatures, sets him apart. . His efforts contributed to fifteen confirmed enemy KIAs, the capture of fourteen insurgents, and recovery of over thirty light and heavy weapons. His selfless acts of heroism and disregard for his own personal safety reflect great credit upon himself, the 3rd Special Forces Group, the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force- Afghanistan, and the United States Army.


HOLT, WESLEY
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Wesley Holt, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2d Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 29 December, 2004, near Combat Outpost Tampa, in Iraq. Following a massive truck bomb attack that left one American dying and many others wounded, Staff Sergeant Holt's Stryker was ambushed while racing to reinforce Combat Outpost Tampa when it too was attacked from ambush about a half mile from the Outpost. Staff Sergeant Holt and a comrade prepared charges under the cover of the Strykers, then ran out to un-detonated and highly-unstable bombs previously placed by the insurgents. While enemy fire struck around them, the two men prepared their charges, detonating the IEDs and clearing the road.
Home Town: El Dorado County, California
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HOPE, JASON
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Jason Hope, Chief Warrant Officer, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), during combat operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, in Afghanistan, during a hastily executed spring 2005 raid on a fortified Taliban camp in Paktika province that killed a senior regional Taliban commander for southeastern Afghanistan. Chief Warrant Officer Hope distinguished himself by his valorous leadership when, as soon as his team got off the helicopter near the camp, the team came under withering fire from about 20 enemy fighters awaiting with rocket- propelled grenades, AK-47s, and machine guns with armor-piercing bullets. The team fought its way up a ridge overlooking the camp, and then, to reach the stronghold, Chief Warrant Officer Hope led them a flat-out race across 600 yards of open desert.
Home Town: Tulsa, Oklahoma
If you can help us locate CWO Hope's Photo, Citation &/or Narrative, Please E-Mail us.


HORTON, ERIC
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Eric Horton, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as an Intelligence Sergeant in the 3d Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan, during combat operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, in Afghanistan, on 2 July 2006. On that date, Staff Sergeant Horton and his team also faced a large enemy attack. During a mounted mission in the Helmund Province of southern Afghanistan, Staff Sergeant Horton was manning an overwatch position with a heavy sniper rifle when he was warned of a large enemy element attack on his team. He immediately began to fire on the attackers, who under the barrage of sniper fire, were forced to turn their attention to Staff Sergeant Horton's position. Though hundreds of rounds impacted around his position, Staff Sergeant Horton moved through fire to a better vantage point and continued to eliminate Taliban attackers. A second wave of attackers moved to attempt to overrun the main element's positions, and Staff Sergeant Horton continued firing, killing 15 enemies with 30 rounds. He was hit by a machine gun round in the shoulder which knocked him back 10 feet, but he refused aid and moved to a mounted M-240B machine gun and continued destroying enemy targets with his one good arm. He kept firing as team members packed his bleeding wound, and only when ordered to do so did he leave his position. Staff Sergeant Horton is credited with killing 35 insurgents with accurate sniper fire that night.
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart
If you can help us locate SFC Horton's Citation &/or Narrative, Please E-Mail us.



HOWARD, MARK
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Mark Howard, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Medical Sergeant in 3d Battalion, 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne), during combat operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, in Afghanistan. Sergeant First Class Howard was serving in Khowst, Afghanistan, in December 2006 when insurgents began firing at Afghan border police and 52 Afghan security guards. Sergeant First Class Howard fired back from his truck to draw fire away from the others. When his .50-caliber machine gun jammed, he tried to fix it. When he couldn't, he jumped out and got an M240 machine gun from the back of the truck. During the fight, Sergeant First Class Howard was shot in the left side of his neck but continued to stay on for four hours.
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart
If you can help us locate SFC Howard's Citation &/or Narrative, Please E-Mail us.



HUBER, HALDON H.
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Haldon H. Huber, Master Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne), during combat operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, in Afghanistan. On the date of Master Sergeant Huber's heroic actions, gunfire erupted from insurgents, zeroing in on Master Sergeant Huber's patrol in Afghanistan. Without hesitation, he returned fire and then whipped his vehicle around to protect his men. When that wasn't enough, Huber jumped out and fired a 60-mm. mortar so his patrol could get to safety.
Born: at Tifflin, Ohio
Home Town: Tifflin, Ohio
If you can help us locate M/Sgt Huber's Citation &/or Narrative, Please E-Mail us.


HURD, DANIEL E.
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Daniel E. Hurd, Captain, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Company Commander with the 2d Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, in Iraq. Captain Hurd distinguished himself by his gallant leadership in helping Coalition Forces to establish a permanent presence in the Euphrates River Valley.
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IBAN, ISMAEL
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Ismael Iban, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as the Platoon Sergeant of 3d Platoon, Company C, 52d Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 19 February 2007, in Iraq. Sergeant First Class Iban's gallant actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, this Command, and the United States Army. 

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: 
Sergeant First Class Ismael Iban heroically distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous conduct in the face of the enemy of the United States as the Platoon Leader of 3d Platoon, Company C, 52d Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. On 19 February 2007, the Tarmiya JSS, located near Taji, Iraq, was destroyed by an S/VBIED that penetrated the perimeter. 3d Platoon, Company C, 52d Infantry Regiment was in sector approximately 10 km away when a radio transmission from D/2-8 CAV requested immediate support. Without fully comprehending the complexity of the situation, Sergeant First Class Iban ordered his platoon to respond to the Tarmiya JSS. As the platoon entered the outskirts of Tarmiya, they were immediately engaged with enemy small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades from nearby alleys and rooftops. Recognizing that his platoon was the first to respond and the only element in proximity, Sergeant First Class Iban made the decision to lead his platoon through the initial enemy contact and continue movement to the JSS. Observing the chaos in the distance created by a nearly rubbled JSS, engulfed in flames and smoke, the platoon continued movement until they encountered significant debris in the road created by the explosion. Unable to continue mounted, Sergeant First Class Iban with four platoon members dismounted their Strykers and rapidly moved over 75 meters under constant enemy automatic fire impacting around them. Upon arrival at the JSS, Sergeant First Class Iban quickly assessed the situation and established command and control. Conducting initial triage, Sergeant First Class Iban and his men began the necessary prep work that would result in the successful MEDEVAC of over 21 American WIA. Simultaneous to the triage of casualties at the JSS, 3d Platoon Stryker Crews worked under enemy fire to create a lane in the road, clearing debris to allow them to establish a defensive perimeter around the JSS. Upon arrival at the JSS, Sergeant First Class Iban loaded the worst of the casualties onto his vehicle and began the 500 meter movement with his platoon to a nearby HLZ )Helicopter Landing Zone.) Upon arrival at the HLZ, the platoon was hit be a complex attack, simultaneously engaged by seven RPG's and multiple enemy machine gun positions from multiple buildings and the wood line approximately 300 meters away. Immediately ordering his platoon to establish a perimeter to secure the HLZ and engage enemy targets of opportunity, Sergeant First Class Iban, without regard for his own life or safety, dismounted his vehicle with his air guard to provide additional suppressive fire as four MEDEVAC helicopters approached. Maneuvering dismounted with nine critically wounded Soldiers under constant enemy fire, the litter teams bounded 100 meters from the cover of Strykers into the open area to the helicopters as rounds impacted within feet of their position. Sergeant First Class Iban and his litter teams successfully loaded the nine casualties onto the helicopters and moved back to the cover of the Strykers. 3d Platoon, under the leadership of Sergeant First Class Iban, repeated this process several times under intense enemy fire until all 21 American WIA were successfully evacuated from the Tarmiya JSS. Sergeant First Class Iban's steadfast leadership and dauntless presence was instrumental in leading his 12-man platoon to overcome incredible odds presented by the enemy. With absolute decisiveness, calmness under pressure, and personal courage, Sergeant First Class Iban's performance on 19 February 2007 directly contributed to saving of his fellow Soldiers' lives in Tarmiya, Iraq. His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, this Command, and the United States Army.


INCH, NORMAN
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Norman Inch, Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 111th Sapper Company, 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, in Iraq. Sergeant Inch, a combat engineer, was conducting a routine route clearance mission when an improvised explosive device struck another vehicle in his patrol wounding four of his comrades and leaving them trapped inside the vehicle. Without hesitation, Sergeant Inch and his team dismounted from their vehicle, exposing themselves to enemy fire, as they moved to the disabled vehicle to provide aid to the wounded Soldiers. Faced with continuous small arms fire and the threat of around 30 armed insurgents approaching their location, Sergeant Inch instructed his team to return fire at the approaching enemy, killing several of them. Upon arriving at the destroyed vehicle, Inch used his back to hold the heavily-armored, 300-pound door open for nearly 20 minutes as the four wounded Soldiers were removed and carried to a protected area. Sergeant Inch remained vigilant and continued to fire his weapon against approaching enemy forces despite the precarious position of the destroyed vehicle, continual exposure to enemy fire and his own physical efforts to keep the door open.
Home Town: Hutchinson, Kansas
If you can help us locate Sgt Inch's Citation &/or Narrative, Please E-Mail us.


INGRAM, JEFF
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Jeff Ingram, Lieutenant Colonel (Armor), U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Commanding Officer of 2d Battalion, 70th Armored Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 31 March 2003, in Iraq. During the battle to secure Al Hillah, Iraq, on 31 March 2003, Lieutenant Colonel Ingram's unit, attached 101st Airborne Division, was moving on the city to divert the enemy's attention from the 3rd Infantry Division so they could move forward to Karbala. Colonel Ingram's unit encountered dismounted forces and artillery and rocket propelled grenades from a Republican Guard battalion. Colonel Ingram calmly and skillfully directed the efforts of a combined arms task force in destroying the Iraqi battalion as multiple rocket propelled grenades bounced off his tank, massed artillery fire exploded all around and intense small arms fire was directed at him.
If you can help us locate LTC Ingram's Citation &/or Narrative, Please E-Mail us.

 

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