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U.S. Air Force
Awards of the Silver Star

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

 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

 

ACHEY, STEPHEN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Stephen Achey, Technical Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States at the Shahi Hot Valley, Afghanistan, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, on 2 March 2002. On that date, while performing the duties of Enlisted Terminal Attack Controller, 20th Air Support Operations Squadron, 18th Air Support Operations Group, Air Combat Center, Combined Forces Land Component Commander, Company C, 1-87 Battalion, 10th Mountain Division, for Operation ANACONDA, Airman Achey assaulted into heavily defended territory and immediately began taking heavy fire. Hit and thrown, but undeterred by the effects of a mortar round exploding within a few feet of him, Airman Achey returned fire and called for close air support. Unable to contact any aircraft and with his radio now destroyed, Airman Achey braved the intense enemy fire to link up with another controller. Airman Achey contacted a reconnaissance aircraft and relayed his unit's situation to the orbiting command and control aircraft. Airman Achey and the other controller took cover and began deriving coordinates to attack the enemy. Realizing a necessary piece of equipment was left in the line of fire and with complete disregard for his personal safety, Airman Achey boldly ran out to retrieve the equipment. Under a hail of machine gun fire, he gathered the equipment and made it back to cover. The subsequent air strikes suppressed the enemy, allowing the unit to reposition to better ground. Now receiving sniper fire, Airman Achey quickly called a break maneuver, avoiding damage and possible loss of the aircraft and crew. Alternating between radio and his rifle, Airman Achey shored up a hole in the defenses and provided covering fire for the removal of the wounded. During the action, Airman Achey shot and killed three enemy soldiers. Throughout the battle, Airman Achey repeatedly placed himself at risk to assist the wounded. As night fell, Airman Achey orchestrated a gunship and fighter attack that destroyed numerous enemy positions and facilitated the extraction of the wounded. His courageous and aggressive acts against a determined enemy vowing to fight to the death directly affected the outcome of the battle. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Airman Achey has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Home Town: Sumter, South Carolina


BARTLEY, BURT
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Burt Bartley, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force, for his leadership in the rescue of a downed MH-47 helicopter crew during Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan in March 2002. (Bartley commanded the 354th FS from Eielson AFB, Alaska, at the time.) With survivors pinned down by enemy fire, two orbiting F-15E crews out of ordnance, and flying in mountainous terrain under constant small arms fire, Bartley made two strafing runs to help neutralize enemy positions and allow survivors to find cover and care for the wounded. After refueling, he immediately returned to the site, coordinated with the ground forward air controller, and conducted a series of bombing runs, closing to within one hundred meters of the crash site. Bartley protected the survivors for more than two hours. He ensured that two critically injured soldiers were safely airlifted out and provided close air support for ground troops and cover for rescue helicopters until reinforcements arrived. His outstanding airmanship in an extreme combat environment led to the recovery of thirty-nine American soldiers
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BRANDENBURG, ERIC, JR.
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Eric Brandenburg, Jr., Technical Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 17th Air Support Operations Squadron, 18th Air Support Operations Group, in support of elements of the U.S. Army's 75th Ranger Regiment, during the opening stages of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM in late March and early April 2003. Sergeant Brandenburg distinguished himself during a 3-day firefight in Iraq as the terminal attack controller noncommissioned officer in charge while attached to a ranger battalion near western Iraq. With rocket-propelled grenades exploding over his head, Technical Sergeant Brandenburg fought off the enemy while requesting and controlling close air support. He moved forward through the intense firefight to get better vantage points to control the air strikes and was actually blown into the air by an exploding artillery shell.
Home Town: Ashland, Kentucky
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BROWN, GABRIEL
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Gabriel Brown, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Combat Controller with the 17th Air Support Operations Squadron, 18th Air Support Operations Group, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM during Operation ANACONDA in Afghanistan on 4 March 2002.
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CAHILL, THOMAS J., JR.
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Thomas J. Cahill, Jr., First Lieutenant, U.S. Air Force, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Helicopter Rescue Pilot of the 66th Rescue Squadron, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM during Operation ANACONDA in Afghanistan on 3 March 2002. On that date First Lieutenant Cahill piloted his HH-60G helicopter in darkness and saved three lives, including that of a critically wounded man a few miles from the Roberts Ridge battle site. While he expertly navigated the flight through enemy-controlled mountainous terrain he was targeted by mortar fire and his aircraft's motor speed began to decay due to the high gross weight and density altitude. If not for Lieutenant Cahill's uncanny skills, it would have continued to decay, resulting in a crash.
Special Order No. 0063
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CASE, THOMAS
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Thomas Case, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 17th Air Support Operations Squadron, 18th Air Support Operations Group, in support of elements of the U.S. Army's 75th Ranger Regiment, during the opening stages of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM in late March and early April 2003. Staff Sergeant Case's Ranger element began receiving small arms and heavy direct fire during a firefight that lasted three days. While engaging the enemy with his personal weapon within 30 meters of his target, he called in close air support and personally directed air strikes. During the onslaught, Staff Sergeant Case was frequently hit by fragments of concrete and shrapnel from the blasts, but continued to control up to 14 aircraft at a time. These attacks punctured his rucksack and often knocked him to the ground.
Home Town: Albuquerque, New Mexico
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COVEL, EARL I.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Earl I. Covel, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, for gallantry in action on 18 June to 19 June 2004 against an armed enemy, while serving as the Tactical Air Control Party from the 5th Air Support Operatios Squadron, for Detachment Alpha 575, Company A, 3d Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). His exceptional devotion to duty and outstanding bravery proved instrumental in the Detachment's successful defense against attacking terrorists. Staff Sergeant Covel's uncommon heroism is in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), and the United States Air Force.
Home Town: Oregon City, Oregon


CROSBY, TRAVIS
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Travis Crosby, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States while serving with the 15th Air Support Operations Squadron, 18th Air Support Operations Group, in Support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 4 April 2005. On that day, Sergeant Crosby served as lead Enlisted Terminal Attack Controller for 3d Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3d Infantry Division. Sergeant Crosby's actions allowed the seizure of Objective Peach, a critical six-lane concrete bridge spanning the Euphrates River that provided the only feasible avenue of approach to Baghdad. As he approached the objective, his vehicle came under heavy enemy attack from a barrage of artillery, mortar, and small arms fire, as well as anti-tank missiles. While actively defending his position, Sergeant Crosby identified enemy soldiers attempting to detonate demolition charges on the bridge. Under intense enemy fire and with complete disregard for his own safety, he directed a flight of A-10 aircraft onto the enemy soldiers' position, killing them and destroying their six trucks, saving the bridge from destruction. Sergeant Crosby then controlled an additional flight of A-10 aircraft providing life-saving cover for an Army engineer team in the river, allowing the task force to safely cross the bridge. Upon crossing, Sergeant Crosby and his team were ambushed by three Iraqi tanks, numerous vehicles and dismounted infantry. The ensuring fire fight was so close that friendly and enemy vehicles were intermingled making identification from the air extremely difficult. Despite the constant rain of fire around his vehicle, Sergeant Crosby was able to successfully empty his .50 caliber machine gun on the enemy soft-skin vehicles killing over 20 enemy personnel while simultaneously directing a precision strike by a flight of A-10s destroying the enemy armor. Shortly thereafter, during a tactical pause, two Republican Guard soldiers closed to within 10 feet of his vehicle. Sergeant Crosby heroically risked life and limb by fully emerging from the protection of his vehicle and fired 15 rounds from his handgun, instantly killing the attacking enemy soldiers. Throughout the 20-hour engagement at Objective Peach, Sergeant Crosby deftly controlled eight flights of aircraft, destroying numerous enemy forces and pieces of warfighting equipment. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Staff Sergeant Crosby has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Home Town: Metter, Georgia


FAIRCHILD, JAMES E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to James E. Fairchild, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force, for gallantry in military operations against an opposing armed force at Shahi Kot Valley, Afghanistan, on 4 March 2002. Flying as Twister 51, Lieutenant Colonel Fairchild contacted Slick 1, who reported they were taking fire from enemy troops 75 meters from their position. Slick 01 requested strafe passes only, due to danger-close friendly troops within minimum risk distances of injury and death from friendly weapons expenditures on enemy locations. Target recognition and accurate delivery were imperative. Twister 51, without regard for his own safety, made four strafe passes at 1,500 feet above ground level, well within the threat envelope of small-arms fire and surface-to-air missiles. Out of high-explosive incendiary ammunition, Twister 51 became the forward air controller-airborne, targeting Twister 52 on four more low-altitude strafe passes employing 20-millimeter ammunition. Twister 51, again acting as forward air controller-airborne, cleared Clash flight into the target area. Due to the expeditious target handoff, Clash 71 was able to make the first strafing pass five minutes after arriving in the target area. With Slick 01's concurrence, Twister flight attempted to walk each of their successive bombs closer to Taliban and al-Qaida forces without injuring United States forces 75 meters away. Twister 52 dropped 400 meters away from the friendly location, followed by Colonel Fairchild, who dropped a single laser-guided bomb 200 meters from the friendly location. By inflicting direct losses to al-Qaida and Taliban forces and subjecting himself to enemy fire to suppress the same and provide cover for downed friendly troops 75 meters from enemy forces, Fairchild's aviation prowess was responsible for the eventual rescue of 23 personnel and for advancing the goals of the United States' war on terrorism. Lieutenant Colonel Fairchild remained on-station for more than five hours, two hours past the scheduled coverage time, combining to make it a 12.3-hour combat sortie with three night and five day air-to-air re-fuelings per fighter.
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INNIS, SCOTT A.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Scott A. Innis, Technical Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States as a Combat Control Journeyman, 22d Expeditionary Special Tactics Squadron, 16th Expeditionary Special Operations Group, Combined Joint Special Operations Command Central, Afghanistan, on 28 March 2006. In support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, Sergeant Innis and the other members of his elite Army Special Forces Detachment, located at a firebase in a heavily contested region of Afghanistan, were suddenly engulfed in a hailstorm of rocket propelled grenade, mortar, heavy machine gun, and small arms fire from three sides. Fully exposed to enemy fire and with total disregard for his own safety, Sergeant Innis scaled a ladder to an observation platform stationed at the center of the small firebase. The field- expedient plywood observation tower was the only structure visible outside the perimeter and a magnet for the bulk of the enemy fire. Despite dwindling cover, he remained perched above the battle guiding a devastating aerial counterattack. A marked man, the enemy quickly zeroes in on his position and was committed to killing him. Yet, with enemy rockets and small arms fire passing within mere inches of his exposed head and body, he continued to perform his duty, successfully utilizing his vast airmanship skills to neutralize the enemy. During the 24-hour pitched battle, Sergeant Innis defeated the enemy through the decisive use of airpower that resulted in the death or injury to over 100 insurgents. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Innis has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


KEEHAN, MICHAEL L., III
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Michael L. Keehan, III, Technical Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States in the Republic of Iraq from 20 March 2003 to 5 April 2003. During this period, as the Battalion Air Liaison Officer, 15th Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron, Support 3d Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division Mechanized of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, Sergeant Keehan's unit was met with fierce enemy resistance in the heavily defended city of As Samawah. While the rest of his unit was protected by armored vehicles, he repeatedly braved heavy fire from outside his soft- skinned vehicle, quickly calling for close air support as artillery began impacting 200 meters all around his position. With complete disregard for his own safety, Sergeant Keehan continued to undauntedly brave incoming artillery and small arms fire to identify enemy positions along the riverbanks and roads, destroying them with devastating bomb and strafing runs, often within 600 meters of friendly positions. Mere days following his first major combat operations, his unit was once again thrust into the jaws of an awaiting enemy. After seizing the bridge at Abu Sakhayr, he drove through a gauntlet of heavy small arms fire in the city, returning automatic fire from his door. Despite enemy fire ripping through his vehicle, his calm demeanor lent valor in the face of imminent peril. In what was to be the decisive battle of the war, enemy armored and paramilitary forces surrounded his unit during the largest sandstorm of the century. As the only available fire support and communications link for his unit and surrounded at night and blinded by sand and raining mud, he orchestrated an almost impossible close air support mission on approaching enemy armor formations, delivering a devastating and paralyzing blow to the numerically superior force. Finally, advancing on the main axis to Baghdad, they were attacked by suicide busses, mortars and the enemy's main tank force. Under intense direct and indirect fire from T-72 tanks, artillery and small arms, he continued to move forward defiantly positioning himself in the face of enemy fire to destroy the enemy force with close air support. Sergeant Keehan repeatedly risked his life for his unit. His courageous acts and selfless devotion to his unit against an armed enemy vowing to fight to the death were directly responsible for total victory and prevented the loss of not a single American life. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Keehan has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Home Town: Denmark, Wisconsin


LENGEL, EDWARD J.
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Edward J. Lengel, Captain, U.S. Air Force, conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 66th Rescue Squadron, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, on 3 March 2002 in Afghanistan. Shortly after dark on that date, Captain Lengel took off in his rescue helicopter to support Special Operations in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan. With one helicopter following his lead, Captain Lengel attempted to rescue American soldiers who were seriously wounded following heavy contact with al Qaida fighters hiding in a cave complex. With his helicopter weighted down with weapons, fuel and soldiers in parachutes, a landing seemed hopeless. Captain Lengel made the decision to dump 1,000 pounds of fuel to lighten the load. After landing, the mission remained dangerous amid constant machine gun and mortar fire. Captain Lengel remained on the ground under fire while rescuers ran 50 feet to recover and load four wounded soldiers. After lifting off, Captain Lengel provided cover fire for the second helicopter to recover additional wounded, and then followed a dry stream bed until he could gain enough speed to lift away from the rocks. Without his impeccable judgment, cool demeanor, and unmatched flying skills, this mission would certainly have ended in disaster.
Special Order No. 0063
Home Town: Nicholson, Pennsylvania
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LLOYD, SEAN W.
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Sean W. Lloyd, Senior Airman, U.S. Air Force, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 20th Air Support Operations Squadron in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan during February and March 2002.
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MARKHAM, WILLIAM "CALVIN"
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to William "Calvin" Markham, Master Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 23d Special Tactics Squadron in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, near Kabul, Afghanistan, from 14 October to 30 November 2001. On 21 October 2001, within forty-eight hours of the detachment's arrival in Afghanistan, Sergeant Markham planned, organized, and led a close air support reconnaissance mission to within two kilometers of the Taliban front line in order to identify potential observation posts from which his team could execute missions. Almost immediately upon arrival, Sergeant Markham's team came under direct enemy fire from tanks, mortars and artillery. Despite heavy incoming fire, in which numerous rounds impacted within fifty to seventy-five meters of his position, Sergeant Markham instinctively and successfully directed multiple close air support sorties against key Taliban leadership positions, command and control elements, fortified positions, and numerous anti-aircraft artillery sites. Throughout this highly successful mission, Sergeant Markham skillfully directed multiple air strikes involving over one hundred seventy-five sorties of both strategic and attack aircraft resulting in the elimination of approximately four hundred and fifty enemy vehicles and over three thousand five hundred enemy troops. The resulting close air support operations were decisive in supporting the Northern Alliance ground offensive, which resulted in the successful liberation of the capital city of Kabul and led to the eventual surrender of hundreds of al Qaeda and Taliban ground forces. Master Sergeant Markham's valor and calmness under enemy fire were a constant source of inspiration to his detachment and General Fahim Khan's Northern Alliance forces. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Markham has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Home Town: Waukeska, Wisconsin


MILLER, KEARY J.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Keary J. Miller, Technical Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while serving with the 123d Special Tactics Squadron, near Marzak, Patkia Province, Afghanistan, on 4 March 2002. On that proud date, Sergeant Miller was the Air Force Combat Search and Rescue Team Leader assigned to a Quick Reaction Force tasked to recover two American servicemen evading capture in austere terrain occupied by massed al Qaida and Taliban forces. Shortly before landing, his MH-47E helicopter received accurate rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire, severely disabling the aircraft and causing it to crash land. Sergeant Miller and the remainder of the assault force formed a hasty defense and immediately suffered four fatalities and five critical casualties. Despite intense enemy fire, he moved throughout the battlefield, crossing open danger areas on numerous occasions, in order to assess and care for critically wounded servicemen. As the battle drew on, Sergeant Miller removed M-203 and 5.56 rounds from the deceased and, in multiple acts of extraordinary courage, proceeded through some of the day's heaviest rocket-propelled grenade, mortar, and small arms fire, while distributing the ammunition from position to position. Shortly thereafter another attack erupted, killing one Pararescueman and compromising the casualty collection point. Sergeant Miller braved the barrage of fire in order to move the wounded to better cover and concealment. His intrepidity and skill led to the successful delivery of ten gravely wounded Americans to life-saving medical treatment and to the recovery of seven servicemen killed in action. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Miller has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Born: at Maxwell, California
Home Town: Goshen, Kentucky


QUESENBERRY, JASON
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Jason Quesenberry, Technical Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 17th Air Support Operations Squadron, 18th Air Support Operations Group, in support of elements of the U.S. Army's 75th Ranger Regiment, during the opening stages of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM in late March and early April 2003. Technical Sergeant Quesenberry distinguished himself during an attack that killed a combat controller and wounded three Army Rangers while assigned to a Ranger team near western Iraq. During the attack, he risked exposure to rocket and small arms fire in order to direct close-air support aircraft and cover his teammates. After being wounded by a rocket he disregarded his injuries and saved his team's only communications link, his radio and Global Positioning System from a burning vehicle. Despite heavy bleeding, Technical Sergeant Quesenberry refused medical treatment so he could continue coordinating air cover as the team moved to a safer position. He then treated the wounded, established a hasty defense and controlled air cover while coordinating their evacuation.
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RAY, KENNETH
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Kenneth Ray, Colonel, U.S. Air Force (Reserve), for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 711th Special Operations Squadron, 919th Operations Group, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM during an air mission over the Sar Sar Palace, Iraq, on 3 April 2003.
Born: at Oxnard, California
Home Town: Boulder, Colorado
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REILLY, BRADLEY T.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Bradley T. Reilly, Technical Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action. Technical Sergeant Reilly distinguished himself by his exceptionally valorous actions as the Combat Controller from the 23d Special Tactics Squadron, 16th Special Operations Wing, assigned to Operational Detachment Alpha 163, Advanced Operational Base 160, forward Operational Base 12, the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM VI, on 11 April 2005. On that date, the detachment responded to a no-notice air Quick Reaction Force (QRF) in direct support of an Anti-Coalition Militia (ACM) ambush. The target was General Khil Baz, the new Border Battalion Commander. The Khowst-Gardez pass (ambush site) is extremely rugged terrain and is a historical ACM ambush site. The detachment loaded two UH-60 aircraft; Technical Sergeant Reilly was in the second aircraft. Upon arrival at the ambush site the detachment was pointed in the direction of ACM egress. Once the aircraft flew over the area, the detachment was able to identify the suspected ACM. Technical Sergeant Reilly's aircraft landed and immediately began receiving a high rate of effective machine gun and small arms fire. The detachment returned fire and assaulted uphill to the enemy position, again while under heavy effective enemy machine-gun fire. The detachment overran the enemy machine gun position through the use of small arms, fragmentary grenades, and 40-mm. grenade fire. Once the detachment secured the enemy position, they began to receive an additional high rate of effective fire from three sides. The ACM forces were extremely close, well supplied, well trained, and dedicated, allowing them to sustain effective fires against the detachment. The majority of enemy fire was coming from down an extremely steep cliff. Immediately Master Sergeant Cooper and Technical Sergeant Reilly assaulted down the cliff in the direction of fire. During the assault, Master Sergeant Cooper was critically wounded in both legs and Technical Sergeant Reilly were pinned down approximately 100 meters down the cliff and isolated from additional detachment members. Even though Technical Sergeant Reilly was shot, he continued to return fire. During the lulls in the heavy machine gun fire, Technical Sergeant Reilly treated Master Sergeant Cooper's wounds, saving his life, and continued to control the rotary wing and fixed wing aircraft, control fires against the enemy forces (2 x AH-64's, 2 @ A-10's, and 2 x UH-60's). After the AH 64's departed the area, the still motivated enemy attempted to overrun Technical Sergeant Reilly and Master Sergeant Cooper's position. Technical Sergeant Reilly, additional detachment members, and a UH-60 provided suppressing fires to the advancing enemy forces, forcing them to retreat to cover ending up approximately 50 meters from Staff Sergeant Day, Master Sergeant Cooper, and Technical Sergeant Reilly's position. Technical Sergeant Reilly provided life saving medical care, controlled aircraft fires, and provided suppressive fires for approximately three hours while being wounded. Throughout this time, they were still receiving effective machine gun fire. At one point, he was willing to have all other USSF move back up hill and call in A-10 ordnance danger close to his position (200 Meters) to save other lives. Due to the stand-alone actions of Technical Sergeant Reilly, his medical expertise, marksmanship skills, and proficiency for controlling aircraft, Master Sergeant Cooper is alive today. The distinctive and life saving actions of Technical Sergeant Reilly reflects great credit upon himself, the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan, and the United States Air Force.


RIECKHOFF, KIRK
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Kirk Rieckhoff, Captain, U.S. Air Force, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 335th Fighter Squadron in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM on an air mission over Afghanistan during Operation ANACONDA on 4 March 200.
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RUSSELL, CHRIS
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Chris Russell, Captain, U.S. Air Force, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 335th Fighter Squadron in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, on an air mission during Operation ANACONDA in Afghanistan on 4 March 2002.
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SHORT, CHRIS
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Chris Short, Major, U.S. Air Force, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 335th Fighter Squadron in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM on an air mission over Afghanistan during Operation ANACONDA on 4 March 200.
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SHROPSHIRE, MICHAEL
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Michael Shropshire, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States at Abu Sukhayr, Iraq, from 20 March 2003 to 25 March 2003. During this period, as the Enlisted Terminal Attack Controller, 15th Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron, supporting 3d Squadron, 7th U.S. Cavalry, 3d Infantry Division Mechanized for Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, Sergeant Shropshire's unit, while securing a key Euphrates River crossing, was immediately surrounded by enemy soldiers and paramilitary forces and began receiving fierce small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades. Surrounded, cutoff, under a hail of enemy gunfire and in the largest sandstorm in four decades, Sergeant Shropshire quickly coordinated close air support while constantly switching from the radio handset to his rifle, personally killing three enemy soldiers at close range. After receiving E-8C cueing, with complete disregard for his own safety and running low on ammunition, he left his armored personnel carrier during the blinding sandstorm to confirm enemy armor locations. While under intense enemy fire, Sergeant Shropshire single-handedly directed the employment of 12 joint direct attack munitions destroying ten T-72 tanks and dismounting enemy forces about to overrun the unit's position. After hastily repairing his bullet ridden satellite antenna and with not time to spare before the enemy reached his position, he quickly coordinated another air strike destroying additional approaching enemy armor. Throughout the battle, Sergeant Shropshire repeatedly placed himself in grave danger while performing his duties. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Shropshire has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Home Town: Crawfordsville, Indiana


STAMEY, TIMOTHY A.
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Timothy A. Stamey, Master Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 18th Air Support Operations Group in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan, during the period 8 November 2001 to 5 January 2002.
Born: at Clarkesville, Georgia
Home Town: Clarkesville, Georgia
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TAYLOR, BRUCE R.
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Bruce R. Taylor, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force (Reserve), for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 711th Special Operations Squadron, 919th Operations Group, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM during an air mission over the Sar Sar Palace, Iraq, on 3 April 2003.
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TOMAT, STEPHEN E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Stephen E. Tomat, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States, while serving with the 18th Air Support Operations Squadron in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, near Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, from 25 October 2001 to 15 December 2001. During this period, Sergeant Tomat and the Special Forces team he was assigned to, accompanied host nation forces in the vicinity of Mazar-e-Sharif. The enemy launched an artillery barrage in an attempt to prevent their passage. Without delay, he determined the enemy position, positively identified the locations of all friendly forces, and called in close air support, destroying one ZSU 23-2, five personnel trucks, a bunker, and numerous enemy personnel. This action opened the Kuh-e-Al Borz Pass allowing friendly forces to push north and facilitate the situation, locate targets, and prepare the battlefield for the host nation assault through the Darya Suf Valley. While under fire, he called in close air support destroying all observed targets while simultaneously protecting the host nation forces allowing them to capture the town of Bai Beche. This attack resulted in the death of a key enemy commander, the capture of another, and the destruction of 150 enemy troops, preventing the enemy from further actions in that area of the operation. On 10 November 2001, Sergeant Tomat and the team entered the city of Mazar-e-Sharif to conduct a Direct Action mission on a hard-line enemy stronghold containing nine hundred enemy soldiers. They stated that they were unwilling to surrender and would fight to the death. Just 380 meters from the enemy position, while under direct small arms fire, Sergeant Tomat calmly highlighted the friendly location and called in close air support. Sergeant Tomat's expert control obliterated the enemy while keeping the friendly forces well inside of danger close safe from harm. The direct action mission resulted not only in the destruction of the enemy compound and over eight hundred Taliban personnel, but it also finalized the liberation of Mazar-e-Sharif. Sergeant Tomat's actions ultimately contributed to the liberation of six northern provinces and over fifty town and cities across more than one hundred square miles of extremely rough terrain. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Tomat has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Home Town: Austin, Texas


VANCE, KEVIN
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Kevin Vance, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 17th Air Support Operations Squadron and while attached to the U.S. Army's 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan during Operation ANACONDA on 4 March 2002. Following the death of four team members, Staff Sergeant Vance continued the mission by identifying enemy positions and directed successful strikes in "danger close" conditions in 10,000-foot mountain conditions. He directed two A-10s on strafing passes on enemy locations. His actions eliminated the immediate threat and deterred further attacks. He was integral in execution of the Joint Special Operations plan. When his mounted patrol was ambushed, he called for close air support. He coordinated mortar fire to mark the target, then calmly directed multiple drops of ordnance.
Born: at Vancouver, Washington
Home Town: Vancouver, Washington
If you can help us find find Staff Sergeant Vance's Citation, Please E-Mail us.



WHALEN, KEVIN G.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Kevin G. Whalen, Technical Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States while serving with as a member of the Tactical Air Control Party, 116th Air Support Operations Squadron, in the Gayan Valley, Afghanistan, on 19 July 2003. On that date, Sergeant Whalen, while serving in Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and attached to the Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 344, was involved in a sustained fire fight with Taliban and Al Qaeda forces. Sergeant Whalen was part of a combat patrol in the Gayan Valley. The lead vehicle, comprised of Afghan Military Forces, was struck by extremely accurate small arms fire, critically wounding one soldier and forcing the convoy to stall in the kill zone. Sergeant Whalen immediately returned effective fire with the MK-19 automatic grenade launcher. With total disregard for his own safety and while exposed to enemy fire, Sergeant Whalen elected to remain on the weapon system to allow his team members and the Afghan Military Forces to secure covered positions. Although receiving effective fire from three directions, Sergeant Whalen continued to engage enemy positions until his weapon malfunctioned due to 6 direct hits. While restoring his weapon, Sergeant Whalen received small arms fire in the left arm and was hit in the abdomen just below his protective body armor plate. Sergeant Whalen dropped through the turret and crawled out of the driver's door of the vehicle where he began self-aid. While attempting to stop his own bleeding he recovered his radio and requested immediate Close Air Support. Sergeant Whalen received two Marine Corps Harriers to aid in the team's defense. However, the Afghan Military Forces had now reached the attackers and were now in extremely close proximity. To ensure the safety of friendly forces, Sergeant Whalen immediately began talking the pilots on to coalition positions. Although wounded and fighting off the effects of oncoming shock, Sergeant Whalen retained the presence of mind to restrict the Harriers to guns only while engaging fortified enemy positions along the ridgeline halting enemy actions. Through his selfless actions the team was able to recover the disabled vehicle and exit the kill zone. Sergeant Whalen insisted that the other wounded soldiers be evacuated first and retained control of supporting aircraft until he received a medical evacuation himself. Displaying tenacity, he refused to stay in the hospital and returned to his team 48 hours later to continue combat missions. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Whalen has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Home Town: Olympia, Washington


WINSMANN, JIM
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Jim Winsmann, Major, U.S. Air Force (Reserve), for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 711th Special Operations Squadron, 919th Operations Group, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM during an air mission over the Sar Sar Palace, Iraq, on 3 April 2003.
If you can help us find find Major Winsmann's Citation, Please E-Mail us.


We believe we have thus far identified ALL USAF Silver Star Recipients in the GWOT, however, if you are aware of someone we have missed, PLEASE LET US KNOW. We are also still trying to obtain citations for the Air Force Silver Star recipients for which we have only a SYNOPSIS. Citations may be EMAILED, Faxed to :(703) 461-3626, or snail-mailed to Doug Sterner, 300 Yoakum Parkway, Alexandria, VA, 22304.

 

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Home Page

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FEATURE STORIES
  Profiles In Courage | Wings of ValorThe Brotherhood of Soldiers At War | Go For Broke
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RECIPIENT WEB SITES
Barney Barnum  |  Jack Lucas  |  Mitch Paige  |  Wesley Fox  |  Sammy Davis
Roger Donlon
Peter Lemon  |  Drew Dix  |  Mike Novosel

Medal Of Honor Calendar  |  Books By MOH RecipientsSteve Ryan MOH Posters

What Does 
A Hero Look Like?

Click on Superman To Find out


FOOTNOTES
In
HISTORY

NEW
Looking for a Hero or trying to verify awards? We have posted the names of more than 120,000 recipients of the highest awards in a BRAND NEW FREE SECTION
DECORATIONS 1862 - Present
.

Military Medals & Awards 

Information and Images of ALL Military Medals
The Purple Heart 
How to Request Records/Medals Earned
  How to Obtain Military Records of a Family Member 

Honor Roll of America's Military Heroes


Brevet Medal


DSC 


Navy Cross 


Air Force Cross 

Distinguished Service Medals

Defense - Army - Navy - Air Force - Coast Guard - Merchant Marine



Silver Star

U.S. History and Information
The History Room | U.S. Flag HistoryHistory of the Flag |
How to Display the Flag
| The National Anthem | The Pledge of Allegiance The American Creed | The Seal of our Nation | Our National Symbol
Arthur MacArthur's Flag | William Carney's Flag | FDR's Flag of Liberation]

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MY HERO Web Page Creator 
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SEARCH
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***
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This 5 Disc DVD Education Program has been distributed to over 17,500 Public & Private High Schools and is now available to the public!


 

HomeOfHeroes.com now has more than 25,000 pages of US History for you to view.