Global War on Terror - Silver Star - Army
The records below contain the Army recipients of the Silver Star during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, collectively known as the Global War on Terror.
* Indicates Killed in Action (KIA), Missing in Action (MIA), Prisoner of War (POW), or Died Non-Battle (DNB)
Citation:The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Specialist Rodny Yefune, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving with a Scout Platoon of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2d Battalion, 23d Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 2d Infantry Division, in action against the enemy in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 17 February 2008, at Bodija, Iraq. Specialist Yefune's outstanding dedication to duty during heavy enemy contact and unquestionable loyalty to his comrades undoubtedly saved American lives and contributed to the overwhelming success of his squad engaged in an enemy close ambush during Operation TOMAHAWK THRASHER IV. Specialist Rodny Yefune's actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect distinct credit upon himself, the Multi-National Corps-Iraq, and the United States Army. NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: Specialist Rodny Yefune distinguished himself by exceptional gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States as a Rifleman, Recon Platoon, 2d Battalion, 23d Infantry Regiment, Multi-National Corps-Iraq, Baghdad, Iraq, on 17 February 2008, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Displaying uncommon valor under heavy volumes of enemy fire during a combat mission near the village of Bodija, Specialist Yefune maneuvered with another Soldier to attack a well-prepared enemy ambush position of eight insurgents after elements of their squad encountered a close ambush. His actions resulted in the killing of one insurgent and breaking the will of the enemy ambush position, thereby defeating a close ambush and safeguarding the lives of his fellow squad members. On 17 February 2008, the battalion's Recon Platoon conducted an air assault mission into the village of Bodija during Operation STALKER THRASHER IV, where Specialist Yefune's squad initially cleared five houses and detained 11 suspects. During the raid, an air weapons team observed eight personnel squirt northeast of Objective Illini, and the ground commander directed Specialist Yefune's squad to pursue and detain these personnel. While approaching the suspects' hiding position, his squad's alpha team became decisively engaged with an enormous volume of effective fire from three AK-47 rifles, one RPK machine gun, and multiple enemy grenades in an enemy close ambush. Upon initial enemy contact, the squad's lead element became fixed under heavy, sustained and effective enemy fire, the lead team received two friendly casualties, Specialist Yefune's team leader, Specialist Runyan, led both Specialist Guthrie and Specialist Yefune across a canal on a fallen palm tree under heavy fire to maneuver on the enemy's position instantly and without hesitation. During this movement, the team leader was mortally wounded, leaving only Specialist Guthrie and Specialist Yefune to continue the attack. While still under RPK fire, Specialist Yefune continued to fire and maneuver on the enemy position, past their squad's front line trace and into the enemy fighting position. While Specialist Guthrie provided an intermediate support by fire position, Specialist Yefune single-handedly entered and cleared the ambush position, killing one of the insurgents within four meters. As Specialist Yefune continued to clear the canal where the insurgents had emplaced the ambush position, he identified the enemies he had just routed. Specialist Yefune continued his pursuit of the remaining AQI fighters through fire and maneuver with Specialist Guthrie while still under contact until he was ordered to hold his position. Having defeated the close ambush, Specialist Yefune secured his squad's position and continued to fend off enemy contact while the remnants of his squad treated and evacuated three friendly casualties. The valorous actions that Specialist Yefune displayed on 17 February 2008 reclaimed the initiative from the enemy, defeated a deadly close ambush, gained fire superiority for his squad, and undoubtedly helped save his comrades' lives. The gallant actions of Specialist Rodny Yefune are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect marked distinction upon himself, the Multi-National Corps-Iraq, the United States Army, and the Department of Defense.
Home Town: Millington, Michigan
*YOST, ANTHONY RAY (KIA)
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Anthony Ray Yost, Master Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with 3d Battalion, 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne), while assigned to Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 381 (ODA-381), 3d Battalion, 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne), FOB 51, Mosul, Iraq, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 19 November 2005, at Mosul, Iraq. Master Sergeant Yost'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:
Master Sergeant Anthony Ray Charles Yost distinguished himself exceptionally valorous conduct while engaged in combat operations against enemies of the United States during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, 3d Battalion, 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne), while assigned to Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 381 (ODA-381), FOB 51, Mosul, Iraq. In the early morning hours of 19 November 2005, while serving as the Detachment Operations Sergeant, Master Sergeant Yost was called into action to respond to distress calls from elements of the Iraqi Police Service and 2-1 Infantry, 172d Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) that were engaged in a furious battle with heavily armed insurgents in northeastern Mosul. In a dense urban area against determined opposition, the Iraqi Police (IP) had suffered four KIA and many more wounded while the US infantry had already suffered 11 wounded, two of whom would later die of wounds. Master Sergeant Yost responded to their urgent calls for assistance by rapidly assembling his detachment and elements from the 2d Iraqi Army Division that had been trained and advised by SFODA 381. After organizing this response force and moving to the objective area, Master Sergeant Yost was informed that US infantry had been engaged from multiple locations and were unable to secure and clear the house. Even rocket fire from US helicopters had been unable to dislodge this determined enemy force. Without regard for his own safety, Master Sergeant Yost volunteered to lead an assault to secure the house. He quickly assembled a group of Special Forces and IA soldiers, and led them into the target house where they were rapidly engaged by insurgents, both inside as well as outside of the house. As the firefight raged, Master Sergeant Yost, accompanied by a squad of Iraqi Army Soldiers, fearlessly moved forward and entered the enemy stronghold. Once inside the house, Master Sergeant Yost led his Iraqi Soldiers on a room to room search, once again with total disregard for his own safety, and eliminated the insurgents inside the house. As he was consolidating his force, an enormous explosion from a hidden demolition charge engulfed the house, instantly reducing most of it to rubble and fatally wounding Master Sergeant Yost and several of the Iraqi Soldiers accompanying him. The corpses of seven insurgents were recovered from the rubble of the house as well as a cache containing explosives, mines, remote detonating devices, and a scoped rifle. Master Sergeant Yost died leading a group of Iraqi soldiers from the front, soldiers that he had trained. Rather than simply have the Iraqi Army unilaterally clear the house, Master Sergeant Yost voluntarily and audaciously led the assault element, going far above and beyond what was required of him as a combat advisor. Master Sergeant Yost's exceptional courage and leadership inspired the inexperienced Iraqi soldiers to follow him and assault a determined enemy that had already inflicted significant casualties on friendly forces, despite the immediate danger they faced. His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, the Command, Special Operations Command Central, and the United States Army.
Born: October 9, 1966 at Flint, Michigan
Home Town: Millington, Michigan
Personal Awards: Silver Star (War on Terrorism), Purple Heart
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Justin Young, Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Squad Leader in Troop C, 5th Squadron, 73d Cavalry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, 24 March 2007, in Iraq. Sergeant Young led the initial breach into a compound in Qubbah, in Diyala Province, Iraq, where known enemy fighters were entrenched. Using night vision and infrared lights, he disarmed and detained a gate guard before pushing into the compound. He was ambushed from a distance of about 10 feet by a hidden fighter who struck Sergeant Young's M4 three times and hit him once in his check protective plate, knocking him to the ground and spraying his neck with shrapnel. Sergeant Young killed the enemy with his damaged weapons and then, refusing medical help, got to his feet to continue the attack. He picked up a confiscated enemy AK-47 and three loaded magazines and continued to lead his team for the next five days in their mission of clearing several obstacles. The gallant actions and bold leadership of Sergeant Young, without thought for his own safety, was in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 82d Airborne Division, and the United States Army.
YOUNG, LUCAS J.
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Sergeant First Class Lucas J. Young, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in connection with military operations against an armed hostile force while serving with Combined Joint Task Force 101 in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, on 11 September 2008. Sergeant First Class Young's Squad Leader was critically injured and separated from the rest of the element during the opening moments of an ambush. He led the rest of the squad across hazardous open terrain while under enemy fire to recover his fellow Soldier. He later directed his platoon's assault during a larger operation against enemy positions. After repelling attacks, he organized the evacuation of several casualties making sure that no fallen Soldier was left behind. His leadership saved the lives of fellow Soldiers and resulted in at least nine enemy killed. His gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
YOUNG, MICHAEL E.
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Staff Sergeant Michael E. Young, United States Army, for gallantry in action while serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment on 27 April 2017 during combat operations against an armed enemy of the United States as Ranger Weapons Squad Leader for a Joint Task Force in support of Operation FREEDOM'S SENTINEL. Staff Sergeant Young and the rest of his Strike Force received intense and precise enemy fire simultaneously from multiple covered positions in all directions immediately upon a helicopter insertion to conduct a raid. Realizing the significant threat the enemy posed to his element, he aggressively exposed himself to direct fires to eliminate the enemy and protect the force. Staff Sergeant Young's heroic actions while under effective enemy fire directly saved the lives of 22 Rangers and were instrumental in destroying multiple fortified enemy positions. Staff Sergeant Young's distinctive accomplishments are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, this Command, and the United States Army. NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: On a mission to capture or kill a high value target, Staff Sergeant Young's intrepid actions while under effective enemy fire directly saved the lives of 22 Rangers and were instrumental in destroying multiple fortified enemy positions and the deaths of multiple enemy combatants. Without regard for his own personal safety, Staff Sergeant Young placed himself in the middle of lethal enemy fire to direct a hasty defensive positions for a casualty collection point. Without direction or guidance, Staff Sergeant Young positioned himself on the highest and most deadly piece of terrain to obtain clear situational awareness, marked his position for the rest of the Strike Force, passed his friendly position and aggressively reported enemy locations to the Ground Force Commander (GFC) to facilitate fire missions in support of his defense while simultaneously controlling direct fire engagements against multiple enemy threats. Due to the significant enemy fire Staff Sergeant Young's element was cut off from the rest of the Strike Force preventing his element from receiving assistance until the enemy was adequately suppressed with indirect fire. Staff Sergeant Young with complete disregard to his own safety continued to expose himself to lethal enemy fire to direct simultaneous danger close engagements with aerial delivered munitions that effectively suppressed multiple enemy fighting positions and set the conditions for MEDEVAC aircraft to safely insert and retrieve the two urgent surgical patients. Staff Sergeant Young's extraordinary ability to maintain composure in a terrifyingly chaotic situation not only allowed himself to effectively control organic fires against the enemy, but also protected his force and set the conditions to secure a MEDEVAC HLZ for two urgent surgical casualties.
*YOUNG, RICARDO D. (KIA)
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Sergeant First Class Ricardo Deandrell Young, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in connection with military operations against the enemy on 28 August 2013, while serving as a Platoon Sergeant, 307th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Airborne), 20th Engineer Brigade, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF) XIII, in Afghanistan. Sergeant First Class Young's actions reflect great credit upon himself, 738th Engineer Support Company (Airborne), 307th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Airborne), the 130th Engineer Brigade, and the United States Army. NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: On 28 August , 2013, Sergeant First Class Young's platoon was conducting a route clearance mission in Guhlistan District, Afghanistan, when they came upon a group of Afghan National Security Forces who had been severely wounded during an ambush along Highway 1. Sergeant First Class Young took charge of the situation and led a team of Soldiers that successfully treated eight casualties and requested medical evacuation for them via helicopter. Once the casualties were evacuated, Sergeant First Class Young's patrol began to receive enemy fire from a mountain east of their position. The patrol engaged the enemy with heavy machine gun and grenade fire for nearly a half hour, when enemy movement ceased on the mountainside. Sergeant First Class Young then led a seven man team up the mountain to confirm that there were no other enemy fighters present to do further harm to his patrol. As his team moved up the mountain, they made contact with the enemy who had hidden in small caves during the initial engagement. Two of Ricardo's patrol members were pinned down by enemy fire and unable to maneuver. Sergeant First Class Young quickly engaged insurgents and exposed himself to enemy fire in an attempt to take their focus off of the team of Soldiers that was pinned down. During the engagement, he rendered the ultimate sacrifice. His bravery and tenacity spared the lives of the 34 Soldiers on patrol with him that day as well as the 8 Afghans to whom he rendered aid.
Born: At Prescott, Arkansas
Home Town: Rosston, Arkansas
YOUNG, TERRY FULLER
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Terry Fuller Young, Specialist, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 549th Military Police Company, 385th Military Police Battalion, 3d Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 22 April 2006, in Iraq. Specialist Taylor-Young saved the lives of his fellow comrades and prevented catastrophe while serving with the Al Zuhour Iraqi Police Station on 22 April 2006 when anti-Iraqi forces launched a coordinated attack on the station. Specialist Young's squad arrived early in the day to meet with members of the station's police chief and arranged a security perimeter facing nearby road intersections. Once security was established, the team went in to meet with the Al Zahour Police Chief. When the team was leaving Specialist Young noticed the street was clear of pedestrians and believed this was out of place. He then noticed a red four-door vehicle traveling on one of the routes toward them. When the vehicle was identified as a threat, the Military Police gunner standing security, Private First Class Joshua Gorrell, engaged the vehicle with well-aimed and disabling shots. When the vehicle continued on its path, Private First Class Gorrell engaged the driver, mortally wounding him. The vehicle was driven by a suicide bomber, which carried an improvised explosive device. The vehicle detonated between the two front security vehicles, approximately five meters from Specialist Young. Mortars, rocket propelled grenades and a heavy sustained barrage of precision small arms fire followed the explosion. Specialist Young's gunner was knocked down and couldn't get back up. Specialist Young exited the vehicle and found the squad medic, who was wounded, lying on the ground next to the vehicle. He helped Private First Class Gorrell from the vehicle and moved the injured medic to the safety of a nearby bunker. With Private First Class Gorrell providing security at the bunker, Specialist Young once again maneuvered his way through the relentless attack, back to another MP vehicle to assist with the evacuation of another three-man team. Once all the wounded Soldiers were save within the Iraqi Police Station, Specialist Young noticed a blazing fire from a burning fuel tank which was quickly moving towards another military police vehicle. The gunner for the third vehicle was unable to drop from the turret and move the vehicle. Specialist Young went back out and moved the vehicle--preventing it from being engulfed in flames. He then assisted the squad to load the wounded Soldiers so they could get medical treatment.
ZAMARRIPA, JOHN J.
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to John J. Zamarripa, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Squad Leader with Company A, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3d Brigade Combat Team, 3d Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 30 October 2007, in Iraq. On that date, while riding through Salman Pak in a Humvee with one Bradley leading and another behind, Staff Sergeant Zamarripa's vehicle was rocked as he witnessed the smoke from a powerful explosion engulf the Bradley before him. After the smoke cleared, he saw the ramp door laying beside his Humvee and rushed to the Bradley through the dissipating smoke only to find three of his soldiers who had been riding in the troop compartment had been killed in the attack. Reduced to two vehicles and dealing with several casualties, Staff Sergeant Zamarripa and his Platoon Leader, First Lieutenant Ross Pixler, were still under intense fire and Lieutenant Pixler, who had a broken arm and ankle, went to the radio in the other Bradley, coordinated close-air support and kept his platoon under control while Staff Sergeant Zamarripa treated and evacuated the other wounded soldiers and established a security perimeter under intense fire from small arms, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.
Home Town: Columbus, Georgia
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Matthew Zedwick, Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 2d Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 13 June 2004, in Iraq. On that date, Sergeant Zedwick was the driver of a Humvee when an IED exploded near Camp Taji, Iraq, which took the life of his gunner and seriously wounded his truck commander. Sergeant Zedwick returned enemy fire during the ensuing firefight, after pulling his commander to safety. He returned to the vehicle to check on the condition of his gunner, Specialist Eric McKinley. Unable to save him, he then retrieved sensitive items from the vehicle and returned to his commander, where he used his body to shield him. He continued to return fire until a medivac helicopter reached the scene.
Home Town: Corvallis, Oregon
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Brandon Zylstra, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82d Airborne Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 10 April 2006, in Iraq. Staff Sergeant Zylstra and his platoon, part of the quick reaction force, found themselves responsible for hauling a supply trailer to their fellow paratroopers, who were in contact with the enemy in the Al Fadhl neighborhood of eastern Baghdad. En route they found their route blocked by a jackknifed vehicle and immediately started taking enemy fire. With nowhere to go, Staff Sergeant Zylstra dismounted the vehicle and quickly positioned himself and his paratroopers to start moving forward. Despite being completely exposed, he stood in the street and positioned his paratroopers, while exchanging fire with the enemy for over a minute. The platoon quickly took their first casualty and Staff Sergeant Zylstra ran to administer first aid, with two other paratroopers following his lead to provide security. Enemy fire soon struck both of the paratroopers pulling security, and Staff Sergeant Zylstra provided medical care to all of them and tried to keep them in a safe location, but the present location was still under heavy attack. After dragging the most serious casualty to safety, he disregarded the hail of bullets around him and ran back to the original site to retrieve the weapon of the original casualty. With enemy fire still erupting around him, he again sprinted back to his fellow injured Paratroopers, this time firing both weapons at the enemy at the same time. Again he crossed the bullet-pocked street to check on a casualty, while directing fire from a crew served weapon to position his Paratroopers for the fastest exit when possible. His actions not only saved the two lives of the wounded paratroopers, but by directing the gunners he opened up an avenue of approach to get them out of the area as well.
Born: at Sully, Iowa
Home Town: Sully, Iowa
All Major Military Award Recipients (PDF)
Silver Star Index