Friday, November 1, 2019

Medal of Honor

Master Sergeant Matthew O. Williams

Sgt. Williams distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty on April 6, 2008 while serving as a weapons sergeant, Special Forces Operations Attachment Alpha 336, Special Operations Task Force 33, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Sgt. Williams' actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Afghanistan, Special Operations Command Central and United States Army.

This Medal of Honor is an upgrade of Master Sergeant Williams' Silver Star

Silver Star 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 Sergeant Matthew O. Williams, United States Army, for exceptionally valorous conduct in the face of the enemy of the United States as Weapons Sergeant, Operational Detachment Alpha 3336 (ODA-3336), 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne), Special Operations Task Force - 33, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force - Afghanistan, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM on 6 April 2008.

Sergeant Williams heroically fought for over an hour up a mountain while under intense enemy fire to help rescue wounded members of his ODA pinned down by Insurgent fire. Sergeant Williams was pinned down in a wadi by heavy sniper, Rocket Propelled Grenade, and machine gun fire after initial contact, as the ODA Command and Control (C2) element was fixed by multiple Insurgent firing positions on the mountain. Sergeant Williams, recognizing the gravity of the situation, heroically and with disregard for his own safety, exposed himself to Insurgent fire on multiple occasions to rescue the C2 element and evacuate numerous casualties. Sergeant Williams helped organize a counter assault to ascend up the mountain and reinforce his besieged teammates.

With RPG and machine gun fire impacting all around his element, Sergeant Williams led a Commando element across a fast-moving, ice cold and waist deep river, in order to fight their way up a terraced mountain to the besieged element. After fighting his way with his Team Sergeant up to the C2 element, Sergeant Williams positioned his Afghan Commando to provide a violent base of suppressive fire. This violent base of fire ensured the C2 element was not overrun by assaulting Insurgent fighters. His actions allowed the assault and C2 elements to consolidate and move their causalities down the mountain. After his Team Sergeant was wounded by sniper fire, and with disregard for his own safety, Sergeant Williams courageously maneuvered through a gauntlet of heavy machine gun fire to render aid.

While under Insurgent sniper and machine gun fire, Sergeant Williams descended with his Team Sergeant off a 60 foot near vertical cliff to the Casualty Collection Point (CCP) and continued providing him first aid. Sergeant Williams observed, shot and killed two Insurgent fighters attempting to maneuver on the CCP. Sergeant Williams then braved a hail of small arms fire and climbed back up to the cliff in order evacuate other injured Soldiers, and repair his ODA Commander's radio. After returning to the CCP with three wounded US Soldiers, Insurgent fighters began maneuvering to overrun the CCP for the second time.

Sergeant Williams and the Afghan Commandos launched a counter attack and gallantly fought for several hours against at least two hundred Insurgents. With disregard for his personal safety, he exposed himself to Insurgent fire from multiple directions and carried casualties to the Medical Evacuation helicopter, then continued to suppress numerous Insurgent positions and direct Commando fires. His valorous actions allowed the patrol to MEDEVAC the wounded and dead comrades without further casualties.

His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, Special Operations Task Force - 33, The Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force - Afghanistan, Special Operations Command Central, and the United States Army.

Master Sgt. Williams: We humbly salute you and thank you for your service.

Hat tip Home of Heroes

There are seventy six living MoH recipients today. Their names and their stories should not be forgotten. My mission is to honor one of those heroes here each week, and salute them for their courage and sacrifice. In the words of John Fitzgerald Kennedy:

“A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces, but also by the men it honors; the men it remembers.”

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