On February 29th, President Barack Obama will award Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Edward Byers with the nation’s highest honor for his heroic actions rescuing an American civilian hostage in Afghanistan during December of 2012.
The ceremony had been delayed due to Byers current deployment.
Byers is the first SEAL to be awarded the Medal of Honor in over a decade. While the details of his actions are being kept quiet by the White House for now, according to a defense official speaking to USA Today on the condition of anonymity, there was no doubt about his worthiness.
The official said:
“There’s no margin of doubt or possibility of error in awarding this honor…His actions were so conspicuous in terms of bravery and self-sacrifice that they clearly distinguished him to be worthy of the award, including risk of his own life.”
His nomination was “strongly recommended” by then-Chairman of the Join Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey.
Byers has been in the Navy since 1998 and is currently 36 years old. He was a hospital corpsman before attending Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in 2002. He will be the 11th living recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan since 9/11.
Byers is one of the most decorated members of our military, having been awarded:
- 5 Bronze Stars with combat “V” device
- 2 Purple Hearts
- A Joint Service Commendation with “V”
- 3 Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals – one with “V”
- 2 Combat Action Ribbons.
From Navy Times:
A senior enlisted SEAL will be the first sailor in a decade to receive the Medal of Honor, for a mission to rescue an American civilian hostage in Afghanistan in 2012, according to a Tuesday release from the White House.
President Obama will present Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Edward Byers with the nation’s highest award for valor in a Feb. 29 ceremony at the White House, the release said.
Byers’ actions were so clearly beyond expectation, even for a Navy SEAL, that the Navy had no hesitation in nominating him for the Medal of Honor, according to a defense official familiar with his case, but not authorized to speak publicly about it, told USA Today.
Should more SEALs be awarded the Medal even if the conditions surrounding how they received it remain a mystery? Sound off in the comments below!