Showing posts with label Distinguished Service Cross. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Distinguished Service Cross. Show all posts

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Retired Green Beret received Distinguished Service Cross for heroism in Afghanistan

Green Beret received valor award upgrade for 2005 firefight

Military Times
By: Kyle Rempfer
June 21, 2019

Retired Master Sgt. Larry Hawks was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on June 21 for his actions in Afghanistan back in 2005.
The ceremony took place at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School auditorium on Fort Bragg, North Carolina, according to an Army news release.

Hawks received the DSC — the second highest military decoration awarded to a U.S. soldier — for gallantry under fire as a member of 3rd Special Forces Group on July 24 and July 25, 2005, in Afghanistan.

“Sgt. 1st Class Hawks, while conducting armed reconnaissance of a town, came under intense enemy small arms, rocket propelled grenade, and mortar fire," the citation reads, according to the Army release. “While moving to interdict enemy combatants attempting to reposition themselves on the high ground west of the village, he discovered one of his comrades was pinned down by enemy fire.”

"Sgt. 1st Class Hawks, without regard for his own safety dismounted from his vehicle and charged toward the enemy position on the high ground. Under continuous fire, he engaged and neutralized the enemy position.”

His actions led to 15 confirmed enemy killed in action, the capture of 14 insurgents, and the recovery of over 30 light and heavy weapons, according to his older Silver Star citation.
read more here

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Green Beret was shot twice but kept fighting

Green Beret killed 6 insurgents and saved his men despite being shot twice and hit with a grenade
Military Times
By: J.D. Simkins
1 day ago

A 12-man team from the Colorado-based 10th Special Forces Group was advising Iraqi National Police on Sept. 10, 2007, during a mission to capture a high value target from the Islamic State of Iraq in the area of Samarra, Iraq.
(Left to right) Halbisengibbs, Lindsay, Chaney. (Army)

Two helicopters were originally scheduled to deliver the men at 2 a.m. to a field on the outskirts of the village, but when the pilots saw the planned landing zone covered in water, they had to set the assault teams down closer to the target.

The noisy arrival alerted the bodyguards of Abu Obaeideah, the area’s kingpin who had been wanted for a year for killing Iraqis — and their families — who considered joining the police force.

Over the course of a hellish 10 minutes, the three-man assault team killed Abu Obaeideah and 11 of his crew and helped free a hostage.

“Pretty much the three of them single-handedly secured that objective,” Maj. Will Beaurpere, the men’s commander, told Stars and Stripes.

All three would recover from their injuries.

For his actions, Jarion Halbisengibbs received the Distinguished Service Cross, the Army’s second highest award for valor.

Capt. Matthew Chaney and Sgt. 1st Class Michael Lindsay were presented with Silver Stars.
read more

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Stolen Valor: Topped off applying for job with city of St. Lucie?

Florida man passes himself off as decorated war veteran to land job, police say
By Peter Burke - Managing Editor
April 4, 2018
Edward Liroff, 46, arrested after real veteran notices discrepancies on form

Among the discrepancies Byrne noted were that the Distinguished Service Medal was only awarded to four U.S. Army soldiers between 1983 and 2013 -- Liroff was not among them -- and that his Silver Star Medal was spelled incorrectly.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - A Florida man who passed himself off as a war hero and applied for a job with the city of Port St. Lucie was arrested after it was discovered that he never served in the military, police said.

Edward Liroff, 46, was arrested Tuesday on felony charges of fraudulently obtaining a Florida driver's license, uttering a forged instrument and unlawful use of uniforms, medals or insignia.
read more here

Saturday, February 4, 2017

A Vietnam Hero Finds the Real War Is on the Home Front

PENNDEL: Captain David Christian, most decorated Vietnam War veteran, to keynote ‘The Traveling Wall’ visit to Bucks County
Bucks Local News
Feb 2, 2017

Captain David A. Christian (Retired), the most decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, will deliver the keynote speech when the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall visits Penndel in July of 2017.
Capt. Christian will headline a roster of distinguished guests and speakers at the opening ceremonies for the Wall at 8:30 a.m. on July 14. Following the opening ceremonies, the wall will be on display through Sunday evening, July 16, at the Penndel Memorial Ball Field on PFC John Dalola Avenue in Penndel.

Capt. Christian has a long and illustrious service history, enlisting in the US Army at age 17. After completing Officers Candidate School at age 18, he went on to complete Airborne and Special Forces training. During his time in country, his reconnaissance unit was known as one of the Army’s best. After receiving significant injuries during an engagement for which he was thrice nominated for the Medal of Honor, he retired from Army service in 1969 at age 21, having been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, the Bronze Star, and seven Purple Hearts.
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This is from PEOPLE in 1981
A Vietnam Hero Finds the Real War Is on the Home Front


With his blond hair and blue-eyed good looks, David Christian could pass for a movie war hero sent up by central casting. In real life Christian was barely 18 when be became the youngest second lieutenant ever to graduate from the Army’s Officer Candidate School. During an eight-month tour in Vietnam he collected two Congressional Medal of Honor nominations, seven Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars, two Silver Stars, a Distinguished Service Cross, two Vietnamese Crosses of Galantry and a chestful of other medals. Disabled by napalm burns in 1968, be left the military at 21 and became the Army’s youngest retired captain. Christian’s fighting didn’t stop on the battlefield, however; finding a war-weary and often hostile public back borne, be launched a campaign for veterans’ rights and a barrage of criticism at government policy toward returning GIs. Now 32, be lives in Washington Crossing, Pa., with Peggy, his wife of 14 years, and three children. Last month Christian declined the No. 2 position in the VA to continue as executive director of the United Viet Nam Organization, which be started in 1978. He talked to PEOPLE’s Margot Achterberg about his fights at the front and at more here

David A. Christian Home of record: Turnersville New Jersey
In little more than one month time, from September 23 to October 29, 1968, David Christian earned the Distinguished Service Cross and TWO Silver Stars.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Vietnam: Medal of Honor quest for Maj. George Quamo

A breakthrough in Medal of Honor quest for Maj. George Quamo
Times Union, Albany, N.Y.
By Paul Nelson
Published: August 29, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (Tribune News Service) — Friends and family of George Quamo hope two more testimonials — one from a former military medic and another penned by one of his fellow special service members — will bolster the case that the Green Beret from Averill Park deserves a Medal of Honor for his heroism during the Vietnam War.

Two notarized letters — from William Harris of North Carolina and Richard Mullowney Jr. of Alaska — bring to three the supporting documents that supporters will be submitting to the Defense Department requesting that Quamo be posthumously awarded the nation's highest military honor.

The Army Major who graduated from Averill Park High School in 1958 was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for leading a dangerous helicopter mission in 1968 that rescued 14 Green Berets and dozens of others who were invaded by two North Vietnamese battalions and were pleading for help at the Lang Vei Special Forces Camp in central Vietnam.

Quamo (pronounced Cuomo) died in a plane crash on April 14, 1968.
read more here

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Green Beret Vietnam Veteran May Be Next MOH Recipient

Green Beret medic could be next Vietnam War MOH recipient
Stars and Stripes
By Travis J. Tritten
Published: July 14, 2016

Gary Michael Rose receives the Distinguished Service Cross from Gen. Creighton Abrams, the U.S. commander in Vietnam, for heroism during Operation Tailwind.
“God knows how many times he risked his life to make sure as many guys as possible came out alive,” Retired Maj. John Plaster.
WASHINGTON — The story of Green Beret Gary Michael Rose’s heroism is an epic of classified warfare and a stinging media scandal, but it might soon end with a Medal of Honor.

In 1970, Rose was the lone medic for a company of Special Forces soldiers and indigenous Vietnamese fighters during a risky, four-day assault deep into Laos. The badly injured Rose helped bring all the soldiers back alive and received the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest military honor, during a ceremony at the time in Vietnam.

“He is not a gung-ho person, he is very thoughtful, but he was a hell of a medic and I trusted him with my life,” said Keith Plancich, 66, who was a Special Forces squad leader on the mission.

But Rose and the other men were wrongly accused of taking part in war crimes in 1998 after the mission, called Operation Tailwind, was declassified and unearthed for the first time by CNN and its partner Time magazine.
read more here

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

WWII Garlin Murl Conner Closer to Medal of Honor

World War II soldier from Kentucky is a step closer to posthumous Medal of Honor
November 2, 2015
Conner, a first lieutenant, earned four Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars, seven Purple Hearts and the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions during combat in World War II.
Garlin Murl Conner, a WWII Army officer, died in 1998.
Garlin Murl Conner, a World War II Army officer and a Clinton County native, is one step closer to posthumously receiving the Medal of Honor.

The Army Board for Correction of Military Records, a three-member panel, went against the advice of its staff and voted unanimously in late October that the evidence "was sufficient to warrant a recommendation" that Conner receive the Medal of Honor for the actions he took to save the lives of fellow soldiers.

Dennis Shepherd, an attorney for the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, learned Monday about the panel's recommendation. Shepherd said it's rare for the panel to go against the advice of its staff, which had said there was "insufficient evidentiary basis" for granting the medal.
read more here

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fort Bragg Soldiers Receive Distinguished Service Cross

Soldiers receive Distinguished Service Cross for incredible valor
Army Times
By Michelle Tan, Staff writer
February 17, 2015
Staff Sgt. Jeffery Dawson, second from the left, of the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, earned a Distinguished Service Cross on Tuesday for heroism in Afghanistan. (Photo: Patrick A. Albright/Army)

Sgt. Bryan Anderson heard the bombs explode. Three deafening booms ringing almost simultaneously.

Without a second thought, he sprinted 300 meters toward the explosions.

"I wasn't concerned with my life," said Anderson, a medic. "I was concerned that I had buddies who were bleeding out back on the compound."

For his actions on that night in southern Afghanistan, Anderson on Tuesday received the Distinguished Service Cross, a valor award second only to the Medal of Honor.

Also presented with the DSC was Staff Sgt. Jeffery Dawson, an explosive ordnance disposal technician who, despite limited visibility inside a compound heavily seeded with IEDs, relentlessly and repeatedly cleared the way to retrieve his fallen and wounded teammates.

Receiving the DSC is "so surreal," said Dawson, who belongs to the 28th Ordnance Company, an airborne EOD unit at Fort Bragg, North Carolina
read more here

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Army revokes Silver Star award for Green Beret

Army revokes Silver Star award for Green Beret officer, citing investigation
Washington Post
By Dan Lamothe
February 4, 2015
"The investigation closed last year without Golsteyn’s being charged with a crime, but Army Secretary John M. McHugh decided not only to deny Golsteyn the Distinguished Service Cross, but also to revoke his Silver Star."
Capt. Mathew L. Golsteyn was leading a Special Forces team in Afghanistan in 2010 when an 80-man mission he assembled to hunt insurgent snipers went awry. One of the unit’s five vehicles sank in mud, a gunshot incapacitated an Afghan soldier fighting alongside the Americans, and insurgents maneuvered on them to rake the soggy fields with machine-gun fire.

Golsteyn, already a decorated Green Beret officer, responded with calm resolve and braved enemy fire repeatedly that day, according to an Army summary of his actions. He received the Silver Star for valor for his actions during a 2011 ceremony at Fort Bragg, N.C. Top Army officials later approved him for an upgrade to the prestigious Distinguished Service Cross, second only to the Medal of Honor in recognizing combat heroism by U.S. soldiers.

In a rare reversal, however, Golsteyn, now a major, no longer has either award. The Special Forces officer and graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., was later investigated for an undisclosed violation of the military’s rules of engagement in combat for killing a known enemy fighter and bomb maker, according to officials familiar with the case. The investigation closed last year without Golsteyn’s being charged with a crime, but Army Secretary John M. McHugh decided not only to deny Golsteyn the Distinguished Service Cross, but also to revoke his Silver Star.
read more here

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WWI Hero Closer to MOH and out of "bureaucratic no-man’s land"

World War I veteran one step from getting Medal of Honor
St. Louis Post Dispatch
By Jesse Bogan
December 15, 2014
A family photo of Sgt. William Shemin during his service in World War I.

WEBSTER GROVES • Twelve years and many phone calls since Elsie Shemin-Roth started on a mission through bureaucratic no-man’s land, her father, a deceased World War I veteran, is one step away from getting the military’s highest decoration.

Under normal circumstances, the Medal of Honor is awarded within five years of an act of heroism. A waiver of time limitations cleared the U.S. Senate Friday as part of a minuscule addition to the massive military spending bill. The vote clears the deck for a final obstacle: approval from President Barack Obama.

“I am just so pleased that we are finally going down the homestretch,” Shemin-Roth, 85, said from her home in Webster Groves.

In 1919, her father was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for “extraordinary heroism,” according to a citation signed by Gen. John J. Pershing. That medal is the Army’s second-highest award.

Decades later, Shemin-Roth heard about a group of Jewish-American World War II vets getting their Army Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross and the Air Force Cross citations reviewed for an upgrade due to anti-Semitism. She wanted her father and other World War I vets to have a shot at the Medal of Honor, too.
But first she’d have to get a new law passed. She succeeded with passage of the William Shemin Jewish World War I Veterans Act in 2011.

It allowed a one-year window for cases like her father’s to be resubmitted. There were strict guidelines. Eyewitnesses were needed to verify acts of valor being studied nearly a century later.
read more here

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Vietnam veteran receives Distinguished Service Cross 46 years after herosim

Vietnam veteran receives valor Distinguished Service Cross
Fay Observer
By Drew Brooks Military editor
Posted: Sunday, July 27, 2014

A former soldier was honored with the military's second-highest award for valor earlier this year, 46 years after his act of heroism.

Retired Master Sgt. Patrick N. Watkins Jr. received the Distinguished Service Cross in a ceremony at Eglin Air Force Base in May.

The medal rewards Watkins for his actions on Aug. 23, 1963, according to the citation.

At the time, he was a staff sergeant assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group, then headquartered at Fort Bragg.

Watkins was at the headquarters of Command and Control North the morning of Aug. 23, when the compound became the focus of a well-coordinated attack by a North Vietnamese Army sapper force, according to the citation.

Watkins was wounded in the initial assault but was able to organize a small reaction force to repel the attack and rescue wounded Americans.

The soldier led other Americans to defense positions through a "gauntlet of machine gun fire and grenades," according to the citation. He "disregarded his own safety to direct the recovery of the many wounded men and repeatedly engaged and killed enemy sappers."
read more here

Sunday, July 6, 2014

West Virginia National Guards Pushes for Medal of Honor for Ex-Green Beret

West Virginia National Guard pressing for Medal of Honor for Vietnam veteran
West Virginia Gazette
by Rusty Marks, Staff writer
July 6, 2014

Courtesy photo
Edward Ziobron was a sergeant with U.S. Special Forces in 1970 when he took part in a secret mission behind the lines in Laos. Fellow soldiers credit him, though badly wounded, with leading his platoon to safety. The West Virginia National Guard is trying to get Ziobron the Medal of Honor for his actions.

Those who survived a November 1970 top secret mission behind the lines in Laos credit Master Sgt. Edward Ziobron with saving the lives of his platoon during an off-and-on, four-day running battle with the North Vietnamese Army.

Ziobron, a 64-year-old member of the West Virginia National Guard living near Martinsburg, received no official recognition of his actions until 2005, when he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. But National Guard officials are now pushing to have the award upgraded to the Medal Of Honor — the nation’s highest award for valor — for Ziobron’s actions from Nov. 25-29, 1970.

“This guy is high speed,” said Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, the state’s adjutant general. “At 64 years old, this guy is still jumping out of airplanes and teaching younger guys how to get ready for Special Forces school.”

Until recently forced to retire from military duty because of his age, Ziobron was serving as a trainer with the National Guard’s Special Forces Group. Hoyer said he remains a special forces consultant with the National Guard as a civilian employee.

Ziobron, a former Green Beret, was serving with the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam — Studies and Observations Group at the time of the November 1970 top secret mission into the Laotian jungle.
read more here

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Hero in VIetnam at 20, Honored 49 years later in Ohio

Vietnam veteran Bob Towles presented with Distinguished Service Cross for heroism
The Plain Dealer
By Brian Albrecht
April 25, 2014
Sen. Sherrod Brown joins Lt. Col. William Meade of the Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Vietnam veteran Robert Towles, of Windham, Ohio.
(Office of Sherrod Brown)

CLEVELAND, Ohio – On November 17, 1965, Bob Towles was a 20 year old from Niles, Ohio, who had only been in Vietnam for two months when his Army infantry unit was suddenly attacked without warning.

As his fellow soldiers from the 2nd Battalion of the 7th Cavalry (1st Cavalry Division-Air Mobile) fell around him, Towles was hit in the right side by shrapnel from a mortar round or rocket-propelled grenade. Yet he charged ahead under heavy enemy fire, single-handedly attacking and taking out an enemy machine gun position, allowing his wounded comrades to escape.

That heroism was honored Thursday with presentation of the Distinguished Service Cross to Towles, now 69, of Windham, at Windham High School. The award is the Army's second highest military honor.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown attended the ceremony and had worked with U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan to secure the medal for Towles, who had previously received a Bronze Star for his actions. It was later determined that his actions made him eligible for the Distinguished Service Cross.

“I feel very honored and humbled,” Towles said after the presentation.

He remembered that the action that led to that award was fast and furious, as 155 soldiers in the battalion were killed and 128 wounded. “Yeah, it didn’t take very long, but it seems like long time when it’s happening,” he said.
read more here

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Medal of Honor Heroes Finally Receiving Honor Earned

Denied a Medal of Honor, a worthy soldier finds out why decades later
Los Angeles Times
By Richard Simon
Published: March 14, 2014
Unbeknown to MacFarland or Erevia, Congress in a 2002 defense bill ordered a Pentagon review to determine whether discrimination prevented Jewish and Latino veterans from receiving the medal. The Pentagon examined the records of more than 6,000 Distinguished Service Cross recipients to determine whether the award should be upgraded.

Using an ammo crate as a chair and an Army tent as his office, Pfc. John "Mac" MacFarland set up his typewriter and began to write.

It was the sweltering summer of 1969, about a month after the fierce battle of Tam Ky in South Vietnam. MacFarland had been ordered to write a recommendation nominating Spc. 4 Santiago Jesse Erevia for the Medal of Honor, and he tried to put into words how Erevia's "conspicuous gallantry" had saved so many fellow soldiers.

"Although Erevia could have taken cover with the rest of the group," MacFarland wrote, "he realized that action must be taken immediately if they were able to be relieved from the precarious situation they were now in."

MacFarland, a 23-year-old college student who had been drafted, spent weeks working on the nomination, sure that Erevia, a 23-year-old high school dropout who had enlisted, would be awarded the medal. MacFarland sent the recommendation up the chain of command.

"And then I never heard another thing," MacFarland recalled decades later.

Erevia knew that he had been nominated, and though admitting initial disappointment that he did not receive the Medal of Honor, he went home to Texas and never dwelt on it.

MacFarland did.
read more here

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Judge says time ran out to honor Lt. Garlin Murl Conner with Medal of Honor?

Judge: Technicality prevents decorated soldier from receiving Medal of Honor
The Associated Press
By Brett Barrouquere
Published: March 12, 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Lt. Garlin Murl Conner left the U.S. Army as the second-most decorated soldier during World War II, earning four Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars, seven Purple Hearts and the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions during 28 straight months in combat.

But despite backing from congressmen, senators, military veterans and historians, he never received the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military distinction, awarded for life-risking acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.

Now, a federal judge in Kentucky has ended his widow's 17-year quest to see that her husband received the medal.

U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell, in an 11-page opinion issued late Tuesday, said a technicality will prevent Pauline Conner of Albany, Ky., from continuing her campaign on behalf of her husband, who died in 1998. Russell concluded that Pauline Conner waited too long to present new evidence to the U.S. Army Board of Correction of Military Records, which rejected her bid to alter her husband's service record.
Conner's commander in World War II, retired Maj. Gen. Lloyd B. Ramsey of Salem, Va., filed an affidavit saying Conner's work, while injured, provided valuable intelligence.

"There is no doubt that Lt. Conner should have been awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions," Ramsey wrote. "One of the most disappointing regrets of my career is not having the Medal of Honor awarded to the most outstanding soldier I've ever had the privilege of commanding." read more here

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Florida Vietnam War Sgt. 1st Class Melvin Morris to receive Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor for 24 forgotten heroes Staff Sgt. Melvin Morris will receive the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions while serving as Commander of a Strike Force drawn from Company D, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, during combat operations against an armed enemy in the vicinity of Chi Lang, Republic of Vietnam on September 17, 1969.
MoH candidate thrilled at honor for Vietnam actions
Army Times
Joe Gould
Staff Writer
Feb. 22, 2014

Former Sgt. 1st Class Melvin Morris, one of the three living Medal of Honor candidates who will soon receive the award, is getting the honor for taking out enemy bunkers with grenades and rescuing wounded teammates, despite his own injuries, in Vietnam.

For that, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in 1969.

Morris said he was thrilled to receive a call from President Obama last May to tell him his award would be upgraded.

“I dropped to my knees,” said Morris, who volunteered for two tours in Vietnam. “He told me he was calling to tell me I was receiving the Medal of Honor, and he wanted to apologize to me for not getting it years ago.”

He is one of 24 people who will receive the Medal of Honor, the White House announced Feb. 21.

Of those, 21 have died.
read more here

Sunday, October 28, 2012

4 Army Rangers honored for valor

4 Army Rangers honored for valor
Stars and Stripes
Published: October 27, 2012

HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga. — On a day when the Army’s top general was on hand to recognize an entire battalion for gallantry in Afghanistan, four soldiers stood out.

Sgt. Craig Warfle was pinned with the Distinguished Service Cross, marking him as the first Army Ranger in the post-9/11 era to earn the nation’s second highest honor for valor in combat.

Three Silver Stars were awarded to Sgt. Michael Ross, Staff Sgt. Dominic Annecchini and Sgt. Christopher Coray.
read more here

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Army vows to help heroes after data breach

Army helps data breach victims
Investigation continues to determine how sensitive information got online
Army Times
By Joe Gould
Posted : Saturday Oct 13, 2012

Army will offer a year of credit-monitoring services to protect the 31 Social Security numbers of the Medal of Honor and Distinguished Service Cross recipients that were posted online last month.

The Army announced it began to inform the affected people or their next of kin on Oct. 11, after inquiries from Army Times, which first reported the breach on Sept. 28, and Rep. Duncan Hunter, R.-Calif., who wrote a letter dated Oct. 11 to urge Army Secretary John McHugh to take swifter action.

“It is critical that this issue is resolved immediately and the soldiers and families comprising the 31 individuals whose information was released are immediately informed, at the very least, of the data breach and provided every reassurance that the Army is taking the necessary action,” Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee who served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Marine Corps officer, said in the letter.

The exposed database — since removed — contained 518 records of the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross and Silver Star recipients for actions since the global war on terror began in 2001. In the database, Social Security numbers appeared for 31 soldiers, the six MoH and 25 DSC recipients, but none of the Silver Star recipients. Doug Sterner, curator of the Military Times “Hall of Valor,” uncovered the exposed database.
read more here

Defense contractor had 518 decorated heroes data online

Friday, September 28, 2012

Defense contractor had 518 decorated heroes social security numbers online!

UPDATE October 14, 2012

Army vows to help heroes after data breach

Decorated soldiers’ SSNs exposed online
Army Times
By Joe Gould
Posted : Friday Sep 28, 2012

The Army is investigating how a defense contractor’s data breach left vulnerable the Social Security numbers of Army’s most highly decorated soldiers since 2001, when a comprehensive awards database was posted online.

The exposed database contains the 31 Social Security numbers for six Medal of Honor recipients — including former Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta, Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry and four posthumous recipients — and 25 Distinguished Service Cross recipients.

“That super sucks,” Giunta told Army Times when contacted about the breach Sept. 28.

“Just the people it encompasses and who’s included, it’s like an attack on America. But people make mistakes. I wish it wouldn’t have happened.”

The database, which contains 518 records of award recipients, appeared to have been posted online by an employee of Brightline Interactive, a creative services firm in Alexandria, Va.

The database also included records of Silver Star recipients, including their names, ranks, unit information, and the date, place and a description of their action. But the Social Security numbers for the 487 Silver Star recipients were not included on the website.

read more here

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Army Staff Sgt. Corey M. Calkins awarded Distinguished Service Cross

Soldier gets Distinguished Service Cross for heroism with Marines
JULY 2ND, 2012

Staff Sgt. Corey M. Calkins shakes hands with Adm. William H. McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, after receiving the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions alongside Marines in Marjah, Afghanistan, in 2010.
(Photo by Staff Sgt. Marcus Butler/Army)
Combat operations are rarely as simple as Marines serving exclusively with Marines, or soldiers serving exclusively with soldiers. There’s no better recent example of this than Army Staff Sgt. Corey Calkins, who was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism serving alongside Marines.

On Feb. 18, 2010, Calkins was serving in Marjah, Afghanistan, a Taliban stronghold that had been assaulted by Marine forces only days before. As part of a dismounted reconnaissance patrol consisting of U.S. soldiers, Marines and Afghan National Security Forces, Calkins led an attack on a platoon-sized group of insurgents in fortified positions in the bazaar near Marjah, according to his award citation.

“In the face of intense small arms, rocket-propelled grenade and mortar fire, Staff Sergeant Calkins’ undaunted charge inspired the Afghan National Army Company to overrun the enemy positions, pursue the insurgents and prevent them from reorganizing,” the citation says.
read more here