Master Sergeant Kevin A. Colwell awarded ARCOM/"V"

Army Commendation Medal w/"V" Device

For gallantry in combat as the Company Operations Sergeant, Special Forces Operational Detachment Bravo - 9220, Special Operations Task Force - 31 Firebase Mogensen. Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom XIII. Sergeant Colwell distinguished himself by exceptional valor under fire during combat operations. After being caught in an enemy ambush kill zone, Sergeant Colwell heroically led his crew out of the kill zone after his vehicle was hit by a rocket propelled grenade, indisputably saving the lives of his crew and fellow soldiers. His actions are in keeping with the with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, Special Operations Task Force - 31, The Combined Joint Special Operation Task Force - Afghanistan, Special Operations Command Central, and the United States Army

Master Sergeant Colwell was inducted into the Class of 2016 for the Ohio Military Hall of Fame at the Ohio Statehouse on April 29, 2016.

19th Special Forces Group Green Beret Awarded The Silver Star

NARRATIVE TO THE AWARD OF

THE SILVER STAR

TO

STAFF SERGEANT MICHAEL D. SARGENT

Staff Sergeant Michael D. Sargent, United States Army, heroically distinguished himself in the face of the enemies of the United States of America with exceptionally valorous conduct as the Forces Engineer Sergeant for Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha 9114, Advanced Operations Base-South, Special Operations Task-Afghanistan, on 17 December 2015 during Operation FREEDOM’S SENTINEL in support of RESOLUTE SUPPORT Mission. During the early hours of 17 December 2015, SSG Sargent heroically distinguished himself as an assault team leader during a clearing operation in Khan Neshin Valley, Reg-e Khan District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The Commandos belonging to the element that SSG Sargent accompanied as a mentor entered a courtyard adjacent to their objective and were involved in a brief firefight resulting in two casualties. The Commandos’ reports were unclear as to whether their comrades were deceased or wounded but informed the mentors that the area was cleared. SSG Sargent entered the courtyard as part of a four-man element to assist with the recovery of the Commandos believing that the area was secure. After locating the two Commandos and verifying that they were deceased, the element came under intense automatic weapons fire at very close range from firing positions in a structure adjacent to the courtyard. During the initial burst, two team members received gunshot wounds to their upper extremities and immediately exited the courtyard, leaving SSG Sargent and another team member alone in the courtyard.   With total disregard for his safety, SSG Sargent moved to the casualty closest to his position, retrieved the body and dragged the deceased soldier out of the courtyard under a hail of gunfire. Upon exiting the courtyard to relative safety, SSG Sargent returned into the courtyard without hesitation and recovered the second body and aided the remaining teammate still under fire. The structure containing the firing positions began to burn, resulting in large secondary explosions. Again with total disregard for his safety, SSG Sargent moved through intense enemy fire and secondary explosions and employed two hand grenades into the fighting position to cover the withdrawal of his team members. The insurgents attempted to assault out of the fighting positions and SSG Sargent and his remaining teammate dispatched five enemy combatants. Once the intense firefight had subsided, SSG Sargent reestablished communications with the detachment leadership. SSG Sargent’s actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect distinct credit upon himself, the Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan, the NATO Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan/Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan, and the United States Army.

MOH MSG Roy P. Benavidez

On this date in U.S. Army SF history......02 May 1968 – Special Forces MSG Roy P. Benavidez participated in action in Vietnam for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

His citation reads:

Master Sergeant (then Staff Sergeant) Roy P. BENAVIDEZ United States Army, distinguished himself by a series of daring and extremely valorous actions on 2 May 1968 while assigned to Detachment B56, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Republic of Vietnam.

On the morning of 2 May 1968, a 12-man Special Forces Reconnaissance Team was inserted by helicopters of the 240th Assault Helicopter Company in a dense jungle area west of Loc Ninh, Vietnam to gather intelligence information about confirmed large-scale enemy activity. This area was controlled and routinely patrolled by the North Vietnamese Army. After a short period of time on the ground, the team met heavy enemy resistance, and requested emergency extraction. Three helicopters attempted extraction, but were unable to land due to intense enemy small arms and anti-aircraft fire.

Sergeant BENAVIDEZ was at the Forward Operating Base in Loc Ninh monitoring the operation by radio when these helicopters, of the 240th Assault Helicopter Company, returned to off-load wounded crew members and to assess aircraft damage. Sergeant Benavidez voluntarily boarded a returning aircraft to assist in another extraction attempt. Realizing that all the team members were either dead or wounded and unable to move to the pickup zone, he directed the aircraft to a nearby clearing where he jumped from the hovering helicopter, and ran approximately 75 meters under withering small arms fire to the crippled team.

Prior to reaching the team's position he was wounded in his right leg, face, and head. Despite these painful injuries, he took charge, repositioning the team members and directing their fire to facilitate the landing of an extraction aircraft, and the loading of wounded and dead team members. He then threw smoke canisters to direct the aircraft to the team's position. Despite his severe wounds and under intense enemy fire, he carried and dragged half of the wounded team members to the awaiting aircraft. He then provided protective fire by running alongside the aircraft as it moved to pick up the remaining team members. As the enemy's fire intensified, he hurried to recover the body and classified documents on the dead team leader.

When he reached the leader's body, Sergeant BENAVIDEZ was severely wounded by small arms fire in the abdomen and grenade fragments in his back. At nearly the same moment, the aircraft pilot was mortally wounded, and his helicopter crashed. Although in extremely critical condition due to his multiple wounds, Sergeant Benavidez secured the classified documents and made his way back to the wreckage, where he aided the wounded out of the overturned aircraft, and gathered the stunned survivors into a defensive perimeter. Under increasing enemy automatic weapons and grenade fire, he moved around the perimeter distributing water and ammunition to his weary men, reinstilling in them a will to live and fight. Facing a buildup of enemy opposition with a beleaguered team, Sergeant BENAVIDEZ mustered his strength, began calling in tactical air strikes and directed the fire from supporting gunships to suppress the enemy's fire and so permit another extraction attempt.

He was wounded again in his thigh by small arms fire while administering first aid to a wounded team member just before another extraction helicopter was able to land. His indomitable spirit kept him going as he began to ferry his comrades to the craft. On his second trip with the wounded, he was clubbed from behind by an enemy soldier. In the ensuing hand-to-hand combat, he sustained additional wounds to his head and arms before killing his adversary. He then continued under devastating fire to carry the wounded to the helicopter. Upon reaching the aircraft, he spotted and killed two enemy soldiers who were rushing the craft from an angle that prevented the aircraft door gunner from firing upon them. With little strength remaining, he made one last trip to the perimeter to ensure that all classified material had been collected or destroyed, and to bring in the remaining wounded.

Only then, in extremely serious condition from numerous wounds and loss of blood, did he allow himself to be pulled into the extraction aircraft, Sergeant BENAVIDEZS' gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and his refusal to be stopped despite numerous severe wounds, saved the lives of at least eight men. His fearless personal leadership, tenacious devotion to duty, and extremely valorous actions in the face of overwhelming odds were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect the utmost credit on him and the United States Army.