Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
An Army special operations warrant officer is now the only soldier on active duty with two Distinguished Service Crosses
In March 2010, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jason W. Myers rushed into enemy fire to rescue two Afghanistan police officers.
A little more than a year later, in November of 2011, Myers repeatedly went into a building under enemy attack, surrounded by grenade blasts to help rescue 15 hostages in Afghanistan.
About 3:15 p.m. on Nov. 10, 2011, Myers' unit noticed insurgent weapon fire in a civilian compound distribution center, a Special Forces major said at a ceremony Wednesday where Myers was presented with his second Distinguished Service Cross Award in the John F. Kennedy auditorium at Fort Bragg.
In an interview after Wednesday's ceremony, Myers said his team initially wasn't sure if the enemy fire was a baited ambush to draw the troops out.
After realizing the attack was focused on the district center, Myers' team notified partner forces — the Afghan uniformed police, a special tactics team and the Afghan National army Commando Corps, the major said.
His team was directed to move toward the west gate of the center to link up with the rest of the team, where Myers' team immediately was under attack by enemy fire.
Several grenade explosions later and after entering buildings at the compound, Myers' commanders learned about the hostages from a wounded Afghan district chief of police, who said a couple of insurgents were wearing suicide vests, the major said.
After nine hostages were rescued and Myers received medical attention, he returned to the district center compound to provide a ladder to help rescue the remaining government officials, the major said.
After that rescue, he volunteered to further assist with clearing the building, where a booby trap was triggered, the major said.
Myers helped evacuate six partner force soldiers injured from that explosion.
"He entered the main building three total times in order to clear it of all enemy fires," said Lt. Gen. Francis Beaudette, commander of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, "All of this was done while sustaining shrapnel injuries and constantly under active enemy fire."
Surrounded by friends, family and fellow special operations soldiers, Beaudette presented Myers his second Distinguished Service Cross for his role in helping rescue 15 hostages while deployed to Afghanistan in 2011.
Myers' actions from the 2010 and 2011 attacks have made him the only current active-duty soldier to receive multiple Distinguished Service Cross awards, Beaudette said.
Myers received his first Distinguished Service Cross in 2012 for his role in rescuing two Afghan Police officers while under enemy fire on March 27, 2010.
Beaudette recognized Myers' family for instilling values in him prior to his military training, and said Myers' actions exceed the standard level of performance.
Beaudette said if Myers were to tell what happened, he would talk about his teammates' actions.
In an interview with The Fayetteville Observer after the ceremony, Myers said the attack was during month eight of an 11-month deployment.
"I've always been fortunate," Myers said when asked about receiving the Distinguished Service Cross Award twice. "I've always been surrounded by the best officers and the best (noncommissioned officers) in the Army. And with multiple deployments to the same area, we knew the locals. We had a lot of rapport and these longstanding relationships with some of these people, so there was a lot of trust and history between us, the locals and the partner forces."
His actions on Nov. 10 and 11, 2011, assisted with the rescue of 15 hostages, including three district sub-governors and one district chief of police, the Special Forces major said at Wednesday's ceremony.
Five Americans were wounded, 11 Afghans were wounded and three Afghan police were killed in the incident, the major said.
Beaudette said 49 years ago, 56 Green Berets sat in the same JFK auditorium where Myers was recognized Wednesday and were told about "a risky plan," to rescue American prisoners of war in Vietnam. Some of the soldiers walked out the back door, and chose not to rise to the level of standard of expectation of extreme danger that the nation required of them, Beaudette said.
He said Myers' actions are similar to those who walked to the front of the auditorium and signed their name next to a dotted line to go on the mission.
"Jason has demonstrated on not just these two (Distinguished Service Cross Award) occasions but each and each every day he rolls out of the team room that he has the same fearless courage and unbending character of these men," Beaudette said. "He's going to continue to inspire others to protect the nation without fail, without fear and without equal, and we are incredibly proud of him today."
©2019 The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
My brother earned the Medal of Honor for saving countless lives — but only after he was left for dead
"As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night."
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
Air Force Master Sgt. John "Chappy" Chapman is my brother. As one of an elite group, Air Force Combat Control — the deadliest and most badass band of brothers to walk a battlefield — John gave his life on March 4, 2002 for brothers he never knew.
They were the brave men who comprised a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) that had been called in to rescue the SEAL Team 6 team (Mako-30) with whom he had been embedded, which left him behind on Takur Ghar, a desolate mountain in Afghanistan that topped out at over 10,000 feet.
As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night. After many delays, the mission should and could have been pushed one day, but Szymanski ordered the team to proceed as planned, and Britt "Slab" Slabinski, John's team leader, fell into step after another SEAL team refused the mission.
But the "plan" went even more south when they made the rookie move to insert directly atop the mountain — right into the hands of the bad guys they knew were there.
Sen. Rick Scott is backing a bipartisan bill that would allow service members to essentially sue the United States government for medical malpractice if they are injured in the care of military doctors.
The measure has already passed the House and it has been introduced in the Senate, where Scott says he will sign on as a co-sponsor.
"As a U.S. Senator and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, taking care of our military members, veterans and their families is my top priority," the Florida Republican said in a statement.
Little girls everywhere will soon have the chance to play with a set of classic little green Army soldiers that actually reflect the presence of women in the armed forces.
Russia established an air base in the Syrian city where withdrawing US troops were pelted with potatoes
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia landed attack helicopters and troops at a sprawling air base in northern Syria vacated by U.S. forces, the Russian Defence Ministry's Zvezda TV channel said on Friday.
On Thursday, Zvezda said Russia had set up a helicopter base at an airport in the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli, a move designed to increase Moscow's control over events on the ground there.
Qamishli is the same city where Syrian citizens pelted U.S. troops and armored vehicles with potatoes after President Donald Trump vowed to pull U.S. troops from Syria.