Army Sgt. Daniel Cowart gets a hug from then-Dallas Cowboys defensive end Chris Canty. Photo: Department of Defense
The Distinguished Service Cross was made for guys like Sgt. Daniel Cowart, who literally tackled and "engaged...in hand to hand combat" a man wearing a suicide vest while he was on patrol in Iraq.
So it's no wonder he's having his Silver Star upgraded to the second-highest military award.
Cowart, who served with 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, is being awarded the Army's second-highest medal in March due to his "exceptionally valorous conduct" in Iraq on July 12, 2007. His award upgrade stems from a review ordered by former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, according to a press release from Fort Hood.
He was later medically-retired from the Army in Sep. 2008.
Cowart's Silver Star citation says that his platoon engaged with a stopped vehicle during a combat patrol. When the soldiers approached the vehicle, the occupants "burst from the vehicle, one wielding a rifle which he fired at two of the nearby Soldiers and the other wearing a suicide vest."
Cowart tackled the man wearing the suicide vest, and hurled "himself and the man away from the vehicle."
He was "traumatically" injured when the man detonated the vest, the citation reads, but prevented the other soldiers or civilians from being harmed.
The ceremony for Cowart's award will take place on March 20 at Fort Hood, Texas.
Here's his full citation for the Silver Star:
On May 13, 2007, while serving as Gunner, 1st Platoon, Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, Sgt. Cowart distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous conduct in the face of the enemy. During the conduct of a combat patrol along a main supply route, Sgt. Cowart's platoon halted to conduct a traffic checkpoint. When the occupants of a stopped vehicle would not exit their vehicle, Sgt. Cowart and three of his comrades dismounted their vehicle and approached the stopped vehicle and took positions to engage with the occupants. While they were near the vehicle, the occupants burst from the vehicle, one wielding a rifle which he fired at two of the nearby Soldiers and the other wearing a suicide vest. As the rifle wielding insurgent was engaged by another Soldier, Sgt. Cowart maneuvered around the vehicle and engaged the suicide vest wearing insurgent in hand to hand combat, tackling the man and hurling himself and the man away from the vehicle. Despite the confusion, the insurgent detonated his vest, thereby traumatically wounding Sgt. Cowart. Due to his ability to discern the threat to his comrades and his utter disregard for his own safety, Sgt. Cowart was able to prevent further injury to his fellow Soldiers and nearby civilians.
Afghan National Army soldiers practice the prone shooting position during a class given by coalition force members on the fundamentals of marksmanship in Farah province, Feb. 14, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Chadwick de Bree)
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More disturbingly, the Resolute Support mission's Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan "has not issued any financial penalties against the ANDSF" for the mistreatment of its O&M because withholding funds, according to the SIGAR report "harms ANDSF forces more than it would tend to change behavior" of corrupt security forces.
Dan Caldwell, the executive director of Concerned Veterans for America, and Jon Soltz, the chairman for VoteVets on MSNBC's Morning Joe on March 18 discussing their campaign to see Congress end America's Forever Wars. (MSNBC/Youtube)
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But they've found common ground on at least one issue: It's time for Congress to have an open debate about ending the Forever Wars.
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On Sunday, Dion Nissenbaum and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported that the U.S. military is considering leaving as many as 1,000 troops in Syria to prevent Turkey from attacking the United States' Kurdish allies. So far, the United States and Turkey have failed to agree on how to secure the proposed safe zone.
U.S. Army Sgt. James R. Moore of Portland, Ore., a logitstics NCO with the 642nd Regional Support Group, shoots at the Fort Pickett rifle range as part of the Mortuary Affairs Exercise Aug. 15, 2018. (U.S. Army/Sgt. 1st Class Gary A. Witte, 642nd Regional Support Group)