Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Soldier killed in 2003 'Thunder Run' invasion of Baghdad to receive Distinguished Service Cross
The U.S. Army has announced it will upgrade a former 3rd Infantry Division soldier's Silver Star to a Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery during the unit's "Thunder Run" attack on Baghdad, Iraq, in 2003.
Staff Sgt. Stevon A. Booker, who was killed protecting his platoon's flank, will receive the nation's second-highest award for valor in a ceremony in Pittsburgh on April 5, according to a Feb. 21 3rd Infantry Division press release.
Booker is the latest soldier to have his Silver Star upgraded to a Distinguished Service Cross as the result of a comprehensive review of military awards and decorations at the direction of former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, the release states.
Booker's unit — A Company, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment -- led an armored assault, known as a Thunder Run, which helped topple Saddam Hussein's regime, the release states.
At one point, Booker's platoon began taking heavy small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire, the release states.
"Booker immediately reacted — communicated the situation to his chain-of-command, returned fire with his mounted machine gun and reassured his crew that they would make it to their objective," according to the release. "When his crew machine gun malfunctioned, Booker completely disregarded his personal safety and took up an exposed prone position on the top of his tank."
Under heavy enemy fire, Booker managed to destroy an enemy vehicle and "effectively protected his platoon's flank," the release states.
"Booker continued to engage the enemy and protect his platoon while exposed for nearly five miles until he was fatally wounded," according to the release.The Army is scheduled to present Booker's mother, Freddie M. Jackson, with his Distinguished Service Cross on April 5, the 16th anniversary of her son's death, the release states.
The Army also recently announced that it will upgrade Sgt. Daniel E. Cowart's Silver Star to a DSC in a March 20 ceremony for the heroism he showed during a combat patrol in Iraq in 2007.
Cowart, a former member of the 1st Cavalry Division, is credited with wrestling a suicide bomber away from his three fellow soldiers before the bomb exploded. Cowart was severely wounded in the blast, but his actions saved the three soldiers' lives.
Maj. Thomas Gordon Bostick will also receive the Distinguished Service Cross in March, an upgrade from the posthumous Silver Star he was awarded for "sacrificing his life" to protect his 173rd Airborne Brigade soldiers during an enemy ambush in Afghanistan.
This article originally appeared on Military.com
More articles from Military.com:
- Always Wanted to Own a Military Tactical Vehicle? Here's Your Chance
- Army to Test Out Lighter Body Armor Plates This Year
- Navy Ships Will Again Fly the Union Jack as US Enters Great Power Competition
SEE ALSO: Soldier Billed As 'Timeless Example Of Heroism Under Fire' To Have Award Upgraded To Distinguished Service Cross
WATCH NEXT: Medal Of Honor Recipient Flo Groberg's Favorite War Films
Members of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces frequently robbed and abused native Afghan personnel hired under three maintenance and operations contracts at ANDSF military bases, according to an alarming new report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, confiscating a total of $780,000 in property and equipment and often detaining workers at gunpoint.
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.
Once political foes, these veterans are joining forces against a shared enemy: America's 'forever wars'
Two political veterans groups, one conservative, the other liberal, have spent millions fighting each other on various fronts, from Department of Veterans Affairs reform — what one group calls "choice" and the other calls "privatization" — to getting their pick of candidates into office.
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.
It may be one of the most important Air Force installations in the continental United States, but Offutt Air Force Base has proven no match for the full fury of the Missouri River.
Up to 1,000 U.S. troops could remain in Syria — more than twice as many as originally announced, according to the Wall Street Journal.
President Donald Trump initially announced in December that he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, but U.S. officials said in February that several hundred troops are expected to remain in Syria to create a "safe zone" along the border with Turkey and to man the al-Tanf garrison, which is located along a supply rote that would allow Iran to supply its proxies in Syria.
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.
The head of Army Materiel Command said recently that he is putting a high priority on munitions readiness to make sure Army units are prepared for the next war.