President Donald Trump will upgrade Green Beret Master Sergeant Matthew O. Williams' Silver Star to the Medal of Honor for his bravery in Afghanistan, officials announced on Thursday.
Williams was serving with Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3336 on April 6, 2008, when he braved enemy fire to save the lives of four critically-wounded soldiers and prevent the lead element of his assault force from being overrun by the enemy, a White House news release says.
“In the face of rocket-propelled grenade, sniper, and machine gun fire, Sergeant Williams led an Afghan Commando element across a fast-moving, ice cold, and waist-deep river to fight its way up a terraced mountain to the besieged lead element of the assault force,” the news release says.
“Sergeant Williams then set up a base of fire that the enemy was not able to overcome. When his Team Sergeant was wounded by sniper fire, Sergeant Williams exposed himself to enemy fire to come to his aid and to move him down the sheer mountainside to the casualty collection point.”
“Sergeant Williams then braved small arms fire and climbed back up the cliff to evacuate other injured soldiers and repair the team's satellite radio. He again exposed himself to enemy fire as he helped move several casualties down the near vertical mountainside and as he carried and loaded casualties on to evacuation helicopters.”
Trump will present Williams with the Medal of Honor at an Oct. 30 ceremony at the White House.
His other awards include the Bronze Star Medal with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three Bronze Service Stars, Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, and Special Forces Tab, according to U.S. Army Special Operations Command.