War on Terror Medal of Honor Recipients
September 11, 2018
Today we remember and honor the 2,983 innocent people who were killed 17 years ago. We remember their lives as more than just how they ended and the memories that are cherished by their family and friends each day. We encourage you to take a moment to read the names and learn stories of the women, men and children who were killed on September 11, 2001.
In response to the September 11, 2001 attacks, the War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001. Since that day, 2.77 million service members have served our country in at least one deployment across the world. Twenty of those service members have been awarded the Medal of Honor for their heroic actions and service above self during the Global War on Terror. Eight of those 20 gave the ultimate sacrifice and were awarded posthumously. Below we highlight each of those twenty recipients, listed in order of their actions in combat. Click through to read their citations and learn more about their courage and selfless acts in protection of us and our country.
John Chapman, Air Force, Technical Sergeant
Air Force Tech. Sergeant John Chapman is the most recent Medal of Honor recipient. He was posthumously recognized for his actions on top of a snowy mountain in Afghanistan on March 4, 2002. He sacrificed himself in combat with the enemy, allowing his team to move to cover
Britt Slabiniski, Navy, Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator
On March 4, 2002 Navy Senior Chief Britt Slabinski rallied his team members and rescued a stranded teammate. He was awarded the Medal of Honor 16 years later.
Paul R. Smith, Army, Sergeant First Class
Medal of Honor recipient Army Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith was killed in action on April 4, 2003. He held the enemy at bay by throwing grenades and returning fire, allowing his wounded teammates to be carried out.
Jason Dunham, Marine Corps, Corporal
Marine Corps Corporal Jason Dunham gave the ultimate sacrifice on April 14, 2004 when he fought hand-to-hand with the enemy and threw himself on a grenade to protect fellow Marines. He was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Michael P. Murphy, Navy, Lieutenant
On June 28, 2005, Navy Lt Michael P. Murphy led a reconnaissance team in a fight against a mass of enemy troops. Murphy exposed himself to hostile fire in order to call in help, sacrificing his life for others. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his courage and selflessness.
Jared C. Monti, Army, Sergeant First Class
On June 21, 2006, Army Sergeant 1st Class Jared C. Monti was killed in action while trying to rescue a wounded soldier from intense enemy fire. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Afghanistan.
Michael A. Monsoor, Navy, Master-at-arms Second Class
On September 29, 2006 while fighting in Iraq Medal of Honor recipient Navy Master-at-arms-second class Michael A. Monsoor saved the lives of his fellow SEALS but sacrificed his own by diving on a grenade to protect them.
Ross A. McGinnis, Army, Specialist
Army Specialist Ross A. McGinnis was killed in action on December 4, 2006. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for saving the lives of four soldiers by diving on a grenade while inside a Humvee.
Salvatore Giunta, Army, Staff Sergeant
Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta risked his life to save a wounded soldier from being captured in Afghanistan on October 25, 2007. He was the first living Medal of Honor recipient since the Vietnam War.
Kyle White, Army, Sergeant
Army Sergeant Kyle White repeatedly risked his life to provide lifesaving medical aid to wounded soldiers and radioed in to enable counterattacks and rescue efforts on November 9, 2007 and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions.
Robert James Miller, Army, Staff Sergeant
On January 25, 2008, Army Staff Sgt Robert J. Miller and Medal of Honor recipient was killed in action as he diverted gunfire from Taliban forces, allowing his fellow soldiers to escape.
Ronald J. Shurer II, Army, Staff Sergeant
Shurer risked his life multiple times to save injured soldiers, fighting his way across firestorms of bullets, scaling up the side of the mountain and even using his own body to shield the injured from fire and debris. In the process, Shurer was hit by sniper fire in the helmet and arm.
Leroy Petry, Army, Sergeant First Class
In Afghanistan on May 26, 2008, Army SFC Leroy Petry was shot through both of his legs, but still managed to save his fellow Rangers by picking up and throwing a live grenade, resulting in the loss of his hand. For his extraordinary heroism, Petry was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Ryan M. Pitts, Army, Staff Sergeant
Though gravely injured and under fire, Army Staff Sergeant Ryan M. Pitts courageously called for return fire on the enemy just inches from his own position during the Battle of Wanat in Afghanistan on July 13, 2008. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions.
William D. Swenson, Army, Captain
Risking his own life while under enemy fire, on September 8, 2009, Army Captain William D. Swenson rescued and recovered fallen comrades during the Battle of Ganjgal in Afghanistan. For exceptional leadership and gallantry above the call of duty, he received the Medal of Honor.
Ty Carter, Army, Staff Sergeant
Army Staff Sgt Ty Carter repeatedly risked his life under enemy fire in Afghanistan, administered life-extending first aid, obtained ammunition, and helped carry wounded to aid station on October 3, 2009 and was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Clinton Romesha, Army, Staff Sergeant
Army Staff Sergeant Clinton Romesha risked his life to save soldiers by organizing and repelling an attack against Taliban forces during the Battle of Kamdesh. For these heroic actions on October 3, 2009, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Dakota Meyer, Marine Corps, Sergeant
Marine Corps Sergeant Dakota Meyer was awarded the Medal of Honor when he defied orders and rescued 23 Afghan Allies and 13 Americans during the Battle of Ganjgal in Afghanistan on September 8, 2009.
Kyle Carpenter, Marine Corps, Corporal
Marine Corps Cpl. Kyle Carpenter risked his life in Afghanistan by diving toward a grenade to save a fellow Marine while they were under attack and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions on November 21, 2010.
Florent Groberg, Army, Captain
Captain Florent Groberg ran toward a suicide bomber, grabbed him and shoved him out of the way, preventing numerous casualties and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in Afghanistan on August 8, 2012.
Edward Byers, Navy, Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator
Navy Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward Byers, courageously helped to rescue an American civilian being held hostage in Afghanistan on December 8, 2012. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his intrepidity and willingness to sacrifice his life for others.