Ronald J. Shurer was pursuing his master’s degree when the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks prompted him to protect and serve his country by enlisting in the U.S. Army in September 2002. Shurer was deployed with the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan from November 2007 to May 2008. After being honorably discharged in 2009, Ronald Shurer continues to serve his country as a Secret Service Special Agent. He has been assigned to the Phoenix Field Office and was also selected for the Counter Assault Team as part of the Special Operations Division. He has made a home in Virginia with his wife and their two sons.
On April 6, 2008 then-Staff Sergeant Shurer saved the lives of four U.S. soldiers and ten injured Afghan commandos while in Afghanistan in support of Operating Enduring Freedom. Shurer was serving as a Senior Medical Staff Sergeant when his team became engaged with heavy enemy machine gun, sniper and rocket-propelled grenade fire. Over 200 enemy fighters caused several American soldier casualties and injuries while many soldiers were pinned down the side of a mountain. 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. According to his Silver Star citation:
“Sergeant Shurer rendered lifesaving aid to four critically wounded casualties for more than five and a half hours. As the lone medic at the besieged location, and almost overrun and fighting against nearly 200 insurgent fighters, Sergeant Shurer’s bravery and poise under fire saved the lives of all wounded casualties under his care.”
His heroic efforts weren’t over. In addition to giving lifesaving aid to soldiers at the risk of his own life, he evacuated three wounded soldiers down a 60-foot cliff, using material he found to create a nylon webbing contraption to lower the wounded. After aiding and evacuating his injured team members, Shurer picked up where he left off and rejoined his commando squad to fight enemy soldiers.
Shurer was originally awarded the Silver Star Medal for his actions on April 6, 2008 as part of the 3rd Special Forces Group. During the ceremony for the Special Forces Soldiers Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland presented the awards, “Where do we get such men’ There is no finer fighting man on the face of the earth than the American Soldier. And there is no finer American Soldier than our Green Berets.” On September 21, 2018 it was announced that Ronald J. Shurer II would be awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in a ceremony on October 1, 2018.