Skip to comments.Army captain to receive Medal of Honor for bravery in Afghanistan ambush
Posted on 09/19/2013 7:12:07 PM PDT by Pan_Yan
On the morning of the attack Swenson and his team moved on foot into the rural community of Ganjgal for a meeting with village elders. He and his team were ambushed there by more than 50 well-armed, well-positioned insurgent fighters.
As the enemy unleashed a barrage of rocket-propelled grenades, mortar and machine gun fire, Swenson returned fire, coordinated and directed the response of his Afghan Border Police soldiers, and simultaneously tried to call in suppressive artillery fire and aviation support.
With complete disregard for his own safety, Swenson voluntarily led a team into the kill zone, exposing himself to enemy fire on three occasions to recover the wounded and search for missing team members.
Returning to the kill zone a fourth time in a Humvee, he exited the vehicle, evaded a hail of bullets and shells to recover three fallen Marines and a Navy corpsman, working alongside then-Marine Corps Cpl. Dakota Meyer, who on Sept. 15, 2011, received the Medal of Honor for his own actions in the battle.
After six hours of continuous fighting, Swenson rallied his teammates and effectively disrupted the enemy assault.
(Excerpt) Read more at wtkr.com ...
From left to right, the Army, Air Force and Navy (USN, USMC, USCG) versions of the Medal of Honor.
Yes! Finally! This is the same battle where U.S. Marine Dakota Meyer also earned the MoH. CPT Swanson was pushed aside for a while because of his criticism of the lack of support they recieived from the higher ups and for the stupid ROEs that tied their hands behind their backs. Dakota Meyer always thought that Swanson’s actions where well “above and beyond” even his own. Godspeed to both.
Bing West’s account of the battle is a good read for anyone interested. Into the Fire.
Amen to that!
They fight for each other.
“After six hours of continuous fighting”
Should I even ask where the hell the support was?
It was slow in coming and he wasn't afraid to say so. Probably part of the reason he didn't get this much sooner.
Read Bing West’s book “Into the Fire”, and you will see what happened there.
“Should I even ask where the hell the support was?”
McChrystol and Obama ROE
Hand Salute to a REAL HERO.
God Bless such fighting men as Captain Swenson....
America demands Justice for the Fallen of Benghazi!
We need more living heroes from this war.
Outstanding work Captain.
Is he still on active duty? If so, am I correct that he is the only Medal of Honor recipient who is still on active duty?
If so, this could get interesting.
Apparently this captain is not afraid to “call out” his superiors when he thinks it's warranted. My understanding is that during World War II and the Korean War, when living MOH recipients were more common because of the different nature of combat back then, MOH recipients who were still on active duty ended up being the “go to guys” for enlisted personnel and junior officers to bring their grievances to the upper levels of the military because they were essentially untouchable.
For example, infantry MOH people and ace fighter pilots had the “street cred” to tell colonels and generals, “Look, sir, you're wrong, nearly all your subordinates know you're wrong, and I'm here to tell you what you need to hear.”
Of course the colonel or general or admiral could yell and scream, but since the person speaking had already proved himself in ways the senior officer usually hadn't, the speaker didn't care — and the people on both sides of the desk both knew it.
Four U.S. troops were killed in the battle, and a Department of Defense investigation released months later found that negligent leadership and the commands refusal to provide air support directly contributed to their deaths. Meyer and two other Marines have been honored for their valor during the operation, but Swenson who was first nominated for the Medal of Honor in 2009 had not received any award for his actions. Many believed the delay was an effort to kill the nomination after Swenson was publicly critical of the commands decisions during the battle. In 2011, after officials said the original nomination had been lost, Marine Gen. John Allen, then the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, resubmitted the paperwork. Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican and Marine combat veteran, wrote a letter in 2012 to then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, expressing concerns that Swensons nomination might have been unfairly derailed by what appears to be nothing more than bureaucratic influence and arbitrary reasoning. Hunter called the fact that Swensons nomination had been lost troubling. On Tuesday, Hunter praised the decision to award Swenson the medal, calling him an American hero who exemplifies the extraordinary bravery and selflessness of our nations military over more than a decade of fighting in Afghanistan. Hunter said Swensons medal is especially important because not only is Capt. Swenson finally receiving the recognition he should have received years ago, but it goes a long way to restoring the integrity of the Medal of Honor process.Link: http://www.stripes.com/news/us/capt-william-swenson-former-soldier-to-receive-medal-of-honor-1.241604
I do know that holders of the MOH warrent a salute from all, even senior officers.
Same place Benghazi support was.