15 September 2009

Medal of Honor to be presented Thursday

ZUI this article from www.Army.mil:
Ask anyone - family, friends, Soldiers - who knew Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti of the 10th Mountain Division, and they'll tell you he was the best friend, best Soldier, best noncommissioned officer, best person they ever knew.


He was posthumously promoted to sergeant first class the following day and will be the first Soldier awarded the Medal of Honor for Operation Enduring Freedom Thursday, when President Barack Obama presents the nation's highest honor to Monti's parents in a White House ceremony. Monti will also be honored in a Pentagon ceremony Friday.

Monti earned the Medal when he and 15 other Soldiers became the first American servicemembers to ever set foot in the Gremen Valley, near the Pakistan border. Reports had showed insurgents were in the area, but not their exact location, their numbers or the types of weapons they had.

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Sergeant First Class (then Staff Sergeant), US Army; 3d Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 3d Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry)

Born: 20 September 1975, Abington, Massachusetts
Died: 21 June 2006, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sergeant First Class Monti distinguished himself at the cost of his life while serving as a team leader with the Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3d Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan on 21 June 2006. On that day, Sergeant First Class Monti was leading a mission to gather intelligence and to direct fires against the enemy in support of a squadron-size interdiction mission. While at an observation position on top of a mountain ridge, Sergeant First Class Monti’s sixteen-man patrol came under attack by a superior force consisting of as many as 50 enemy fighters. On the verge of being overrun, Sergeant First Class Monti directed his patrol to set up a hasty defensive position behind a collection of rocks. He then began to call for indirect fire from a nearby support base; accurately bringing the rounds upon the enemy who had closed to within 50 meters of his position. While still calling for fire, Sergeant First Class Monti personally engaged the enemy with his rifle and a grenade, successfully disrupting an attempt to flank the patrol. Sergeant First Class Monti then realized that one of his Soldiers was lying wounded and exposed in the open ground between the advancing enemy and the patrol’s position. With complete disregard for his own safety, Sergeant First Class Monti moved from behind the cover of the rocks into the face of withering enemy fire. After closing within meters of his wounded Soldier, the heavy volume of fire forced Sergeant First Class Monti to seek cover. Sergeant First Class Monti then gathered himself and rose again to maneuver through a barrage of enemy fire to save his wounded Soldier. Again, Sergeant First Class Monti was driven back by relentless enemy fire. Unwilling to leave his Soldier wounded and exposed, Sergeant First Class Monti made another attempt to move across open terrain and through the enemy fire to the aide of his wounded Soldier. On his third attempt, Sergeant First Class Monti was mortally wounded, sacrificing his own life in an effort to save his Soldier. Sergeant First Class Monti’s acts of heroism inspired the patrol to fight off the larger enemy force. Sergeant First Class Monti’s immeasurable courage and uncommon valor were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, 3d Squadron 71st Cavalry Regiment, the 3d Brigade Combat Team, the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), and the United States Army.

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