NPR logo Posthumous Medal Of Honor For Staff Sgt. Monti


Posthumous Medal Of Honor For Staff Sgt. Monti

The White House just confirmed that Army Staff Sgt. Jared Monti will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously "for his heroic actions in combat in Afghanistan." It adds that Monti:

Displayed immeasurable courage and uncommon valor — eventually sacrificing his own life in an effort to save his comrade.

The Boston Globe writes that the 30-year-old Monti, from Raynham, Mass., "died in 2006 trying to rescue fellow soldiers in Afghanistan during a battle against Taliban insurgents. ... Monti was shot to death by Taliban fighters while he was moving fellow soldiers to a covered position, his mother said. He saved the life of one soldier who had been wounded by gunfire, before he was killed."

The widely read "milblog" Mudville Gazette links to this Army account of Monti's actions. Here's an excerpt:

When SFC Monti realized that a member of the patrol, Private First Class (PFC) Brian J. Bradbury, was critically wounded and exposed 10 meters from cover, without regard for his personal safety, he advanced through enemy fire to within three feet of PFC Bradbury's position.

But he was forced back by intense RPG fire. He tried again to secure PFC Bradbury, but he was forced to stay in place again as the enemy intensified its fire. The remaining patrol members coordinated covering fires for SFC Monti, and he advanced a third time toward the wounded Soldier.

But he only took a few steps this time before he was mortally wounded by an RPG. About the same time, the indirect fire and CAS he called for began raining down on the enemy's position. The firepower broke the enemy attack, killing 22 enemy fighters. SFC Monti's actions prevented the patrol's position from being overrun, saved his team's lives and inspired his men to fight on against overwhelming odds.

SFC Monti epitomizes what it means to be an NCO. Because of his personal sacrifice and selfless service to the Army, the men of his patrol are alive today and continue the fight.

As the Congressional Medal of Honor Society writes:

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Generally presented to its recipient by the President of the United States of America in the name of Congress, it is often called the Congressional Medal of Honor.

There have been 3,467 MOHs awarded since the Civil War.

Monti's parents plan to accept the honor at a Sept. 17 White House ceremony.