U.S. Army Special Operations Command announced Thursday that President Donald Trump will award Army Green Beret Master Sgt. Matthew O. Williams with the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry on October 30.
Williams will receive the medal for his actions in Afghanistan on April 6, 2008, as a weapons sergeant with Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3336, Special Operations Task Force-33, assault element.
His actions helped save the lives of four critically wounded soldiers and prevented the lead element of the assault force from being overrun by the enemy, according to a White House statement.
Facing rocket-propelled grenade, sniper, and machine gun fire, then-Sgt. Williams led an Afghan Commando element across a fast-moving, ice cold, and waist-deep river to fight its way up a terraced mountain to the besieged lead element of the assault force. He then set up a base of fire that the enemy was not able to overcome.
When his team sergeant was wounded by sniper fire, Williams exposed himself to enemy fire to come to his aid and to move him down the mountainside to the casualty collection point, and then braved small arms fire and climbed back up the cliff to evacuate other injured soldiers and repair the team’s satellite radio.
He again exposed himself to enemy fire as he helped move several casualties down the near vertical mountainside and as he carried and loaded casualties on to evacuation helicopters.
“Sergeant Williams’ actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself. Combined Joint Special Operations Task-Force-Afghanistan, Operation Command Central, and the United States Army,” USASOC spokesman Lt. Col. Loren Bymer said in a statement.
Williams is a native of Boerne, Texas, and graduated from Angelo State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.
He enlisted into the Army under the 18X Special Forces enlistment program in September 2005 and became a Green Beret in 2007, serving with Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne).
In 2008, he deployed to Afghanistan with Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3336, Special Operations Task Force-33.
Williams has deployed multiple times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Juniper Shield, serving in numerous positions, including weapons sergeant, Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd SFG (A); senior weapons sergeant, Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd SFG (A); senior instructor/writer, Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group; senior weapons sergeant, Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion 3rd SFG (A); and operations sergeant, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion 3rd SFG (A).
He is still serving in the United States Army and is assigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. When off duty, he enjoys hunting and spending time with his wife, Kate, and their son, Nolan, the White House statement said.
His awards and decorations include the Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal with Bronze Clasp and four Loops, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three Bronze Service Stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral “4,” Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with Numeral “3,” Valorous Unit Award, Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, and Special Forces Tab.
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