Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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War on Terrorism (Iraq) - U.S. Navy

Michael A Monsoor

  • Rank: Master-at-Arms
  • Conflict/Era: War on Terrorism (Iraq)
  • Unit/Command:
    U.S. Navy SEALS
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Navy
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: September 29, 2006
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Ar Ramadi, Iraq

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as automatic weapons gunner for naval special warfare task group Arabian Peninsula, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom on 29 September 2006. As a member of a combined SEAL and Iraqi army sniper over-watch element, tasked with providing early warning and stand-off protection from a rooftop in an insurgent held sector of Ar Ramadi, Iraq, Petty Officer Monsoor distinguished himself by his exceptional bravery in the face of grave danger. In the early morning, insurgents prepared to execute a coordinated attack by reconnoitering the area around the element’s position. Element snipers thwarted the enemy’s initial attempt by eliminating two insurgents. The enemy continued to assault the element, engaging them with a rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire. As enemy activity increased, Petty Officer Monsoor took position with his machine gun between two teammates on an outcropping of the roof. While the SEALs vigilantly watched for enemy activity, an insurgent threw a hand grenade from an unseen location, which bounced off Petty Officer Monsoor’s chest and landed in front of him. Although only he could have escaped the blast, Petty Officer Monsoor chose instead to protect his teammates. Instantly and without regard for his own safety, he threw himself onto the grenade to absorb the force of the explosion with his body, saving the lives of his two teammates. By his undaunted courage, fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of certain death, Petty Officer Monsoor gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Medal of Honor Recipient Michael A. Monsoor
Medal of Honor Recipient Michael A. Monsoor
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Garden Grove, California
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: April 8, 2008

    At the White House by President George W. Bush to his parents

  • Born: April 5, 1981, Long Beach, Los Angeles County, CA, United States
  • Died: September 29, 2006, Ar Ramadi, Iraq
  • Buried: Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, CA, United States

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