Watch: Soon to be MOH recipient explains hostage rescue mission in Iraq

Jack Murphy
September 04, 2020 - 1:14 pm
Pat Payne

US Army/(K. Kassens)


On Sept. 11, Sgt. Maj. Patrick Payne will be awarded the Medal of Honor at the White House for combat actions that took place in Iraq in 2015. Payne and his teammates executed a high-risk hostage rescue mission to liberate Iraqi prisoners being held by ISIS near the town of Hawija. During the mission, Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler was tragically shot and killed.

A fellow Delta Force operator described Payne as, "the guy you never had to worry about, a great guy." He further elaborated to Connecting Vets that Payne is emblematic of the type of non-commissioned officer found in his unit and that he is also of a generation of operators who grew up in the 75th Ranger Regiment before coming to Delta Force that have never really had any kind of break between combat deployments for nearly twenty years.

In the below video, Sgt. Maj. Payne describes the mission which claimed Wheeler's life, his own actions on the objective, and what the Medal of Honor means to him.

The Army has also published a written narrative with pictures and maps on their website.

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Reach Jack Murphy: or @JackMurphyRGR.