Special tactics airman to receive Silver Star for 2013 life-saving actions in Afghanistan

Elizabeth Howe
August 14, 2020 - 11:09 am
Master Sgt. John Grimesey

US Air Force

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Despite being severely concussed, then Senior Airman John Grimesey and his team killed 31 enemy Taliban fighters to save the lives of both American and Afghan troops. Now, Master Sgt. Grimesey will receive the Silver Star for his actions in Afghanistan in 2013. 

Upgraded from Grimesey's previous Bronze Star, the award recognizes his actions during the clearing mission to save an Afghan commander who had been shot by opposing forces. Grimesey was attacked by a rocket-propelled grenade, sustaining a severe concussion. He was able to quickly clear his mind and continue battling the enemy forces while also controlling multiple airstrikes. The Afghan commander's body was recovered without further loss of life. 

Grimesey is now the flight chief of the 21st Special Tactics Squadron at Pope Army Air Field, North Carolina. He will also receive a Bronze Star with Valor device for his actions during a separate ambush in 2017 in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, the Air Force said in a news release.

"By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Airman Grimesey has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force," Grimesey's award citation reads.

The Silver Star is the nation's third-highest medal for gallantry against an armed enemy of the United States in combat. The Bronze Star with Valor device is the fourth highest. 

Grimesey's award ceremony is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Friday, August 14 and can be live-streamed here.

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