Special Ops Medic to Receive Medal of Honor
An Army Special Ops Medic will be the recipient of the Medal of Honor at the White House on October 1. He will be the 11th soldier to receive the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan. The actions of Staff Sgt Ronald Shurer II ten years ago in Afghanistan made him a Silver Star recipient. The Silver Star has been upgraded to the MOH, the nation’s highest honor for valor.
Update: May 15, 2020. SSgt Shurer passed away from lung cancer after beng removed from the ventilator. Rest in Peace, Sir.
SSgt Shurer was serving with the 3rd Special Forces Group, Special Operations Task Force — 33 on April 6, 2008. They were assigned to take out high-value targets of the Hezeb Islami al Gulbadin in Shok Valley.
The Army press release stated in part:
“As the team navigated through the valley, a firefight quickly erupted, and a series of insurgent sniper fire, rocket-propelled grenades, and small arms and machine gun fire forced the unit into a defensive fighting position.
Around that time, Shurer received word that their forward assault element was also pinned down at another location, and the forward team had sustained multiple casualties.
With disregard for his safety, Shurer moved quickly through a hail of bullets toward the base of the mountain to reach the pinned-down forward element. While on the move, Shurer stopped to treat a wounded teammate’s neck injury caused by shrapnel from a recent RPG blast.
After providing aid, Shurer spent the next hour fighting across several hundred meters and killing multiple insurgents. Eventually, Shurer arrived to support the pinned down element and immediately rendered aid to four critically wounded U.S. units and 10 injured commandos until teammates arrived.
Soon after their arrival, Shurer and his team sergeant were shot at the same time. The medic ran 15 meters through a barrage of gunfire to help his sergeant. Despite a bullet hitting his helmet and a gunshot wound to his arm, Shurer pulled his teammate to cover and rendered care.
Moments later, Shurer moved back through heavy gunfire to help sustain another teammate that suffered a traumatic amputation to his right leg.
For the next several hours, Shurer helped keep the large insurgent force at bay while simultaneously providing care to his wounded teammates. Shurer’s actions helped save the lives of all wounded casualties under his care.
Shurer also helped evacuate three critically wounded, non-ambulatory, teammates down a near-vertical 60-foot cliff, all while avoiding rounds of enemy gunfire and falling debris caused by numerous air strikes.
Further, Shurer found a run of nylon webbing and used it to lower casualties while he physically shielded them from falling debris.”
Staff Sgt Shuler was honorably discharged from the Army in 2009 according to Military.com. He currently serves in the Special Operations Division within the Secret Service Counter-Assault Team. He is married with two children.