Sergeant Matthew Williams
United States Army
Sergeant Matthew Williams of the United States Army received the Medal of Honor on October 30th, 2019, after rescuing members of his assault element that were under attack in the Shok Valley of the Nuristan Province of Afghanistan. A member of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force, Sgt. Williams and his assault team went under heavy enemy fire while on mission in the mountainside of the valley on April 6, 2008. The lead portion of the team sustained several casualties and became pinned down. Sergeant Williams braved intense fire to lead a counterattack up the valley, where alongside local national commandos, he fought up the terraced mountainside to rescue the besieged members of the team. He then provided buddy-aid to move the injured Team Sergeant down to a collection point, putting himself in the line of enemy fire. Sergeant Williams directed suppressive fire and exposed himself to firefight in order to reestablish critical satellite radio communications. He then assisted with moving the other injured members down the vertical mountainside to the same collection point where he led Afghan commandos in another counterattack lasting for several hours. Sergeant Williams again then exposed himself to heavy enemy fire in order to carry and load casualties into the helicopter. His actions enabled the patrol to evacuate wounded and dead comrades without further casualties. Sergeant Williams’ complete disregard for his own safety and his concern for the safety of his teammates ensured the survival of four critically wounded soldiers and prevented the team from being overrun by the enemy. His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of Military service.