Medal of Honor: LT Michael Murphy, USN

Medal of Honor

10/22/07 UPDATE: Full citation posted!
A Navy SEAL will posthumously receive the Medal of Honor on October 22. Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy is the third man to receive America’s highest military award for valor in the War on Terror.
U.S. Navy press release:

murphy.jpgMurphy was the officer-in-charge of the SEAL element, which was tasked with locating a high- level Taliban militia leader to provide intelligence for a follow-on mission to capture or destroy the local leadership and disrupt enemy activity. However local Taliban sympathizers discovered the SEAL unit and immediately revealed their position to Taliban fighters. The element was besieged on a mountaintop by scores of enemy fighters. The firefight that ensued pushed the element farther into enemy territory and left all four SEALs wounded.
The SEALs fought the enemy fearlessly despite being at a tactical disadvantage and outnumbered more than four to one. Understanding the gravity of the situation and his responsibility to his men, Murphy, already wounded, deliberately and unhesitatingly moved from cover into the open where he took and returned fire while transmitting a call for help for his beleaguered teammates. Shot through the back while radioing for help, Murphy completed his transmission while returning fire. The call ultimately led to the rescue of one severely wounded team member, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Marcus Luttrell, and the recovery of the remains of Murphy and Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class (SEAL) Danny Dietz and Sonar Technician 2nd Class (SEAL) Matthew Axelson.
Eight more SEALs and eight Army “Nightstalker” special operations personnel comprising the initial reinforcement also lost their lives when their helicopter was shot down before they could engage the enemy. The entire battle, the culmination of Operation Redwing, resulted in the worst single day loss of life for Naval Special Warfare personnel since World War II.
The sole surviving SEAL, Marcus Luttrell, wrote a book about the battle after he departed the Navy this summer. In his book Luttrell credited all three of his teammates for their heroism, including Murphy’s sacrificial act that eventually led to his rescue.

Please, when you discuss this good news with friends and family, remember the following:

  1. LT Murphy will receive the medal, not “win” it. Recipients consider it disrespectful to be called “winners.”
  2. Even though the President awards the medal in the name of Congress, it’s not the “Congressional Medal of Honor” or the “CMH.” It’s simply the Medal of Honor. Much of the confusion probably stems from the name of The Congressional Medal of Honor Society; it’s a Congressionally-chartered society, not a society for recipients of a Congressional medal. The official name of the award is the Medal of Honor.
  3. Try not to confuse the Medal of Honor with the Presidential Medal of Freedom or the Congressional Gold Medal, neither of which are military awards for valor.
  4. Take time to learn about recipients of the next-highest award for valor in combat. Click on the “Uncommon Valor” logo in the upper right corner of this page and familiarize yourself with other heroes of this war (especially LT Murphy’s teammates, Matt Axelson, Danny Dietz, and lone survivor Marcus Luttrell).

Thank you, Lieutenant Murphy, for your valor and sacrifice.

  1. Thank God for the men of SEAL Team 10! I am saddened and grateful for LT (SEAL) Mike Murphy and the 3 operators who went out on that operation seeking bad guys. Their families losses can never be replaced. This American will never forget those men who gave their lives so we might enjoy the freedoms that we sometimes take for granted. Men like Mike Murphy, Danny Dietz, Matt Axelson, and Marcus Luttrell should be an inspiration to all of us!

  2. Rest in Peace Lt. Murphy.
    You truly are an american hero! God bless you and your family.


  4. Mr. Murphy represents everything good about America. He is the true defintion of the word “HERO”.

  5. We owe everything that we hold dear as citizens of the greatest country on the face of the Earth to heros like Lt. Murphy and Sgt. Smith (MOH, Iraq).
    Thank You and may God Bless you and all who love and remember your sacrifice!

  6. Medal of Honor citation for Michael P. Murphy

    President Bush presented U.S. Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy’s posthumous Medal of Honor to his family moments ago. The text of the citation reads as follows: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond th…

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