News: SECNAV Presents Three Silver Stars to NSW Sailors
CORONADO, Calif. – Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Ray Mabus, presented three Silver Star Medals to Naval Special Warfare sailors during a visit to NSW commands Feb. 11.
The awards were presented to recognize the actions of Senior Chief Petty Officer Jared Tuxill, special warfare operator (SEAL); Chief Petty Officer Gerardo Sosa, explosive ordnance disposal; and Chief Petty Officer Joseph Molina, special warfare operator (SEAL); while they were deployed to Afghanistan in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Maybus presented the awards during a ceremony attended by teammates, family and friends.
“The awards that I presented today recognize uncommon heroism and uncommon valor,” said Mabus. “It shows the skill level, the dedication and the patriotism and its one of the best things I get to do - to recognize the people for what they do for us.”
While the awardees were acknowledged for their courageousness and nerve in combat, they were both humbled and honored to receive their awards directly from the SECNAV.
“It's an honor to have the Secretary of the Navy award me the Silver Star,” said Sosa. “I'm sure he has a lot on his plate; for him to make the time to be here today means a lot. It's a reflection of all the hard work everybody in our community has accomplished.”
The Silver Star is awarded for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States, while engaged in military operations with a friendly force. It is the fourth highest military honor that can be awarded to a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and the third highest awarded for valor.
Three bronze stars with combat “V” were also awarded to Molina, Lt. Cmdr. John Green and Chief Petty Officer Thomas Shea, special warfare operator (SEAL), for their actions while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Bronze Star is given for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service. It's the ninth-highest military award in the U.S. Armed Forces and the fourth-highest combat award given for bravery.
The valor device, or combat "V," establishes the award as resulting from an act of heroism in combat.
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, NSW personnel have been awarded 77 Silver Stars and 765 Bronze Stars for their contributions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
After the ceremony, Mabus was presented with a memento boat paddle by Rear Adm. Garry Bonelli, deputy commander Naval Special Warfare Command to commemorate the event.
For more information on Naval Special Warfare visit www.seal.navy.mil.