Chief Byers will be the latest to be honored with the Medal Of Honor. The Medal of Honor is the nations highest award for Valor. Only three SEAL’s have been awarded the Medal Of Honor, Chief Byers is the only living recipient. The award will be presented on 29 February 2016 in a white house ceremony. A ceremony that was delayed because of Chief Byers deployment. In 1905 President Teddy Roosevelt made an executive order that all Medal Of Honor recipients come to the White House to receive the award.
Chief Special Warfare Operator Byers actions were apart of a rescue that occurred in 2012 of a US civilian doctor, and his interpreter. The White house is remaining extremely quiet on his actions earning the Medal Of Honor, a White House official did say, “Byers’ actions were so clearly beyond expectation, even for a Navy SEAL, that the Navy had no hesitation in nominating him for the Medal of Honor, There’s no margin of doubt or possibility of error in awarding this honor,” the defense official said. “His actions were so conspicuous in terms of bravery and self-sacrifice that they clearly distinguished him to be worthy of the award, including risk of his own life.” General Martin Dempsey Chairman of the Joint Chiefs at the time agreed.
As every Medal of Honor announcement comes with a very detailed account of actions this one is rather brief. Chief Byers is a member of the Navy’s elite yet secretive SEAL team Six. According to the summary of action, Byers heard an English voice off to his right and instantly threw himself on top of Joseph to shield him from the ensuing gun battle. While lying on top of the doctor, Byers managed to grab another Taliban fighter by the throat and pin him to the adjacent wall long enough for another SEAL to fatally shoot him. After the team moved Joseph to the landing zone, Byers, a certified paramedic and a graduate of the Army’s 18 Delta Special Forces medical course, began combat life support on his wounded teammate. Byers and his team provided CPR for the 40-minute flight back to Bagram Airfield where Checque, 28, was pronounced dead.
Dr. Joseph Dillap (the rescued hostage) has written a book giving an account of his time in Afghanistan. “Kidnapped by the Taliban: a story of Terror, Hope, and Rescue by SEAL team Six. You can look in to his account for insight to what happened. Here are some that legitimize our superiority.
“I awoke with a runny nose and the sound of helicopters in two minutes it was over, he did what he did and we waited for the helicopters to pick us up.“
“You’re going to be okay,” Joseph recounted Byers saying “We’re going to get you out of here.”
“Were you abused? Were you treated well? Were you fed? Can you walk?”
This is an extraordinary for so many reasons; an active duty member of a Tier One unit is being honored in the modern era, In the days of social media, Internet, it takes a lot for members of these units to keep their identity under wraps. Chief Byers, actions rescuing a civilian, then his duties to render aide to his team mate. It is not surprising that he is to be awarded, it is truly a historical moment. It is usually up to the operator on how fast they step into the spotlight. Chief Byers welcome to the jungle.