Valor Ceremony Honors Special Forces Soldiers

Soldiers, friends and family members of the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) filled the auditorium of the United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School in preparation for the group’s valor ceremony Sept.15, 2011, in which 30 soldiers from 3rd SFG were honored and awarded respectively: two Silver Stars, seven Bronze Stars with “V” device, 10 Army Commendation Medals with “V” device and 11 Purple Hearts. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Enoch Fleites

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (9/16/2011) – For the second time in seven months, a valor ceremony took place to recognize the heroism of soldiers from Fort Bragg’s 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne).

Thirty soldiers from the group were honored Sept. 15 at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School here, as commander of United States Army Special Operations Command, Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland Jr., awarded two Silver Stars, seven Bronze Stars with “V” device, 10 Army Commendation Medals with “V” device and 11 Purple Hearts.

The ceremony showcased vignettes of the respective actions of the two Silver Star recipients, Capt. Matthew L. Golsteyn and Sgt. 1st Class Chad E. Lawson.

Each soldier braved enemy fire for hours; exposing themselves to danger in order to help their fellow service members and Afghan counterparts.

Golsteyn was awarded for his actions on Feb. 20, 2010, in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Of receiving the medal, Golsteyn humbly said: “I had the trust and loyalty of my teammates. I owe this to them.”

He added that “recognition like this doesn’t happen if you aren’t leading excellent people.”

Lawson was recognized for his actions on Aug. 4, 2010, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.

His former detachment commander, Capt. Aaron Baty, said Lawson was the “epitome of a Special Forces NCO.”

Also receiving awards from the battle that garnered Lawson his Silver Star were Staff Sgt. Robert Bradford (Bronze Star with “V” and Purple Heart), Sgt. 1st Class Sean King (Purple Heart) and Staff Sgt. John Bear (Purple Heart).

The USASOC commander acknowledged the selfless and humble nature of the Special Forces soldier as he addressed the crowd of family members, friends and fellow service members.

“One thing that every one of these guys would say, I’m sure if you asked them, is I was just doing my job,” Mulholland said.

He went on to say that it was his “extraordinary honor and privilege” to recognize the soldiers.

The following service members received awards during the ceremony:

Silver Star
Capt. Matthew Golsteyn
Sgt. 1st Class Chad Lawson

Bronze Star with “V” device
Master Sgt. Matthew Moore
Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Drew
Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Misero
Sgt. 1st Class Scott Redding
Staff Sgt Robert Bradford
Staff Sgt. Benjamin Wilson
Staff Sgt. Brian Wilson

Army Commendation Medal with “V” device
Capt. Aaron Baty
Sgt. 1st Class Craig Gilbert
Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Jones
Sgt. 1st Class Robert Lopez
Sgt. 1st Class Kuinnlan Malone
Sgt. 1st Class Johnny Rodgers
Sgt. 1st Class Rodney Scalise
Staff Sgt. Mark Barbin
Staff Sgt. Stephen Cotman
Staff Sgt. Joshua Stephen

Purple Heart
Capt. Anthony Applegate
Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Russell
Warrant Officer Candidate Kevin Swenson
Master Sgt. Mike Clark
Master Sgt. Matthew Moore
Sgt. 1st Class Sean King
Sgt. 1st Class Scott Redding
Staff Sgt. James Boehlke
Staff Sgt. John Bear
Staff Sgt. Robert Bradford
Staff Sgt. Patrick Gaskell

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy D. Crisp
3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne)