Navy Seal to receive Medal of Honor for Afghanistan rescue mission

The U.S. Navy and the White House announced Tuesday in a joint statement that Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward Byers with receive the nation’s highest honor.

Byers, as noted by the Navy, will receive the award on Feb. 29 from the President in a ceremony at the White House as a result of his actions as part of a team that rescued an American civilian held hostage in Afghanistan in 2012.

“The strength of the Naval Special Warfare community is in its exceptional people. Senior Chief Ed Byers’ actions on the battlefield reflect the highest ideals of our profession: bravery, selfless dedication to duty, and above all, the highest level of commitment to protect the lives of others and the freedom for which our nation stands,” said Rear Admiral Brian Losey, Commander Naval Special Warfare.

Byers, 36, already has an impressive salad bar of awards and decorations to include five Bronze Stars with Combat V device, two Purple Hearts, the Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat V device earned across seven combat tours and eight overseas deployments.

A native of Ohio, he joined the Navy in 1998.

Byers will be the first Seal to be presented with the Medal of Honor since the survivors of Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Michael Anthony Monsoor received his posthumously in 2008 from President George W. Bush.

There have been 13 Medal of Honor recipients from the war in Afghanistan since 2007.