Former Tech. Sgt. Monica Elfriede Witt, the one-time Air Force counterintelligence specialist who was charged with espionage Wednesday, earned an Air Medal for her contributions during the early days of the Iraq War.
In March 2003, then-Staff Sgt. Witt was serving as an airborne crypto linguist with the 95th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, 398th Air Expeditionary Group, out of Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Crete. At the time, the El Paso, Texas, native had been in the Air Force for a little more than five years.
The U.S. invaded Iraq on March 20, followed by three weeks of major combat operations.
Witt later became a special agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and was last assigned to the 2nd Field Investigations Squadron, Joint Base Andrews, in Maryland. She separated in June 2008 as a technical sergeant, and defected to Iran in 2013.