On January 28, 2017, Cory Haggett, a pararescueman, went back and forth under severe enemy fire to treat four wounded teammates during a night mission deep into hostile territory. In addition, he was awarded the Bronze Star for his outstanding performance in many operations in Afghanistan from July 1 to November 1, 2019.
During 56 assault operations, he killed two enemy combatants, prepared and oversaw the missions’ medical response plans, and provided decisive leadership for “partner force personnel” while under intense fire. The Yakla assault force consisted of dozens of U.S. commandos, including several Navy SEALs. Fifty minutes of gunfire ensued between the commandos and al Qaeda terrorists.
Three Americans were wounded due to a “hard landing” involving an MV-22 tiltrotor aircraft. As bullets struck the ground, a pararescueman from the Air Force rushed the 130 meters back up the mountain’s steep slope.
Haggett conducted an emergency cricothyrotomy when they arrived, putting a tube into the patient’s neck to provide an airway. Another colleague required assistance after receiving a facial injury from blunt force trauma.
During severe small weapons fire, he “selflessly protected him with his body and gave aid.” The Silver Star is the United States military’s third-highest honor for gallantry in battle. When they eventually arrived at the exfiltration spot, the pararescueman treated his squad leader’s arm for a fragmentation wound. Twenty minutes away from Hurlburt Field, Florida, the airman attended high school, making him a local hero.