Green Beret Master Sgt. Earl Plumlee and the other members of his Special Forces unit were in the middle of taking a group photo on August 28th, 2013 inside their Forward Operating Base in Ghazni, Afghanistan when insurgents detonated a car bomb large enough to blow a hole 60 feet wide in the base’s perimeter.
He and a few teammates raced toward the scene of the explosion in a truck where they were met with soldiers in Afghan Army uniforms wearing explosive vests, firing rockets and small arms. The timing of the attack and the actions of some Afghan soldiers already inside the base suggested a planned ambush attack.
The truck driver parked the vehicle between the enemy and some friendlies who were injured in the initial blast.
When Plumlee exited the vehicle and tried to open fire his rifle jammed. He advanced on the enemy position with only a pistol. One of his shots struck an insurgent in the chest detonating his vest.
A blast from another sent Plumlee flying into a wall. He noticed a fellow downed solider, applied multiple tourniquets and directed a medical evacuation towards his position. He then organized three Polish soldiers into mounting a defense of the base to regain control.
He was initially awarded a Silver Star for his actions in 2015 but it has been since upgraded and he received the Medal of Honor from President Biden.