T Nation

US Military Medals Since 1978


Those who hang out in this forum seem to be well read, up to date and work on developing thier minds as well as thier bodies. I'm glad for that, and was hoping for a little help.
Besides the current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, does anybody know names of distinguished US military awardees since 1978. I've found the three medal of honor winners (1 in Iraq, 2 in Somalia) but I am having trouble tracking other awards- Silver and Bronze Stars, Navy Crosses, etc.

I've realized that I can name heros from the past, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, but I struggle to think of ones in my lifetime. As a citizen, and as a soldier, I figure this is important stuff to know. Thank you.


I think some Navy Crosses were given to SEALs during Operation Just Cause (invasion of Panama). Or maybe I am thinking of Steven Segall's character in Under Siege.

I personally work with a retired Marine who was awarded a Navy Cross in 1975 for actions on Kon Tay Island in Cambodia. I used to drink at Camp Lejeune with a Colonel who lost an arm after pulling his pilot out of a shot down Cobra Helicopter in Grenada. I think he was awarded a Navy Cross.

I think between vietnam and the 1st Persian Gulf War, there were only 5 navy crosses awarded.

Google James V. McDaniel Navy Cross
I don't remember the Col's name.


I have all of the awards stats from OIF in a word document. I got it from the human resorces command web page. If you want I can email it to you. I tried to post it, but it kept messing the format up.


The media should be publishing the names of our military heros and their stories on a regular basis.

This is as newsworthy anything else they are reporting from the warzone.

Do you think the military is holding back the info?

Even FoxNews does not publish this stuff.


Capt. Brian Chontosh, USMC.

For extraordinary heroism as Combined Anti-Armor Platoon Commander, Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 25 March 2003. While leading his platoon north on Highway I toward Ad Diwaniyah, First Lieutenant Chontosh's platoon moved into a coordinated ambush of mortars, rocket propelled grenades, and automatic weapons fire. With coalition tanks blocking the road ahead, he realized his platoon was caught in a kill zone. He had his driver move the vehicle through a breach along his flank, where he was immediately taken under fire from an entrenched machine gun. Without hesitation, First Lieutenant Chontosh ordered the driver to advance directly at the enemy position enabling his .50 caliber machine gunner to silence the enemy. He then directed his driver into the enemy trench, where he exited his vehicle and began to clear the trench with an M16A2 service rifle and 9 millimeter pistol.

His ammunition depleted, First Lieutenant Chontosh, with complete disregard for his safety, twice picked up discarded enemy rifles and continued his ferocious attack. When a Marine following him found an enemy rocket propelled grenade launcher, First Lieutenant Chontosh used it to destroy yet another group of enemy soldiers. When his audacious attack ended, he had cleared over 200 meters of the enemy trench, killing more than 20 enemy soldiers and wounding several others.

By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Chontosh reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Sgt. Ethan Place, USMC.


Those are two Marines that I know personally. I know Place's story was in newspapers because my dad was asking about him when I was in Iraq. I am pretty sure that Chontosh's heroism was also reported.



Brother I would stick to everything above a silver star as far as the Army goes. From my own personal experience in AFG. They were handing out bronze stars like candy on halloween, depending on rank. It's a shame to the ones who really deserved it and were denied, and I think it takes away from the ones who earned it and and were awarded it. Of course this is just MY opinion. By the way I had never heard about the Marines afore mentioned. OUTF-INGSTANDING!!!!!


Here's a link to one of my favorite blogs. Blackfive.

The link I posted is about some 3rd. A/C troopers. My old unit. Search around his site he covers a lot of heroes.