CITATION TO ACCOMPANY THE AWARD OF THE SILVER STAR _______________________________________________________
Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror
Operation Enduring Freedom - South and Central Asia - Afghanistan
Sean R. Harvell
At the time he was simultaneously awarded TWO Silver Stars, Sean Harvell became only the second man in the Global War on Terrorism to receive two Silver Stars for actions in the Global War on Terror, and the first member of the U.S. Air Force to receive two such awards.
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Staff Sergeant Sean R. Harvell, United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States near Garm Ab Village and Kajaki Sofia, Afghanistan, on 8 May 2007 and 30 May 2007.
During this period, while performing duties as a Combat Controller, 22d Expeditionary Special Tactics Squadron, 1st Expeditionary Special Operations Group, Combined Joint Special Operations Air Component, Special Operations Command Central in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. Sergeant Harvell selflessly and conspicuously risked his life during two engagements while under heavy enemy fire to establish contact with fighter aircraft and direct the surgical employment of lethal air power against an overwhelming enemy.
In the first engagement, Sergeant Harvell and his team risked destruction from a relentless enemy attack and subsequent ambush while on reconnaissance patrol. Sergeant Harvell, cognizant of his team's precarious situation and increasing casualties in the face of debilitating enemy attacks, deliberately exposed his position to orchestrate close air support, enable an HH-60 medical evacuation and cover the exfiltration of his nine-vehicle convoy and team over a ten-hour period. Completely enveloped by enemy fire and at great personal risk, he calmly directed air attacks, destroying multiple Taliban positions and saving the lives of his teammates.
Later, in the middle of a devastating ambush, he again exposed himself to heavy enemy fire from as close as five meters and directed F-18 strafing runs within a mere 45 feet of his position to rout enemy insurgents.
On 30 May 2007, while attempting the recovery of a downed CH-47 helicopter and United States Army aircrew, he was wounded and knocked unconscious by a rocket propelled grenade fired by Taliban militants in a daring daylight ambush. Regaining consciousness and bleeding from multiple wounds, Sergeant Harvell engaged Taliban fighters with his personal M-4 carbine, M-12 shotgun and then grenades while simultaneously directing deadly, danger-close air attacks on the insurgent force, effectively neutralizing all enemy threats to his team and allowing another special operations team to recover the remains of all service members and sensitive equipment from the crash site.
During these two days of fierce fighting, his expertise in the employment of air power and selfless service resulted in the death of 212 enemy combatants and release of 18,000 pounds of aviation ordnance.
By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Harvell has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.