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
Technical Sgt. William C. Markham
Technical Sergeant William C. Markham distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States near Kabul, Afghanistan, from October 2001 to 30 November 2001.
Sergeant Markham led a close air support reconnaissance mission to within two kilometers of the Taliban front line in order to identify potential observation posts from which his team could execute missions.
Almost immediately upon arrival, Sergeant Markham's team came under direct enemy fire from tanks, mortars, and artillery. Despite heavy incoming fires, in which numerous rounds impacted within fifty to seventy-five meters of his position, Sergeant Markham instinctively and successfully directed multiple close air support sorties against key Taliban leadership positions, command and control elements, fortified positions, and numerous anti-aircraft sites.
Throughout this highly successful mission, Sergeant Markham skillfully directed multiple air strikes involving over one hundred seventy-five sorties of both strategic and attack aircraft resulting in the elimination of approximately four hundred and fifty enemy vehicles and over three thousand five hundred enemy troops.
The resulting close air support operations were decisive in supporting the Northern Alliance's ground offensive, which resulted in the successful liberation of the capital city of Kabul and led to the eventual surrender of thousands of Al Qaeda and Taliban ground forces.
Sergeant Markham's valor and calmness under fire were a constant source of inspiration to his detachment and General Fahim Khan's Northern Alliance.
By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Markham has effected great credit upon himself and the United States of America.