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
Michael T. Blout
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 Michael T. Blout, United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an enemy of the United States at Wardak Province, Afghanistan, on 23 October 2012.
On that day, Sergeant Blout served as the primary Joint Terminal Attack Controller assigned to an Army Special Forces Team. While conducting operation AMAL KARD SYGANA II, Sergeant Blout received radio traffic indicating an Army Special Forces teammate required immediate medical attention after sustaining wounds form an enemy ambush.
Reacting instinctively, Sergeant Blout sprinted 1.6 kilometers towards the sounds of enemy fire to assist his wounded comrade. Coordinating with aircraft orbiting overhead, Sergeant Blout ascertained the location of wounded personnel and directed friendly maneuver elements to converge in support. Sergeant Blout simultaneously used air assets to monitor and track enemy movements. Arriving at the scene of the ambushed friendly element, Sergeant Blout raced across open ground while under direct and accurate enemy fire, placing himself between his wounded teammate and the enemy in order to return fire and protect his fallen comrade and the medic furiously working to save his life.
While exchanging direct fire with the enemy, Sergeant Blout orchestrated close air support to keep the enemy at bay and coordinated for the arrival of medical evacuation assets. Hearing the rotor blades of incoming evacuation helicopters, Sergeant Blout marked an impromptu landing zone while still under heavy enemy fire, and aborted the first landing attempt due to the volume and accuracy of insurgent small arms and machine gun fire.
Without regard for his own safety, Sergeant Blout placed himself between the landing zone and the enemy and urged his teammates forward, screening the landing and enabling the evacuation of friendly forces. As medical evacuation assets departed, Sergeant Blout immediately directed attack helicopter strafing runs against the enemy positions while friendly forces reconsolidated and retrograded back to covered and concealed positions.
Sergeant Blout's courageous and decisive action at the hasty helicopter landing zone against superior firepower was directly responsible for rallying the quick reaction force, and preventing friendly maneuver elements from being overrun. His heroism under withering enemy fire disrupted attacking enemy forces, and prevented the certain loss of coalition air assets.
By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Blout has reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.