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. Robert O'Connor
Technical Sergeant Robert K. O'Connor, Jr., distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States near Western Paktika, Afghanistan on 27 May 2009.
On that day, Sergeant O'Connor displayed great courage and tactical expertise in the execution of a combat mission to capture or eliminate a senior insurgent commander in the rugged mountains of eastern Afghanistan.
Upon infiltration with his assault force, Sergeant O'Connor precisely directed close air support on enemy positions who immediately engaged his team from inside 100 meters. With his personal weapon, he engaged several enemy fighters while simultaneously directing the close air support to neutralize the threat and coordinating medical evacuation of a severely wounded military working dog. When his element became pinned down by plunging heavy machine gun fire, Sergeant O'Connor, with complete disregard for his own safety, repeatedly exposed himself to the withering enemy fire to locate and mark the enemy positions for close air support.
Finally, when his command and control elements were pinned behind a rock outcropping, Sergeant O'Connor exposed his entire body to enemy fire in a final attempt to neutralize the enemy position with 500 pound bombs from an A-10.
Due to his conspicuous bravery under fire and expertise, Sergeant O'Connor was able to destroy the position and was credited by the ground force commander with saving the lives of his teammates and turning the tide of the battle.
By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant O'Connor has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.