Special Operations Memorial Foundation

Ronald Shurer

Ronald Shurer

U.S. Army

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 Ronald J. Shurer, United States Army, for exceptionally valorous conduct in the face of the enemy of the United States as Medical Sergeant, Operational Detachment Alpha 3336 (ODA-3336), 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne), Special Operations Task Force 33, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Afghanistan, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM on 6 April 2008. Sergeant Shurer heroically and with complete disregard for his own safety fought his way up a mountain in order to render aid and evacuate casualties from his ODA and Afghan Commandos. Sergeant Shurer was initially pinned at the base of a wadi by accurate Insurgent sniper, Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG), small arms, and machine gun fire when he received communications that the forward assault element could not move due to a high volume of Insurgent fire and sustained multiple casualties. With disregard for his own safety, Sergeant Shurer took off through a hail of bullets and began scaling the rock face to get to the casualties. During initial movement to the base of the mountain he treated a teammate wounded by shrapnel to his neck from an RPG blast that blew him off his feet. Once his teammate received aid, he then fought several hundred meters under fire, for over an hour, killing multiple Insurgents, as he made his way to the besieged location. Under intense Insurgent fire, Sergeant Shurer reached the pinned down element of his ODA and immediately rendered aid to four critically wounded US and ten injured Commandos. He treated multiple life threatening gunshot wounds until additional teammates arrived. Sergeant Shurer courageously exposed himself by running 15 meters through heavy Insurgent fire to render aid to his seriously wounded Team Sergeant. Despite being hit in the helmet and wounded in the arm by Insurgent sniper fire, he immediately pulled his Team Sergeant to a covered position, and rendered aid as Insurgent rounds impacted inches from their location. Without hesitation, he moved back through heavy Insurgent fire to treat another teammate that suffered a traumatic amputation of his right leg from Insurgent sniper fire. Sergeant Shurer rendered life saving aid to four critically wounded casualties for more than five and a half hours. As the lone medic at the besieged location, and almost overrun and fighting against nearly 200 Insurgent fighters, Sergeant Shurer's bravery and poise under fire saved the lives of all wounded casualties under his care. He evacuated three critically wounded, non-ambulatory, teammates down a near vertical 60-foot cliff, despite being under heavy Insurgent fire, and falling debris from numerous danger-close air strikes. Sergeant Shurer ingeniously used a six foot length of nylon webbing to lower casualties, and physically shielded them from falling debris to ensure their safety. His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, Special Operations Task Force 33, the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Afghanistan, Special Operations Command Central, and the United States Army.

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