On the night of Sept. 13, 2006, Lt. Col. Winski led a team to capture a high-value terrorist leader east of Baghdad. As the group approached its target, insurgents opened fire, crippling one of the vehicles. Paying no attention to the gunshots exploding around him, Winski drove to the immobilized vehicle, hooked chains around it, and pulled it to safety. As the ground commander of the raid, Winski was not done: he had to keep his scattered men focused on the mission and aware of their surroundings and enemies. Under fire, Winski moved from position to position to gather first-hand information to lead a counterattack. While he gleaned information from one part of his team, two insurgents approached; Winski and his team killed them.

By this point, the enemies had surrounded themselves with civilians to use as shields. Ever mindful of the civilians, Winski directed an air response to support the mission on the ground. By the end of the 90-minute firefight, Winski and his team had killed at least 11 insurgents and forced the rest to flee. For his leadership and actions, Winski received the Bronze Star with "V" in September 2006.