By Sgt. Justin Smith, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne)September 28, 2018
Fort Carson, Colorado -- Soldiers, families and friends of Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), gathered at McMahon Auditorium, Sept. 16, 2018 for a valor awards ceremony.
This was the third awards ceremony recognizing Green Berets from 19th Group for valorous action during their deployment to Afghanistan in 2017.
Distinguished guests included Army Lt. Col. Joseph A. Bauldry, 5th Battalion commander, Army Brig. Gen. Harrison B. Gilliam, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, and Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael A. Loh, adjutant general of the Colorado National Guard.
During the ceremony, Gilliam praised Bravo Company, saying that the world "could be an ugly place" if not for people like them, who are willing to stand in the breach and defend what is right and good.
Following the remarks, Maj. Gen. Loh awarded one Silver Star, five Bronze Stars for valor and five Army Commendation Medals for valor along with several Purple Hearts. Overall, the Green Berets of Bravo Company earned a total of five Silver Stars, 25 Bronze Stars with "V" device, 27 ARCOM's with "V" device and 23 Purple Hearts.
"At this time in history, these warriors epitomized what it means to be a Green Beret," Loh said. "The United States of America fields the finest fighting force in the world, and Bravo Company demonstrated that on the field of battle."
Bravo Company mobilized from Fort Bliss, Texas, in the spring of 2017 to Afghanistan where they partnered with local military agencies to train, advise, and assist with missions targeting the Taliban and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The Green Berets endured heavy combat and sustained multiple combat injuries as well as the death of one of their own, Army Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler, who succumbed to injuries sustained from an improvised explosive device on Aug. 16, 2017. He has been recommended for the Silver Star.