Medal of Honor for Master Sgt. Matthew Williams

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

What is it?

Master Sgt. Matthew O. Williams is being awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award of valor, for his combat actions while serving as a weapons sergeant in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Shok Valley of Nuristan, Afghanistan on April 6, 2008.

The President of the United States will present this award to Williams at a White House Ceremony on Oct. 30, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. ET. Williams is the second Medal of Honor recipient from this engagement, joining former Staff Sgt. Ron Shurer II.

Then-Sgt. Matthew O. Williams served as a weapons sergeant with Operational Detachment Alpha 3336, Special Operations Task Force 11, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan. During the course of a six-hour battle, Williams rescued other members of the assault element and evacuated numerous casualties while continuously exposing himself to insurgent fire.

What are the current and past efforts of the Army?

Williams was previously awarded the Silver Star, the third-highest personal decoration for valor in combat, in recognition of his bravery during Operation Enduring Freedom. The Army reviewed and upgraded this award to a Medal of Honor to recognize his gallantry and heroism above and beyond the call of duty.

To recount Williams' heroic story, the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs has created a microsite that highlights his biography and videos about his experience.

The White House ceremony will be live-streamed from Master Sgt. Matthew Williams' microsite and the Army's Facebook page @USArmy.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned?

In addition to the Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House, DOD and Army senior leaders will recognize Williams during a Hall of Heroes induction ceremony at the Pentagon, scheduled at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31. The ceremony will be live-streamed from Williams' Medal of Honor microsite.

Why is this important to the Army?

The Army's greatest assets are its people - the finest men and women the nation has to offer. The Army's commitment to the brave men and women does not stop when they transition from the Army uniform.

Master Sgt. Williams' actions stand as a testament to those who put everything on the line to defeat the enemy and keep each other safe and alive on the battlefield. Williams' heroism at the risk of life was above and-beyond the call of duty. The Army is proud to recognize Williams' professionalism, service and sacrifice in full view of a new generation.


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October 2019

Oct. 30: Medal of Honor White House ceremony for Master Sgt. Matthew O. Williams | Watch the live stream at 5:00 p.m.

Oct. 31: Hall of Heroes induction ceremony for Master Sgt. Matthew O. Williams | Watch the live stream at 11:00 a.m.

November 2019

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Military Family Month: - Visit Army Families

Nov. 11: Veterans Day - Visit Soldier for Life

Focus Quote for the Day

That day was one of the worst predicaments of my life at that point, the experience from that has helped me through my whole entire career. Remain levelheaded and focus on what needs to happen as opposed to what is happening.

- Master Sgt. Matthew Williams, gives advice while sharing his experience of the April 6, 2008 combat in Afghanistan that earned him the Medal of Honor.

Learn more about Master Sgt. Matthew Williams


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