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Medal of Honor for Former Staff Sgt. David G. Bellavia

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

What is it?

Former Staff Sgt. David G. Bellavia is being awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award of valor, for his combat actions while serving as a squad leader in support of Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq on Nov. 10, 2004, during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The President of the United States will present this award to Bellavia at a White House Ceremony on June 25, 2019 at 3:30 p.m. ET. Bellavia is the first living Medal of Honor recipient for actions during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Former Staff Sgt. Bellavia was assigned to 3rd Platoon, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, when he single-handedly saved an entire squad, risking his own life to allow his fellow Soldiers to break contact and reorganize when trapped by overwhelming insurgent fire. He then voluntarily entered and cleared an insurgent strong point, killing four and seriously wounding another.

What are the current and past efforts of the Army?

Bellavia was previously recognized for his bravery by being awarded the Silver Star, the third-highest personal decoration for valor in combat. The Army reviewed and upgraded this award to a Medal of Honor to recognize his gallantry and heroism.

To tell Bellavia’s heroic story, the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs has created a microsite that includes his biography and videos about his experience.

The White House ceremony will be live-streamed from former Staff Sgt. David G. Bellavia’s microsite and the Army’s Facebook page @USArmy.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned?

In addition to the ceremony at the White House, DOD and Army senior leaders will recognize Bellavia during a Hall of Heroes induction ceremony, at the Pentagon, scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26. The ceremony will be live-streamed from Bellavia’s 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.

Former Staff Sgt. Bellavia’s 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. Bellavia’s heroism at the risk of life was above and-beyond the call of duty. The Army is proud to recognize Bellavia’s professionalism, service and sacrifice in full view of a new generation.


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JUNE 2019

June 1- 30 Nov.: Hurricane Season | Visit U.S. Army Humanitarian Relief

JULY 2019

July 4: Independence Day | Visit The U.S. Army: America’s First National Institution

July 15: Best Warrior Competition

August 2019

Aug. 26: Women’s Equality Day - Visit Women in the U.S. Army

September 2019

National Preparedness Month

Sept. 11: Patriot Day

Sept. 15- Oct. 15: Hispanic Heritage Month - Visit Hispanics in the U.S. Army

Sept. 30: Gold Star Mothers Day - Visit Gold Star Survivors

Focus Quote for the Day

Valor is love for your country and fellow Soldiers who come from all walks of life. Service is a civic duty giving me ‘purpose and worth.’ The spirit of the American Soldier lives on throughout the world. This medal is the new unit insignia - it’s a symbol of our spirit and pride.

- Former Staff Sgt. David G. Bellavia, referring to the Medal of Honor that is being awarded to him at a White House ceremony today