Army Sgt. Michael A. Ross' Silver Star citation
in action on 13 April 2012 during combat operations against an armed enemy of the United States as a First Platoon Sniper Team Leader for a Joint Task Force in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Sergeant Ross selflessly and with no regard for his own personal safety, prevented further injury to an already wounded Ranger by placing himself over the body of a wounded teammate inside of effective enemy fire from superior positions. Sergeant Ross, still under fire, moved a fellow Ranger to the only cover available and remained in an exposed position over his body while returning fire and waiting for support from his fellow Rangers. Sergeant Ross distinctive accomplishments are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, this Command, and the United States Army.
SERGEANT MICHAEL A. ROSS
SILVER STAR (VAL) OEF
Sergeant Michael A. Ross, United States Army distinguished himself by exceptionally heroic gallantry on 13 April 2012 as a 1st Platoon Sniper Team Leader assigned to Delta Company while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. SGT Michael Ross' bravery and gallantry during combat operations in eastern Afghanistan single-handedly prevented further injury to SGT Tanner Higgins at dire risk to his own life.
Immediately after SGT Higgins was wounded and under an enormous amount of direct fire, SGT Ross quickly grabbed SGT Higgins' SCAR to better suppress the enemy fighters engaging his completely exposed position. As SGT Ross suppressed multiple enemy fighting positions, numerous bursts of automatic enemy fire impacted all around him and SGT Higgins; approximately one dozen rounds impacted only inches from their bodies. After gaining fire superiority and forcing the enemy on the rooftop to retreat, SGT Ross immediately maneuvered SGT Higgins to the only cover available on the rooftop and once again established himself in a completely exposed position over SGT Higgins. While SGT Ross continued to suppress enemy positions within the compound, he began to direct the assault force to enemy positions within the compound and his own location. SGT Ross continued to suppress barricaded enemy fighters in vastly superior positions to his own for five minutes while the assault force attempted to conduct a rooftop extraction. Once other Rangers gained access to the rooftop, he then knowingly exposed himself to enemy positions again in order to help SSG Bartels move SGT Higgins off of the roof. Once outside of the compound, SGT Ross immediately moved to the breach to assist the assault force in identifying enemy positions and suppressing the target compound.
During clearance operations, SGT Ross provided over-watch for a squad of Afghan troops as they cleared the target compound. During the clearance, an enemy fighter exposed himself within the target compound where the Afghan squad could not observe him. SGT Ross immediately eliminated the fighter with one round and prevented any Afghan casualties.
Following the clearance of the target compound, SGT Ross immediately moved himself and another sniper external to the compound in order to provide over-watch for the assault force. SGT Ross continually scanned the area with another sniper and ensured no other enemy personnel attempted to maneuver on the assault force.
SGT Ross' bravery and courage to sprint through superior and effective enemy fire to aid SGT Higgins undoubtedly prevented a wounded Ranger from receiving additional injuries. SGT Ross knowingly and without hesitation moved from a defensible position into an enemy kill zone without cover in order to protect a wounded teammate with his own body and with only his direct fires as their defense. His actions reflect great credit upon himself, this command, and the United States Army.