Fort Bragg Special Forces Group names building after MOH recipient Shurer
By RACHAEL RILEY | The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. | Published: June 28, 2019
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Tribune News Service) — Darting through enemy fire April 6, 2008, in Afghanistan, retired Staff Sgt. Ronald Shurer II wasn't thinking about awards or buildings named after him. He was rushing in to stabilize teammates.
Shurer, a member of the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group and Medal of Honor recipient, was surrounded by former teammates, friends, family and soldiers Thursday at Fort Bragg as green fabric dropped to unveil Shurer Hall.
The building, which is part of the Lt. Gen. William P. Yarborough Special Operations Forces Complex, will serve as the headquarters building for the unit Shurer once served in.
"I really don't know how you're supposed to say thank you when someone names a building after you, so I'm not going to try that right now," Shurer told Thursday's crowd. "I'd actually like to take this moment to make a promise to the soldiers of 3rd (Special Forces) Group past, present and future."
Shurer's promise is to help the battalion, group and regiment whenever he can.
His name is on the building but etched next to his name is Special Operations Task Force-33, meaning it represents the 3rd Battalion and 3rd Special Forces Group as a whole, Shurer said.
"It is ours, not merely mine," Shurer said.
Prior to receiving the medal from President Donald Trump in October, Shurer said he didn't talk a lot about his service or his actions more than a decade ago.
After Sept. 11, 2001, Shurer joined the Army in 2002, inspired "to follow in the footsteps of his family's legacy," his biography stated in Thursday's program.
In January 2004, he entered Special Forces selection and was assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group in June 2006, after completing the qualifications course.
He deployed to Afghanistan from August 2006 to March 2007, and again from October 2007 to May 2008.
Retired Master Sgt. Scott Ford, the former team sergeant of Shurer's unit, Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3336, said the 12-man operational detachment team trained by "perfecting the basics," or tactical movement and training at ranges daily "while under pressure."
By the time the team deployed to Afghanistan, Ford said leaders were confident the detachment was capable of any operation.
On April 6, 2008, the detachment, its company and Afghan commandos flew in "to kill or capture a high value target," Ford said.
"That morning, nobody complained," he said. "Nobody told me they were going to go earn an award that day."
The team broke up and conducted pre-combat inspections. The operation turned into a 7-hour gunfight, as the team was outnumbered by the enemy, Ford said.
"Nobody gave up," Ford said. "Despite fighting to survive, every man on our (operational detachment) personally risked his life to help save another teammates' life."
Ford said one member of the team dragged another to cover, Shurer provided medical coverage without coverage for himself, and other members of the team exposed themselves to help evacuate others who were wounded.
"We came off that mountain as a team together because we had trained hard," Ford said. "We had built a team and we fought every contingency that you could imagine as a team."
Sgt. Maj. Daniel Plants, a 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group operations senior noncommissioned officer, read Shurer's citation for the Medal of Honor to Thursday's crowd.
The citation states that while serving as a senior medical sergeant for the special forces detachment in April 2008, Shurer's team was engaged in "fierce enemy fire" from machine guns, sniper and rocket propelled grenade fire.
Shurer moved toward an injured soldier to treat his wounds and fought his way up the mountain to treat other members of his team.
At one point, a bullet that wounded one of the soldiers he treated also struck Shurer's helmet.
Shurer continued to move through enemy fire to treat and stabilize a soldier's wounded arm and another soldier's lower leg.
Shurer moved down the mountain, using his body as a shield as he helped evacuate the wounded.
Shurer said his actions that day was because he loved his teammates.
"While I didn't share my story much before the medal, whenever I have the opportunity now, I share it as one Green Beret's experience to highlight what you are doing, or were doing long before my time on the team, to honor those men who fought beside me in the mountains of Afghanistan, and for all of you who have served in the decade since I got out," Shurer told Thursday's crowd.
In 2009, Shurer separated from the Army and in May 2014 became part of the U.S. Secret Service Counter Assault Team
He lives in Virginia with his wife and two sons.
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