The President of the United States
Takes Pleasure in Presenting
The Distinguished Service Cross
Mark E. Mitchell
For Services as Set Forth in the Following Citation:
For extraordinary heroism while serving with Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 3d Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), during the period of 25 to 28 November 2001, distinguished himself while engaged in combat operations during Operation Enduring Freedom.
As the Ground Force Commander of a rescue operation during the Battle of Qala-I-Jang Fortress, Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, Major Mitchell ensured the freedom of one American and the posthumous repatriation of another. His unparalleled courage under fire, decisive leadership and personal sacrifice were directly responsible for the success of the rescue operation and were further instrumental in ensuring the city of Mazar-e-Sharif did not fall back in the hands of the Taliban.
His personal example has added yet another laurel to the proud military history of this Nation and serves as the standard for all others to emulate. Major Mitchell’s gallant deed was truly above and beyond the call of duty and is in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), the United States Army, and the United States of America.
Of all the citations I’m going to post, this is the strangest. It tells no story at all. The citation says Major Mitchell’s example serves as the standard for all others to emulate, but tells us not at all why this is so. I’m going to guess that it’s due to Major Mitchell being in the Special Forces, and the citation, when drafted, being purged of then-classified information.
The news, though, actually comes through for us this time.
At least one other person considers you a hero, Major Mitchell.