War Heroes V - Mark E. Mitchell

Previous War Heroes Threads - Brian Chontosh
Jason Dean Cunningham
Britt Slabinski
Justin D. Lehew

The President of the United States
Takes Pleasure in Presenting
The Distinguished Service Cross

Mark E. Mitchell
U.S. Army

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.

Mr. Moto, I’ve been lurking through these threads, and I wanted to thank you for posting them.
Though we (mostly) disagree politically, I agree with you that members of our armed forces deserve to be thanked and honored for serving our country. As individuals, they have no choice in where they are sent. I would hope that they know while many people disagree with the politics behind the war, we still appreciate their sacrifice on our behalf.

I certainly appreciate that, Maureen.

Incidentally, Major Mark Mitchell is the only DSC awardee since the Vietnam War. These medals are given out for very rare acts of heroism.

Stop the war. Bring the troops home now.

I’d like to address something else about the citation. As you can see, it’s very vague, as is the news story. Major Mitchell’s exact actions may remain classified for some time.

His award, though, is not classified. The military does not give out classified awards. They’re awarded openly, for all to see.

Keep that in mind, the next time some blowhard in a bar starts talking about his “black” Bronze Star for covert missions. The one he can’t wear openly or confirm because it’s “classified”. These guys crop up from time to time. They’re all liars.

This is also true of anyone who “can’t tell you” which training class he attended or claims he was “secretly assigned” to a SEAL team or a DELTA unit while his “cover” assignment was as a truck mechanic at another unit…no, he was just a truck mechanic with an overactive imagination. There are several websites devoted to exposing these phonies for what they are - a Google search on the terms “fake medal veteran” will turn up hours of reading material on some really pathetic people.

Read the book Stolen Valor and see how much harm these people have done to Viet Nam vets. Its an eye opener.