ATLANTIC CITY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.J. --
Master Sgt. Michael F. Sears was awarded the Silver Star here on June 28, 2014 for valor in combat while deployed to Afghanistan in 2012.
Sears, the leader of a small team of explosive ordnance disposal airmen, is credited with saving the life of a fellow International Security Assistance Force soldier in the midst of an ambush by enemy forces on Sept. 29, 2012 in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan.
"What a great American and he really personifies, truly, what we as a Guard are," said General Frank J. Grass, Chief of the National Guard Bureau.
"It is just phenomenal how he just stepped out away from safety to save others," continued Grass. "We talk about the Silver Star being awarded for him saving the life of a Polish soldier, but he saved the lives of many soldiers that day."
"It wouldn't be me getting the Silver Star; it would be my wife, if it weren't for Tech. Sgt. Jay Hurley," said Sears.
Sears praised both of his teammates, Hurley and Staff Sgt. Josh Jerden, with courage under fire.
"Hurley, on that day, without hesitation, used his vehicle to cover me. Josh Jerden dismounted his vehicle on the side of enemy fire and engaged the enemy on foot," said Sears.
"Their actions showed what kind of team I had."