By Office of the Chief of Public Affairs 31 October 2019
Master Sgt. Matthew O. Williams was awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award of valor, for his combat actions while serving as a weapons sergeant in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Shok Valley of Nuristan, Afghanistan on April 6, 2008.
The President of the United States presented the award to Williams at a White House Ceremony on Oct. 30, 2019, at 5 p.m. Williams is the second Medal of Honor recipient from this engagement, joining former Staff Sgt. Ron Shurer II.
Then-Sgt. Matthew O. Williams served as a weapons sergeant with Operational Detachment Alpha 3336, Special Operations Task Force 11, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan. During the course of a six-hour battle, Williams rescued other members of the assault element and evacuated numerous casualties while continuously exposing himself to insurgent fire.
Williams was previously awarded the Silver Star, the third-highest personal decoration for valor in combat, in recognition of his bravery during Operation Enduring Freedom. The Army reviewed and upgraded this award to a Medal of Honor to recognize his gallantry and heroism above and beyond the call of duty.
To recount Williams' heroic story, the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs has created a microsite that highlights his biography and videos about his experience.
In addition to the Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House, DOD and Army senior leaders will recognize Williams during a Hall of Heroes induction ceremony at the Pentagon, scheduled at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31. The ceremony will be live-streamed from Williams' Medal of Honor microsite.
The Army's greatest assets are its people - the finest men and women the nation has to offer. The Army's commitment to the brave men and women does not stop when they transition from the Army uniform.
Master Sgt. Williams' actions stand as a testament to those who put everything on the line to defeat the enemy and keep each other safe and alive on the battlefield. Williams' heroism at the risk of life was above-and-beyond the call of duty. The Army is proud to recognize Williams' professionalism, service, and sacrifice in full view of a new generation.