Silver Star : The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Staff Sergeant James B. Jones, United States Army, for gallantry in action as a Ranger Squad Leader in Company B, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment,, for a Joint Task Force in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan, on 2 December 2014. During this period, Staff Sergeant Jones maneuvered on multiple enemy fighting positions over a sustained six hour direct fire engagement, resulting in over 25 enemy combatants killed. With no regard to personal safety, Staff Sergeant Jones placed himself in direct fire and imminent danger in order to move a wounded Ranger behind cover. Staff Sergeant Jones undoubtedly saved the lives of numerous Rangers and directly contributed to the success of the Joint Task Force. Through his distinctive accomplishments, Staff Sergeant Jones reflected great credit upon himself, this Command, and the United States Army.
NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: Staff Sergeant James B. Jones distinguished himself through conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity on 2 December 2014 as a Ranger Squad Leader while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. On 2 December 2014, Staff Sergeant Jones was a Ranger Squad Leader for a Joint Task Force tasked with executing an objective in Nangahar Province, Afghanistan. After execution of the first targeted compound, the Assault Force (AF) moved to clear an assessed media center approximately two kilometers away. During movement to the follow on objective, Staff Sergeant Jones' element was engaged by two enemy combatants armed with AK-47's from a distance of 30 feet. Staff Sergeant Jones immediately returned fire and oriented the Ktah Kas Afghan (KKA) Special Operation soldiers towards the two combatants. With little regard for personal safety, Staff Sergeant Jones maneuvered under direct fire in order to gain a tactical vantage point. Staff Sergeant Jones then engaged the enemy combatants with fragmentation grenades. He then coordinated with the base of fire element to maneuver behind cover in order to continue movement to the follow on objective. Staff Sergeant Jones' poise while under direct fire directly resulted in two enemy combatants killed and numerous American and KKA Special Operations soldiers' lives saved. While executing an objective, Staff Sergeant Jones was tasked with isolating the follow on targeted compound from enemy influence. Throughout execution, the Assault Force was under direct fire from PKM's, AK-47's, and RPG's. Reports from aerial assets stated there were multiple enemy combatants maneuvering on the Assault Force. During callout of the compound, Staff Sergeant Jones observed four enemy combatants exit a compound to the east and begin to maneuver on the AF. Staff Sergeant Jones immediately engaged and eliminated the combatants. Staff Sergeant Jones' decisive decision making process contributed to the success of the Joint Task Force. Staff Sergeant Jones was a Ranger Squad leader during the execution of an objective. During the callout of one of the targeted compounds, the Assault Force encountered three barricaded shooters. During the ensuing fire fight, one Ranger received a gunshot wound to the left auxiliary pocket and fell into the compound. Without hesitation and with total disregard for personal safety, Staff Sergeant Jones entered the compound while under direct fire and dragged the injured Ranger outside the compound and behind cover. Staff Sergeant Jones then assisted in the treatment and evacuation of the wounded Ranger. His efforts directly resulted in an extremely timely evacuation and ultimately saved the life of the casualty. Staff Sergeant Jones then moved under PKM fire to orient his Gustav Team towards the barricaded shooter and directed three accurately placed shots into the side of the targeted compound. Staff Sergeant Jones' actions throughout the operation contributed to over 25 enemy combatants killed and the preservation of 49 Joint Special Operations soldiers. Through his distinctive accomplishments, Staff Sergeant Jones' actions were exceptional and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the Department of Defense.