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 Sergeant Michael A. Ross, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action on 13 April 2012 during combat operations against an armed enemy of the United States as a First Platoon Sniper Team Leader for a Joint Task Force in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Sergeant Ross selflessly and with no regard for his own personal safety, prevented further injury to an already wounded Ranger by placing himself over the body of a wounded teammate inside of effective enemy fire from superior positions. Sergeant Ross, still under fire, moved a fellow Ranger to the only cover available and remained in an exposed position over his body while returning fire and waiting for support from his fellow Rangers. Sergeant Ross distinctive accomplishments are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, this Command, and the United States Army.
NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: Sergeant Michael A. Ross, United States Army distinguished himself by exceptionally heroic gallantry on 13 April 2012 as a 1st Platoon Sniper Team Leader assigned to Delta Company while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. Sergeant Michael Ross' bravery and gallantry during combat operations in eastern Afghanistan single-handedly prevented further injury to Sergeant Tanner Higgins at dire risk to his own life. Immediately after Sergeant Higgins was wounded and under an enormous amount of direct fire, Sergeant Ross quickly grabbed Sergeant Higgins' SCAR to better suppress the enemy fighters engaging his completely exposed position. As Sergeant Ross suppressed multiple enemy fighting positions, numerous bursts of automatic enemy fire impacted all around him and Sergeant Higgins; approximately one dozen rounds impacted only inches from their bodies. After gaining fire superiority and forcing the enemy on the rooftop to retreat, Sergeant Ross immediately maneuvered Sergeant Higgins to the only cover available on the rooftop and once again established himself in a completely exposed position over Sergeant Higgins. While Sergeant Ross continued to suppress enemy positions within the compound, he began to direct the assault force to enemy positions within the compound and his own location. Sergeant Ross continued to suppress barricaded enemy fighters in vastly superior positions to his own for five minutes while the assault force attempted to conduct a rooftop extraction. Once other Rangers gained access to the rooftop, he then knowingly exposed himself to enemy positions again in order to help SSG Bartels move Sergeant Higgins off of the roof. Once outside of the compound, Sergeant Ross immediately moved to the breach to assist the assault force in identifying enemy positions and suppressing the target compound. During clearance operations, Sergeant Ross provided over-watch for a squad of Afghan troops as they cleared the target compound. During the clearance, an enemy fighter exposed himself within the target compound where the Afghan squad could not observe him. Sergeant Ross immediately eliminated the fighter with one round and prevented any Afghan casualties. Following the clearance of the target compound, Sergeant Ross immediately moved himself and another sniper external to the compound in order to provide over-watch for the assault force. Sergeant Ross continually scanned the area with another sniper and ensured no other enemy personnel attempted to maneuver on the assault force. Sergeant Ross' bravery and courage to sprint through superior and effective enemy fire to aid Sergeant Higgins undoubtedly prevented a wounded Ranger from receiving additional injuries. Sergeant Ross knowingly and without hesitation moved from a defensible position into an enemy kill zone without cover in order to protect a wounded teammate with his own body and with only his direct fires as their defense. His actions reflect great credit upon himself, this command, and the United States Army.