Today at 2:10 p.m., EST, President Barack Obama will present former Army Capt. William D. Swenson with the Medal of Honor during a White House ceremony in Washington, D.C. He will be the sixth living recipient, and first Army officer, to receive the nation’s highest military award for valor during combat in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Swenson will receive the medal for his courageous actions while serving as an embedded trainer and mentor assigned to the Afghan Border Police Mentor Team in support of the U.S. Army’s 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division where he advised Afghan National Security Force members.
On the morning of Sept. 8, 2009, he and his team were ambushed by more than 50 insurgent fighters while on foot patrol to Ganjgal village in Kunar province, Afghanistan. Capt. Swenson risked his life repeatedly that day to recover his fellow teammates and rallied his comrades after six hours of fighting to successfully overcome the attack.