WASHINGTON — President Trump on Thursday awarded the Medal of Honor to Britt Slabinski, the retired Navy SEAL who rallied his outnumbered troops during a chaotic rescue mission on a snow-covered mountain top in Afghanistan in 2002.
Slabinski was initially awarded the Navy Cross for his heroics in the fight against al-Qaeda terrorists to rescue a colleague, but a review of citations for valor since the Sept. 11 terror attacks ordered in 2014 by then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel resulted in the upgrade to the Medal of Honor.
“Special man,” Trump said. “A truly brave person.”
Another member of Slabinski’s team, Air Force Tech. Sgt. John Chapman, is also being considered for the Medal of Honor posthumously — closely held discussions at the Pentagon that cast a shadow on the actions that occurred on March 4, 2002. In addition, several other troops, including at least three sailors, received Silver Stars in secret ceremonies for their heroism in combat that day, according to documents obtained by USA TODAY.