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 Technical Sergeant Delorean M. Sheridan, United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States in Wardak Province, Afghanistan on 11 March 2013. On that date, while attached to a United States Special Forces Team, Sergeant Sheridan displayed extraordinary bravery and complete disregard for his own safety during a coordinated insider insurgent attack. Just prior to departing for a tactical ground movement, an Afghan National Police Officer engaged Sergeant Sheridan and his American and Afghan Special Forces teammates with a truck mounted machine gun from 25 feet away. Simultaneous to this attack, 15 to 20 insurgents located 150 meters south of his position also engaged the base with heavy AK-47 and PKM machine gun fire. With rounds impacting all around him and striking teammates immediately to his left and right, Sergeant Sheridan closed the distance with the shooter and leapt into the back of an armored vehicle in order to engage him. From the turret of the vehicle, Sergeant Sheridan engaged the shooter, twice with his pistol and nine times with an M-4 rifle until the shooter was dead. With the immediate threat neutralized, Sergeant Sheridan quickly exited the vehicle, returning to the kill zone in order to extract his wounded teammates. Sergeant Sheridan maneuvered through the heavy volume of gunfire streaming into the base and grabbed his wounded Team Leader by the shoulder strap, pulling him some 20 feet out of the field of fire to medical assistance. Sergeant Sheridan then transitioned the kill zone, once again moving through heavy insurgent machine gun fire, reaching his Team Sergeant and subsequently dragged him to safety. Still undaunted by the enemy fire, Sergeant Sheridan charged into the kill zone a third time in order to retrieve the infantry squad Noncommissioned Officer-in-Charge, pulling him to the casualty collection point. Within the next 30 minutes, Sergeant Sheridan methodically sequenced six medical evacuation aircraft, assisting with the litter transfer of wounded personnel while simultaneously directing close air support and surveillance aircraft. With the medical evacuation complete, Sergeant Sheridan located and directed aircraft to engage insurgents maneuvering towards the friendly location, resulting in four additional enemy fighters killed. Sergeant Sheridan's complete disregard for personal safety and extreme calm under pressure despite grave danger to himself and others directly resulted in saving the lives of 23 critically wounded personnel. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Sheridan has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

"You will say you were just doing your job, but you were not just doing your job. You knew the dangers, and you did not back down," said Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel, AFSOC commander and presiding official for the ceremony at Pope Field.
Combat Controller Master Sgt. Delorean Sheridan received the Silver Star, the U.S. military's third-highest decoration for gallantry in combat, for his efforts in Afghanistan last year.

Above; Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel, Air Force Special Operations Command commander, awards the Silver Star medal to Master Sgt. Delorean Sheridan, 21st Special Tactics Squadron, Jan. 10, 2014, at Pope Army Airfield, Fort Bragg, N.C., for heroically distinguishing himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States in Wardak Province, Afghanistan, March 11, 2013

Looking back on the battle for which Sheridan earned his medal, he compared it to a home invasion.

"It's a bit like having someone sneak into your house in the middle of the night," he said.

Sheridan was huddled together with Green Berets and Afghan forces on March 11, 2013, when the attack occurred.

The team was getting ready to go on patrol but had not yet left the relative safety of an Afghan police headquarters in Wardak province when an Afghan National Police officer attacked with a truck-mounted machine gun from 25 feet away.

Sheridan recalled seeing puffs of smoke before he heard the bullets.

He recalled looking over his right should and seeing the shooter, then turning to a teammate just in time to see him shot in the head.

"There wasn't time to think," Sheridan said. "It was reactionary. . It was 'save and stop.'"

As men fell to the left and right of Sheridan, 15 to 20 insurgents from outside the base began a simultaneous attack, opening fire with machine guns.

Sheridan, however, was focused on the gunman who was mowing down his team.

Sheridan moved toward his attacker, then leapt onto the back of an armored vehicle.

Sheridan shot and killed the attacker, then moved in and out of enemy fire to drag his teammates to safety.

"My teammates were out there," Sheridan said."I had to get them."

Over the next 30 minutes, with enemy fire still raining down, Sheridan coordinated both medical evacuations and close air support that engaged insurgents, leading to four more enemy deaths.

"Sgt. Sheridan's complete disregard for personal safety and extreme calm under pressure despite grave danger to himself and others directly resulted in saving the lives of 23 critically wounded personnel," according to the Silver Star citation. "By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sgt. Sheridan has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force."

At Friday's ceremony, Sheridan said he was only doing his job.

"I was just a member of a team," he said, referring to the Green Berets who attended the ceremony. "They kept me alive every night, and I did my piece."

According to reports, two U.S. soldiers and two Afghan police officers were killed in the attack.

Sheridan said roughly two-thirds of the members of his team were wounded, including many who attended the ceremony.

He said the Green Berets are true warriors and that it was wonderful to have them present at the ceremony.

"It's the best thing in the world," Sheridan said.

Above;  Master Sgt. Delorean Sheridan smiles at his daughter Kinsley, while Staff Sgt. Christopher Baradat and Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Whiddon look on during a 21st Special Tactics Squadron awards ceremony, presided by Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel, Air Force Special Operations Command commander, who awarded Silver Star medals to Sheridan and Baradat and a Purple Heart medal to Whiddon, Jan. 10, 2014, at Pope Army Airfield, Fort Bragg, N.C. (U.S. Air Force photo by Marvin Krause)

In March of last year Sheridan was in a group huddle with his team of U.S. and Afghan Special Forces when an Afghan National Police officer with a truck-mounted machine gun started firing at them. 15 to 20 other enemy fighters started firing also, and Sheridan immediately thought to grab his team leader he said.

"As I went to grab him I saw him get shot in the head, closer than I am to you," Sheridan told news reporters gathered a few feet in front of him after the ceremony.

At that point Sheridan ran toward the first gunman, shot and killed him and ran through gunfire three more times to pull injured comrades to safety.

"My teammates were out there and I had to get to them," Sheridan explained. "It doesn't matter. I have to get to my teammates and get them to a safe spot."

Sheridan also called in aircraft for medical evacuations and to attacks on the insurgents.

Just before Sheridan received his Silver Star, Williams read from the citation that explains Sheridan's actions.

"Sergeant Sheridan's complete disregard for his personal safety and extreme calm under pressure despite grave danger to himself and others directly resulted in saving the lives of 23 critically wounded personnel," Williams read.

AFSOC Special Tactics Airmen garner Sijan award....... On Nov 9, 1967, Capt. Lance P. Sijan ejects from his F-4C Phantom over North Vietnam and successfully evades capture for more than six weeks. The enemy eventually captures him, but he manages to escape. Captain Sijan receives the Medal of Honor posthumously. His spirit and determination inspired a fellow prisoner of war to nominate him.
by 1st Lt. Brionna Ruff
Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs

3/31/2014 - HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- Two Air Force Special Operations Command Airmen were selected for one of the Air Force's most prestigious awards, the 2013 Lance P. Sijan USAF Leadership Award.

The award recognizes Airmen who embody the highest forms of leadership in all aspects of their lives. It calls for candidates to demonstrate leadership through responsibility, professional leadership, leadership image and community involvement.

Maj. Randall Harvey, a special tactics officer assigned to the 320th Special Tactics Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, is the recipient in the junior officer category.

Master Sgt. Delorean Sheridan, a Combat Controller assigned to the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Field, N.C., is the recipient in the junior enlisted category.

Both Airmen possess common traits when it comes to leadership: humble attitudes, and respect for their people.

Harvey, a captain at the time of his nomination, was awarded two Bronze stars (one with valor), the nation's third highest combat decoration, in May 2013 for his leadership in combat. He was the lead Combat Controller allocating airpower to maneuver six teams during a seven-day, 500-person assault in Afghanistan.

As the only Airman on an Army Special Forces team, he engaged in a two-day operation where he controlled 14 different airstrikes, killed 39 enemies and wounded 15, according to the award citation.

He also exposed himself to enemy fire during an engagement, in order to cover friendly forces and allow his teammates to remove the wounded from the danger zone.

Harvey doesn't take much credit for the award, but instead speaks about his people.

"I am deeply humbled to win this prestigious award," said Harvey. "Awards like this say less about me as an individual and more about those who I have worked with along the way."

Sheridan deployed to Afghanistan in 2013 as the only Air Commando with an Army Special Forces team. He engaged in 18 firefights, leveraged 141 close air support and reconnaissance aircraft, killed 46 enemies and helped break "Taliban grip," earning him his second Bronze Star.

During the deployment, Sheridan's leadership and bravery again helped save the lives of his teammates. He was preparing for a mission in Afghanistan when an Afghan police officer and 20 insurgents opened fire on the team. Sheridan eliminated the ambush initiator before he pulled his wounded teammates out of harm's way while calling in airstrikes and medevac flights, helping save 23 lives. His actions earned him the Silver Star.

Sheridan credits his special tactics predecessors for emphasizing the importance of holding himself to a higher standard and doing what was necessary to accomplish the mission; similar to what Sijan had to do.

"When I began my military career my goal was to be the best operator I could be. I studied and watched the actions of my predecessors, guys like Capt Blake Luttrell and Senior Master Sgt. Davide Keaton," said Sheridan. "A mentor of mine once told me 'for a Combat Controller, exceeding the standard is the standard.' Capt. Lance P. Sijan unquestionably exceeded the standard and I'm humbled to be a 2013 Sijan Award recipient and represent Special Tactics."

The Lance P. Sijan award was named after an Air Force captain and fighter pilot who died as a POW in the Vietnam War. Before his capture, Sijan evaded North Vietnamese for six weeks after he was shot down in November 1967. He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions.