HomeNewsArticle Display

Special Tactics Airman awarded Silver Star Medal

image of Master sergeant john grimesey receiving silver star medal from lieutenant general jim slife

Lt. Gen. Jim Slife, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, presents the Silver Star Medal to Master Sgt. John Grimesey, a Special Tactics combat controller with the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, during a ceremony at Pope Field, N.C., Aug.14, 2020. Grimesey received the nation's third highest medal for his actions while deployed to Afghanistan in 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Katie Spencer)

image of Master sergeant john grimesey receiving silver star medal from lieutenant general jim slife

Lt. Gen. Jim Slife, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, presents the Silver Star Medal to Master Sgt. John Grimesey, a Special Tactics combat controller with the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, during a ceremony at Pope Field, N.C., Aug.14, 2020. Grimesey received the nation's third highest medal for his actions while deployed to Afghanistan in 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Katie Spencer)

image of Master sergeant john grimesey receiving silver star medal from lieutenant general jim slife

Lt. Gen. Jim Slife, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, presents the Silver Star Medal to Master Sgt. John Grimesey, a Special Tactics combat controller with the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, during a ceremony at Pope Field, N.C., Aug.14, 2020. Grimesey received the nation's third highest medal for his actions while deployed to Afghanistan in 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Katie Spencer)

POPE FIELD, N.C. (AFNS) -- A Special Tactics Airman was awarded the nation's third highest award for valor, the Silver Star Medal, during a ceremony at Pope Field, Aug. 14.

Master Sgt. John Grimesey, a Special Tactics combat controller with the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, 24th Special Operations Wing, was recognized for his efforts in Afghanistan in 2013. He not only saved the life of a fellow special operations troop, but called in multiple airstrikes while being under attack by the enemy.

Grimesey’s objective was to clear and secure a village in Ghazni Province to establish local Afghan police presence without the threat of opposition forces. Grimesey and his team partnered with the local Afghan police and together they set out to clear the area until one of the teams encountered a large band of Taliban fighters.

“Our Afghan team got separated and started to take on enemy fire,” Grimesey said. “Myself and an Army Special Forces Soldier maneuvered to provide assistance and quickly found ourselves engaged with the Taliban.”

When Grimesey peered around a wall to gain situational awareness, he noticed the wounded and dead Afghan police officers, to include the police chief. It was then Grimesey was struck by a rocket propelled grenade.

“I remember the ringing in my ears,” Grimesey recalled. “I knew I was concussed from the blast because of the ringing, my vision was blurry and I was fatigued.”

Despite suffering a concussion and shrapnel wounds, Grimesey was able to drag his Army Special Forces teammate away from the immediate danger zone and assess the situation.

“I snapped into a problem solving mode,” he said. “The situation was dire and the only way to solve it was to rely on my extensive training and attempt to break down the large problem into small chunks. I had to prioritize what I was being faced with.”

The Special Tactics combat controller was able to call in additional support from other Army Special Forces units, and from aircraft for close-air-support; all the while engaging in a fire fight with opposition forces.

“Eventually we were able to gain control and eliminate the Taliban resistance while also finishing the mission to secure the village,” he said.

Grimesey said it was later discovered there was a Taliban training team who had made their way to the village, thus drastically increasing the number of fighters they encountered.

Lt. Gen. James Slife, commander, Air Force Special Operations Command, presided over the ceremony and remarked on Grimesey’s actions.

“You may not call yourself a hero, Master Sgt. Grimesey, but I do,” Slife said. “Because of your actions that day, families and friends did not experience loss. The men whose lives you saved will continue to positively impact those around them, creating a chain of reaction that ripples across generations.”

“I think about it every day,” Grimesey reflected. “I even dream about it. It’s an event that left an impression on me. While it was a harrowing experience, I look back with great pride and believe that my team and I were able to save lives and help ensure the security of the village.”

Grimesey’s Silver Star Medal was upgraded from an Army Achievement Medal. During the ceremony he also received the Bronze Star Medal, second oak leaf cluster with Valor for another battle in the Middle East in 2017.

As Grimesey looks ahead to start his medical retirement process, he remembers his time in the Special Tactics community fondly.

“If there are any other young men and women out there looking for a community with a sense of purpose and opportunity to make a positive impact on the world at large, they don’t have to look any further than Air Force Special Tactics,” Grimesey said.

Special Tactics Airmen are U.S. Special Operations Command’s tactical air-to-ground integration force, and AFSOC’s special operations ground force, leading global access, precision strike, personnel recovery and battlefield surgery operations.

Since 9/11, Special Tactics Airmen have received one Medal of Honor, 11 Air Force Crosses and 49 Silver Star Medals, making Grimesey’s the 50th.

 

Engage

Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: Thanks to the conservation upgrades, Keesler AFB expects an annual savings of 113,840 million British Thermal Units, a 15.8 p…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: .@Spangdahlem_AB was the first wing in @HQUSAFEAFAF capable of Agile Combat Employment. Being agile & persistent is a m…
Twitter
After catastrophic flooding in Germany & Belgium, @Spangdahlem_AB volunteers provide relief. “80% of people on Sp… https://t.co/6roLIRoFT0
Twitter
RT @Southcom: Supporting our partners in #Suriname: A @usairforce C-17 from @TeamCharleston delivered a field hospital to Suriname July 1…
Twitter
Congratulatons! 🎓 https://t.co/dzK8o0E9rK
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: On the latest edition of the Air Force Starts Here Podcast, we discuss the modernization of the @usairforce Career Developm…
Twitter
F-16s from the 555th Fighter Squadron fire munitions at the Graf Ignatievo Air Base range during Thracian Star 21 i… https://t.co/aYEY5PoEWD
Twitter
The #AirForce Civil Engineer Center, in partnership with the USAF Installation Contracting Center, has streamlined… https://t.co/8iFGwfrYHR
Twitter
A-10 Thunderbolt II's auxiliary power unit insulation is on the path of modernization as the Ogden Air Logistics Ce… https://t.co/3vWCDmV8Sf
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr made his first trip to Europe as CSAF, to visit European counterparts in France, and virtually at th… https://t.co/fnK8dTaHA4
Twitter
RT @AFResearchLab: Have you ever had that lightbulb 💡 moment where a new game changing idea pops into your head? Well the @usairforce, @S
Twitter
RT @SecDef: We train to win future conflicts. @NORADCommand and @USNorthernCmd are currently leading #GIDE3 with all 11 combatant commands…
Twitter
“Our human capital is our ultimate weapon.” - Maj. Gen. Eric Hill, @AFSpecOpsCmd deputy commander, remarked recentl… https://t.co/SijxHO8VVX
Twitter
.@Hanscom_AFB introduces newly designed female body armor. “It’s exciting to feel represented as a female, and it’… https://t.co/fniK9XlzDh
Twitter
ICYMI: @amccommander Gen Van Ovost approves the Centerline Drogue System as the KC-46A Pegasus’ first Interim Capab… https://t.co/ACrozwmm1e
Twitter
The 128th Air Refueling Wing with the Wisconsin @AirNatlGuard is supporting #TeamTyndall's F-22 Raptors @NASKeyWesthttps://t.co/uRlpW1Jmt3
Twitter
.@EielsonAirForce Airmen are conducting Agile Combat training, aimed at developing combat habit patterns for use in… https://t.co/8BoWN2gE2I
Twitter
RT @USNationalGuard: Airmen from the @109thAW hosted two @USAFReserve Airmen while they completed their hands-on training as aerial port sp…
Twitter
.@Creech_AFB's 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron completed successful testing of the MQ-9 Reapers' Automatic Takeo… https://t.co/BnckGjqO76
Twitter
RT @USAFRecruiting: Air Force Chief of Staff, @GenCQBrownJr, has a message for those considering a career in the @usairforce: Regardless…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,353,914
Follow Us