Sgt 1st Class Jared C. Monti
3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry (Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Target Acquisition), 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry)
Parents: Mr. Paul Monti and Ms. Janet Monti
Siblings: Timothy Monti and Niccole Monti
Born: Sept. 20, 1975 in Abington, Mass.
Hometown: Raynham, Mass.; graduated from Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School, 1994.
Assignments: Before coming to Fort Drum, he served assignments at Fort Riley, Kan.; Camp Stanley, Korea (1st Battalion, 506th Infantry); Fort Bragg, N.C.; and Camp Casey, Korea.
Deployments: Kosovo and a previous tour in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2004. Afghanistan, February 2006.
Today the President awarded Sergeant First Class Jared C. Monti, U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in the East Room of the White House. Sergeant First Class Monti received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroic actions in combat in Afghanistan, which the President recounted alongside his parents Paul and Janet Monti:
That’s when Jared Monti did what he was trained to do. With the enemy advancing — so close they could hear their voices — he got on his radio and started calling in artillery. When the enemy tried to flank them, he grabbed a gun and drove them back. And when they came back again, he tossed a grenade and drove them back again. And when these American soldiers saw one of their own — wounded, lying in the open, some 20 yards away, exposed to the approaching enemy — Jared Monti did something no amount of training can instill. His patrol leader said he’d go, but Jared said, “No, he is my soldier, I’m going to get him.”
It was written long ago that “the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet, notwithstanding, go out to meet it.” Jared Monti saw the danger before him. And he went out to meet it.
He handed off his radio. He tightened his chin strap. And with his men providing cover, Jared rose and started to run. Into all those incoming bullets. Into all those rockets. Upon seeing Jared, the enemy in the woods unleashed a firestorm. He moved low and fast, yard after yard, then dove behind a stone wall.
A moment later, he rose again. And again they fired everything they had at him, forcing him back. Faced with overwhelming enemy fire, Jared could have stayed where he was, behind that wall. But that was not the kind of soldier Jared Monti was. He embodied that creed all soldiers strive to meet: “I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade.” And so, for a third time, he rose. For a third time, he ran toward his fallen comrade. Said his patrol leader, it “was the bravest thing I had ever seen a soldier do.”
They say it was a rocket-propelled grenade; that Jared made it within a few yards of his wounded soldier. They say that his final words, there on that ridge far from home, were of his faith and his family: “I’ve made peace with God. Tell my family that I love them.”
And then, as the artillery that Jared had called in came down, the enemy fire slowed, then stopped. The patrol had defeated the attack. They had held on — but not without a price. By the end of the night, Jared and three others, including the soldier he died trying to save, had given their lives.
I’m told that Jared was a very humble guy; that he would have been uncomfortable with all this attention; that he’d say he was just doing his job; and that he’d want to share this moment with others who were there that day. And so, as Jared would have wanted, we also pay tribute to those who fell alongside him: Staff Sergeant Patrick Lybert. Private First Class Brian Bradbury. Staff Sergeant Heathe Craig.
And we honor all the soldiers he loved and who loved him back — among them noncommissioned officers who remind us why the Army has designated this “The Year of the NCO” in honor of all those sergeants who are the backbone of America’s Army. They are Jared’s friends and fellow soldiers watching this ceremony today in Afghanistan. They are the soldiers who this morning held their own ceremony on an Afghan mountain at the post that now bears his name — Combat Outpost Monti. And they are his “boys” — surviving members of Jared’s patrol, from the 10th Mountain Division — who are here with us today. And I would ask them all to please stand. (Applause.)
Like Jared, these soldiers know the meaning of duty, and of honor, of country. Like Jared, they remind us all that the price of freedom is great. And by their deeds they challenge every American to ask this question: What we can do to be better citizens? What can we do to be worthy of such service and such sacrifice?
Sergeant First Class Jared C. Monti. In his proud hometown of Raynham, his name graces streets and scholarships. Across a grateful nation, it graces parks and military posts. From this day forward, it will grace the memorials to our Medal of Honor heroes. And this week, when Jared Monti would have celebrated his 34th birthday, we know that his name and legacy will live forever, and shine brightest, in the hearts of his family and friends who will love him always.
May God bless Jared Monti, and may He comfort the entire Monti family. And may God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
Jared C. Monti enlisted in the National Guard as a high school junior under the delayed entry program on March 11, 1993. He went to basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., between his junior and senior year of high school. After graduation, he switched over to active duty and completed his initial military training at Fort Sill, Okla. After graduating from his Advanced Individual Training, he was awarded the military operations specialty 13F, or Fire Support Specialist. A fire support specialist leads, supervises, and serves in an intelligence and target-processing role in Field Artillery units of all sizes across the Army.
After graduating from basic and AIT he was stationed at Fort Riley, Kan. Monti was then assigned to the Korean Peninsula as part of the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, in the demilitarized zone. After leaving Korea, he moved to Fort Bragg, N.C. From Fort Bragg he went back to Korea before eventually ending up at Fort Drum, N.Y.
His military education includes completing the Combat Life Savers course in 1995, Basic Airborne School in 1997, Primary Leadership Development Course in 1998, Basic Noncommissioned Officer course in 2001, Air Assault course in 2002 and the Joint Firepower/Control course in 2004.
His awards and decorations (prior to earning the Medal of Honor) include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal with four oak-leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with three oak-leaf clusters, Good Conduct Medal 3rd Award, National Defense Service Medal (2), Korean Defense Service Medal (2), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (2), Kosovo Campaign Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with numeral two, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral three, NATO Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal, Global War of Terrorism Service Medal, Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge and the Air Assault Badge.
Staff Sergeant Jared C. Monti
United States Army
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:
Staff Sergeant Jared C. Monti distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a team leader with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3d Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 3d Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, in connection with combat operations against an armed enemy in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan, on June 21, 2006.
While Staff Sergeant Monti was leading a mission aimed at gathering intelligence and directing fire against the enemy, his 16-man patrol was attacked by as many as 50 enemy fighters. On the verge of being overrun, Staff Sergeant Monti quickly directed his men to set up a defensive position behind a rock formation. He then called for indirect fire support, accurately targeting the rounds upon the enemy who had closed to within 50 meters of his position. While still directing fire, Staff Sergeant Monti personally engaged the enemy with his rifle and a grenade, successfully disrupting an attempt to flank his patrol. Staff Sergeant Monti then realized that one of his Soldiers was lying wounded in the open ground between the advancing enemy and the patrol’s position.
With complete disregard for his own safety, Staff Sergeant Monti twice attempted to move from behind the cover of the rocks into the face of relentless enemy fire to rescue his fallen comrade. Determined not to leave his Soldier, Staff Sergeant Monti made a third attempt to cross open terrain through intense enemy fire. On this final attempt, he was mortally wounded, sacrificing his own life in an effort to save his fellow Soldier.
Staff Sergeant Monti’s selfless acts of heroism inspired his patrol to fight off the larger enemy force. Staff Sergeant Monti’s immeasurable courage and uncommon valor are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, and the United States Army.
Medal of Honor Links:
US Army: Battlescape
US Army: Images – Slideshow
Blackfive Net: SFC Jared Monti
Boston Herald: Soldier gets highest honor for ultimate sacrifice
Pundit Review: Someone You Should Know: Sgt. 1st Class Jared C. Monti
Mudville Gazette: Sergeant First Class Jared Monti: Medal of Honor