WASHINGTON (11/16/2012 - AFNS) -- An Air Commando from the 1st
Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron received a Silver Star
during a ceremony at the Pentagon Nov. 14.
Col. Jim Slife, commander 1st Special Operations Wing, hands Tech. Sgt. Joseph Deslauriers, an explosive ordnance disposal technician from the 1st Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron, his Silver Star citation during a ceremony at the Pentagon, Nov. 14, 2012. Deslauriers earned the medal for gallantry in action while serving in Afghanistan Sep. 23, 2012. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Hayden K. Hyatt
Tech. Sgt. Joseph
Deslauriers, an explosive ordnance disposal technician, earned the
medal for gallantry in action while serving in Afghanistan on Sep.
"It seems to me that valor is of the moment --
character is built over a lifetime," said Col. Jim Slife, commander
of 1st Special Operations Wing. "The events of the 23rd of September
last year can be described less as a case of spontaneous valor and
more as a predictable outcome of circumstance and character
intercepting on the battlefield."
According to the award's
citation, Deslauriers rendered safe one improvised explosive device
and conducted a post-blast analysis of three subsequent detonations
all within a four-hour
time frame. After doing so, he then
provided medical aid to an injured service member and used his
detector to clear a safe path for the medical evacuation helicopter
While clearing the area, Deslauriers stepped on an
initiation system for an IED device. Despite sustaining grave
injuries, and as his teammates treated him with aid, he continued to
pass information about the device that helped his team continue the
mission. His actions led to the extraction of two injured Marines,
two vehicles and completion of the mission.
"We talked about honor, sacrifice, and courage,"
Deslauriers said. "We don't think about that stuff; we just
do what we do, and we love it. I'd do it all over again."
Explosive ordnance disposal Airmen use their training to
dispose of anything from roadside bombs to decommissioned
missiles -- all to save lives.
"You see this room
filled with all these people and my family here,"
Deslauriers said. "To hear 'the most decorated EOD tech in
the career field' -- it's an honor for me to be here."
Deslauriers said he felt honored to be standing in the
Pentagon's Hall of Heroes, a place that honors the memory of
hundreds of service members including Medal of Honor
"You belong here," said retired Gen.
Norton Schwartz, former Chief of Staff of the Air Force.
"Thank you, sir," Deslauriers said. "To hear that from
you, and from everybody here, is a great honor."
Silver Star is the third highest military decoration for
valor and is given for gallantry in action against enemies
of the United States.
By USAF Airman 1st Class Hayden K. Hyatt
Operations Wing Public Affairs
Air Force News Service
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