A senior enlisted SEAL will be the first sailor in a decade to receive the Medal of Honor, for a mission to rescue an American civilian hostage in Afghanistan in 2012, according to a Tuesday release from the White House.

President Obama will present Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Edward Byers with the nation’s highest award for valor in a Feb. 29 ceremony at the White House, the release said.

Byers will be the 11th living service member to receive the medal for actions in Afghanistan and the third sailor to earn the distinction since Sept. 11, 2001.

SEAL Team 3’s Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael Monsoor was posthumously awarded the medal in 2006 for actions in Iraq. A year earlier Lt. Michael Murphy was posthumously recognized for his role in Operation Red Wings, the battle detailed in retired Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (SEAL) Marcus Luttrell’s memoir “Lone Survivor.”


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