Staff Sgt. Jeffery Musgrave received the Bronze Star, the fourth highest award for gallantry in combat, for his heroic actions on May 17, 2010, in Wardak Province, Afghanistan, in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He also received the Purple Heart.
After completing a home search of a suspected IED facilitator, Staff Sgt. Jeffery Musgrave and his Special Operations Task Unit were preparing to head back to camp when they came under enemy fire. Three rounds ripped into his left bicep before he could even react.
“I looked at my arm and didn’t see any blood … my adrenaline just started pumping,” said Musgrave, a Special Forces Soldier assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne). “I was more excited about the firefight.”
Musgrave informed the team that he was hit, and continued maneuvering to different positions while returning fire.
After expending his M-4 basic load and ignoring incoming fire, he left his covered position to man a comrade’s M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon and continued to engage in the fight.
Despite bleeding profusely, Musgrave exposed himself twice more before finally being treated for his wounds. While being treated by a medic, a member of his team yelled for assistance and again Musgrave maneuvered 300 meters into position to engage the enemy, allowing two of his teammates to flank the enemy and kill two fighters.
“It was something out of a movie,” Musgrave said. “On top of everything that was happening, it was pouring down rain. Anything and everything possible that could have went wrong — went wrong that day.”
Fighting with only one good arm, Musgrave and his team tried to depart the area, but their vehicle got stuck in the mud — all while getting peppered by enemy fire. He got out of the vehicle and formed a defensive perimeter until the vehicle was recovered.
“You don’t have time to think about what’s going on,” Musgrave said of his actions. “I may have got shot, but if the guy next to me, who was my medic, gets shot … then we’d really be in a bad situation. “During that time of mass chaos, someone had to step up to the plate and do what had to be done.”