Back in 2016, then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered his department to launch a review of more than 1,300 valor awards bestowed for Global War on Terror action, after suspicions arose that some service members’ bravery had been under-recognized during the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Army owned about 800 of those medals, and this year, plans to upgrade 13 Silver Stars to the Distinguished Service Cross.
Some have already received their awards and some will get them later this year, according to Army spokesmen.
The soldiers are receiving the DSC “in recognition of their gallantry, intrepidity and heroism above and beyond the call of duty,” Lt. Col. Emmanuel Ortiz-Cruz told Army Times in March. “Previously recognized for their bravery by award of the Silver Star, the Department of Defense upgraded the soldiers’ medals as part of a comprehensive review of commendations for heroism in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Here is the available list:
Ceremonies for the special operations soldiers are still in the planning stages, Lt. Col. Loren Bymer told Army Times.
Three additional USASOC soldiers will be upgraded from Silver Stars to Distinguished Service Crosses, he added, but their names and actions are not releasable due to security concerns.
In the meantime, other awards have seen upgrades. In December, the Army awarded Staff Sgt. Justin Gallegos, long considered a hero of the Battle of Kamdesh in Afghanistan, a Distinguished Service Cross after an upgrade campaign backed by then-Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz.
No other information has been released concerning further upgrades.