Courage Under Fire: U.S. Airman Rushes In To Shield Wounded Comrade From Enemy Fire

Master Sgt. Cory Haggett

On January 28, 2017, a raid on the Arabian Peninsula by the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron came under heavy enemy fire. Master Sgt. Cory Haggett risked his life caring for injured soldiers.

Dangerous Mission

In 2017, Haggett was a staff sergeant, he and his fellow pararescuemen trained for two years before they were ready to go on missions to dangerous locales. But, his skills were more than tested on January 28th.

Haggett was leading the pararescuemen in a joint task force. The set point was eight kilometers through tough terrain, and according to Haggetts Silver Star citation, they came under fire immediately “within seventy-five meters in all directions.”

While the citation does not say why the task force was in the area, the following day was the raid on Yakla. Special operators gathered information and electronics from the village on al Qaeda in the area.

However, there is no clear indication that Haggett’s mission was the same. But according to his citation, a teammate was hit in the chest he moved him out of harm’s way. He even used himself as a shield against additional fire.

Reaching Help

Haggett knew his teammate needed immediate help, so he and his four teammates carried the injured operator 130 meters while under fire. The task force called for help, so Haggett sent the four others to aid them, and he slid down a “steep and slippery shale-faced mountainside” to get to the helicopter’s landing site.

He had to give the patient an emergency cricothyrotomy, cutting their throat and placing a tube to help them breathe. It’s an emergency measure, only used when absolutely necessary.

The patient was stable when the helicopter arrived. After, Haggett ran back to the task force and found another injured teammate, who he shielded and tried to evacuate, but a third needed help with a face wound.

They made it to the exfiltration sight, and Haggett treated the troop chief’s wounded arm to avoid an infection. His brave actions during this battle earned him a Silver Star, the nation’s third-highest military honor given for valor in combat.

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