Valor In Action: The Unyielding Defense Of Staff Sergeant Ryan M. Pitts

By Ethan Cole on
 November 27, 2023

The extraordinary valor of Staff Sergeant Ryan M. Pitts, a retired U.S. Army member and Medal of Honor recipient, stands out in U.S. Military history as one to remember.

This story underscores Pitts' heroism during a severe attack in Kunar Province, Afghanistan in 2008, where he sustained significant shrapnel injuries but exhibited unwavering resolve to defend an observation post from an Anti-Afghan militia.

Despite his injuries, he engaged the enemy, launched grenades, and even crawled to an ammunition depot for more ammo to hurl at the enemy.

Pitts' actions safeguarded the vehicle patrol base and its military personnel from being overtaken, and facilitated his comrades in targeting enemy snipers.

This article also highlights Pitts' life post-combat, his recognition for his actions, and his current engagement in business development for a technology corporation.

Early Life and Military Career

Born and raised in New Hampshire, Staff Sergeant Ryan M. Pitts enlisted in the U.S. Army at the age of 17 and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2007, laying the groundwork for a military career that would culminate in extraordinary heroism and recognition.

In the early stages of Pitts' career, the values of duty, honor, and country were deeply ingrained, setting the stage for the bravery exhibited later.

The year 2008 marked a significant turning point, with Pitts assigned to a security detail at an observation post in Kunar Province. This assignment would test the resilience, courage, and dedication of Pitts, leading to a brutal encounter with Anti-Afghan forces that ultimately highlighted his exceptional valor and commitment to his fellow soldiers.

The Kunar Province Attack

In July 2008, a severe attack transpired in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, where a security detail at an observation post, led by a young soldier, was stationed. This soldier was none other than Staff Sergeant Ryan M. Pitts.

An Anti-Afghan militia launched an unexpected assault, causing extensive damage and inflicting severe injuries on Pitts. Despite the grave condition, Pitts demonstrated exceptional courage and fortitude. He defended the post, effectively firing on the enemy and launching grenades.

With the depletion of ammunition, Pitts crawled to the depot to retrieve more grenades. Simultaneously, he radioed the main base for assistance. His relentless defense and tactical communication allowed the soldiers at the main base to target enemy snipers, preventing a potential overtaking.


Post-Combat Life and Recognition

Following the intense combat in Kunar Province, the brave soldier was medically discharged from the Army in 2009 due to the severe injuries sustained during the attack.

Staff Sergeant Ryan M. Pitts transitioned to civilian life, employing his resilience and leadership skills in the corporate world, specifically in business development for a technology corporation.

The valor displayed during his military service was nationally recognized in 2014, when President Barack Obama presented him with the Medal of Honor. This prestigious decoration served as a testament to his unyielding defense of his comrades and his country.

Despite the traumatic experiences and physical injuries, Pitts remained a figure of unwavering courage and resilience, embodying the spirit of the U.S. military and its commitment to safeguarding the nation.


In conclusion, Staff Sergeant Ryan M. Pitts embodies the epitome of courage and resilience, having displayed remarkable heroism during a critical military engagement in Afghanistan.

Despite severe injuries, the unwavering defense exhibited at Kunar Province saved numerous lives and led to significant commendation, including the Medal of Honor.

Post-military life has seen continued success, with a transition into the corporate sector, demonstrating that valor extends beyond the battlefield.

Frequently Asked Questions

How did the events of the attack in Kunar Province impact Pitts' mental and emotional health?

The attack in Kunar Province had a significant impact on Pitts' mental and emotional health. Experiencing severe injuries and intense combat situations likely led to considerable psychological stress and potential post-traumatic stress disorder.

What was the specific nature of the injuries that Staff Sergeant Pitts sustained during the attack, and what was the process of his recovery?

Staff Sergeant Pitts sustained severe shrapnel injuries during the attack. His recovery process involved medical discharge from the Army in 2009, followed by comprehensive medical treatment and physical therapy to regain strength and mobility.

How did receiving the Medal of Honor affect Pitts' life and career after his military service?

The Medal of Honor significantly impacted Pitts' post-military life and career. It elevated his public profile, leading to opportunities in business development. His decorated status has also allowed him to advocate for veterans' issues.

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