Cannon Air Force Base sergeant receives nation’s third-highest honor

New Mexico

CLOVIS, N.M. (KRQE) – A sergeant stationed at Cannon Air Force Base received the nation’s third-highest personal decoration for valor in combat Friday morning.

United States Air Force Sergeant Cody G. Smith received the Silver Star Medal for his actions during an ambush on his Special Forces unit while on deployment in Afghanistan in 2018.

Sergeant Smith’s unit was struck by automatic gunfire, rocket-propelled grenades, and motors from all directions while attempting to navigate through the village. His team was trapped.

“We were able to break contact, retrieve the wounded team member, and were able to move through the village continually in a gunfight for several hours until finally, able to exit village and medivac the wounded individual and relay information,” said Tech Sergeant Smith.

Tech Sergeant Smith was able to minimize his unit’s injuries and was able to coordinate airstrikes to save his unit after being knocked unconscious from a mortar blast.

The ceremony honored Sergeant Smith with the Silver Star Medal. In the crowd was his family, fellow unit members, and the 114th Fighter Wing from South Dakota that assisted with the airstrikes during the firefight.

“This is a huge honor, not just Sgt. Smith, who is being awarded the Silver Star Medal today. It’s a huge honor for all of us to be able to share and witness this moment with him,” said Alejandra Fontalvo, Public Affairs Officer with the 24th Special Operations Wing.

Technical Sergeant Smith is the 49th Air Force member to receive the Silver Star since the Vietnam War.

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