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Role in 2012 Hostage Rescue Earns Medal of Honor for Navy SEAL

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WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2016 — President Barack Obama will award the Medal of Honor to a Navy special warfare operator in a Feb. 29 ceremony, White House officials announced today.

Senior Chief Petty Officer Edward Byers will receive the nation’s highest award for battlefield gallantry for his actions while serving as part of a team that rescued an American civilian being held hostage in Afghanistan in December 2012. 

Byers will be the 11th living service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan.

Byers, 37, was born in Toledo, Ohio, and he graduated from Otesgo High School in Tontogany, Ohio, in June 1997. He holds a national paramedics license and will graduate from Norwich University with a bachelor of science degree in strategic studies and defense analysis later this year. 

He entered the Navy in September 1998, attending boot camp and Hospital Corpsman School at Great Lakes, Illinois. He served at Great Lakes Naval Hospital, and then with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. In 2002, he attended the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL course, graduating from Class 242, and completed the Special Operations Combat Medic Course in 2003.

Byers has been assigned to various East Coast SEAL teams, and he completed eight overseas deployments with seven combat tours.