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Navy narration of circumstances surrounding the death of SEAL Mike Monsoor

By Michael Fumento

Pitman
Michael Monsoor with MK-48 medium machine gun at right

On 29 September, Monsoor was part of a sniper overwatch security position in eastern Ramadi, Iraq with three other SEALs and eight Iraqi soldiers. They were providing overwatch security while joint and combined forces were conducting missions in the area. Ramadi had been a violent and intense area for a very strong and aggressive insurgency for some time. All morning long the overwatch position received harassment fire that had become typical part of the day for the security team. Around midday, the exterior of the building was struck by a single rocket propelled grenade (RPG), but no injuries to any of the overwatch personnel were sustained. The overwatch couldn't tell where the RPG came from and didn't return fire.

A couple of hours later, an insurgency fighter closed on the overwatch position and threw a fragment grenade into the overwatch position which hit Monsoor in the chest before falling in front of him. Monsoor yelled "grenade" and dropped on top of the grenade prior to it exploding. Monsoor's body shielded the others from the brunt of the fragmentation blast and two other SEALs were only wounded by the remaining blast.

One of the key aspects of this incident was the way the overwatch position was structured. There was only one access point for entry or exit and Monsoor was the only one who could've saved himself from harm. Instead, knowing what the outcome could be, he fell on the grenade to save the others from harm. Monsoor and the two injured were evacuated to the combat outpost battalion aid station where Monsoor died approximately 30 minutes after the incident from injuries sustained by the grenade blast.

Monsoor is being submitted for an award that is appropriate for the level of his actions that has yet to be determined.

[Since then he has been submitted for the nation's highest award, the Congressional Medal of Honor.]


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December 12, 2006 06:53 PM  ·  Iraq ~ Military