We salute Combat Controller Gantt on his award for heroism in the field of battle.
We here at Maxim could not be in more awe of the great sacrifices military men and women make for our nation. It is with great pride that we share the news that a Maximum Warrior contestant Combat Controller Gantt (whose name has been changed to protect his identity) was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with valor for heroism in ground operations in Afghanistan.
According to the citation, on April 12, 2012, while serving as the primary Joint Terminal Attack Controller for a combined United States Special Forces team and an Afghanistan Commando unit, Gantt battled Taliban fighters for 14 hours.
He voluntarily and continuously placed himself in plain sight of the enemy to protect the lives of his teammates. When the Taliban advance initiated, he surrendered his protected position and bounded through open terrain to support a pinned-down element in dire need of help.
As the citation continues, "During the heaviest volleys of enemy fire, [Gantt] low-crawled to unprotected areas in order to ensure the supporting aircraft could successfully identify and engage well-hidden insurgent fighting positions. Using his hand-held laser marker, he coordinated multiple air-to-ground attacks on strongholds within 100 meters of his position.
"Later during the enemy advance, while continuing to control air strikes, he again surrendered cover and went into the direct line of enemy fire to locate a suitable helicopter landing zone to evacuate the wounded in action. [Gantt] remained exposed until the extraction was complete."
During the 14-hour attack, Gantt successfully engaged seven enemy fighting positions and three Taliban-dominated structures, killed 18 insurgents, and weakened the adversary's advance.
Please join us in congratulating Gantt and the other seven airmen for the Kentucky Air National Guard who were honored. We salute you!
Check out Dakota Meyer and Hiring Our Heroes and A Veteran Responds To Tom Cruise's Claim That Acting Is Like Fighting In Afghanistan.