Who was Jared C. Monti?

Introduction

Jared Christopher Monti (20 September 1975 to 21 June 2006) was a soldier in the United States Army who received the United States military’s highest decoration for valour, the Medal of Honour, for his actions in the War in Afghanistan.

Jared C. Monti in Afghanistan (May 2006)
Jared C. Monti in Afghanistan (May 2006).

Monti was deployed with his unit when they were attacked by a group of enemy insurgents. When another soldier was wounded, Monti attempted to rescue him three times and was killed in action. President Barack Obama signed the authorisation for Monti to receive the Medal of Honour and the medal was presented to his family in a ceremony, the President’s first, at the White House in 2009. Monti was the sixth person from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to be awarded the Medal of Honour.

Early Life

Monti was born in Abington, Massachusetts, on 20 September 1975, to Paul, a high school Science teacher, and Janet Monti. He grew up in Raynham, Massachusetts and, even as a child, he demonstrated the adventurous character that would later earn him the Medal of Honour. As a four-year-old, he disappeared from the backyard one day, and his mother found him later on hanging by the hood of his sweatshirt on the other side of the fence. On another occasion, a migraine headache kept him home from school, but he left the house and was later found climbing a tree. In 1994 he graduated from Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School at the age of 18. Monti had two siblings, a sister, Nicole and a brother, Timothy.

Military Service

After enlisting in the Army in March 1993, he completed basic training and forward observer training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and continued his training as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division. Monti, a fire support specialist, served as a staff sergeant and Fire Support Team sergeant with the 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. Previous to his service in Afghanistan he earned his British Parachutist Badge with Wings while training in England in 1998 and was deployed to Kosovo in 1999 with Operation Joint Guardian. Despite sustaining injuries as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division, he rejected a medical discharge and reenlisted to deploy with his unit to Afghanistan in February 2006, as part of Task Force Spartan.

Medal of Honour Action

On 21 June 2006, Monti served as the assistant leader of a 16-man patrol and leader of a weapons forward observer team tasked with gathering intelligence in Gowardesh, Nuristan Province, in northeastern Afghanistan. The team established a small base on a ridge to support a larger Army operation in the valley below. When the larger operation was delayed, Monti’s team ran low on provisions. The helicopter that brought supplies revealed the team’s position.

That evening, the patrol was attacked by a group of at least 50 insurgents, who had established two positions on a wooded ridge about 50 yards above the patrol and attempted to outflank Monti and his team. The Americans took cover and returned fire, and Monti radioed for artillery and close air support. Enemy fire killed Staff Sergeant Patrick Lybert. Another Soldier, Private First Class Brian J. Bradbury, was severely wounded and left lying in the open between the enemy and the team’s position. Staff Sergeant Chris Cunningham, leader of the patrol’s sniper team, called out that he was going to try to rescue Bradbury. Monti replied, “That’s my guy. I am going to get him.”

Monti made three attempts to reach Bradbury. On his first, he advanced to within three feet of Bradbury before being forced back by intense machine-gun and rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) fire. His second try was similarly turned back and as the rest of his patrol provided covering fire, Monti advanced a third time but was struck by an RPG. Some news reports indicated that the explosion blew off both of his legs, but this is not supported by family accounts or military records. Monti attempted to crawl back towards cover. He is reported by comrades to have made his peace with God and asked Sergeant Cunningham to tell his parents he loved them. Monti died moments later. At about the same time, the artillery and air support for which he had called began hitting the enemy position, killing 22 of the attackers and dispersing the rest.

PFC Bradbury subsequently died during his evacuation when the cable broke on the rescue hoist lifting him to a 159th Medical Company (Air Ambulance) helicopter. The fall also killed Staff Sergeant Heathe Craig, 28, a medic from Severn, Maryland.

Burial and Medal of Honour Ceremony

Monti is buried in section 11, site 38 of the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne, Massachusetts. The Army posthumously promoted him to sergeant first class.

On 24 July 2009, President Barack Obama signed the authorisation for Monti to receive the Medal of Honour for this action. The medal was presented to the family by the President in a formal ceremony at the White House on 17 September 2009. Monti is the 3,448th recipient of the honour since the medal was established by the US Congress during the American Civil War. Additionally, he is the second Medal of Honour recipient from the conflict in Afghanistan, after Navy SEAL Michael P. Murphy, who received the medal in 2007.

Military Awards

  • Combat Action Badge.
  • Medal of Honour.
  • Bronze Star Medal.
  • Purple Heart Medal.
  • Army Commendation Medal with Four Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters.
  • Army Achievement Medal with Three Oak Leaf Clusters.
  • Army Good Conduct Medal with Four Bronze Loops.
  • National Defence Service Medal.
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.
  • Kosovo Campaign Medal with Services Star.
  • Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Service Star.
  • Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.
  • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
  • Korea Defence Service Medal.
  • NCO Professional Development Ribbon with Award Numeral 2.
  • Army Service Ribbon.
  • Army Overseas Service Ribbon with Award Numeral 3.
  • NATO Medal for Kosovo with One Service Star.
  • Parachutist Badge.
  • Air Assault Badge.

Medal of Honour Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.
Sergeant First Class Monti distinguished himself at the cost of his life while serving as a team leader with the Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3d Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan on 21 June 2006. On that day, Sergeant First Class Monti was leading a mission to gather intelligence and to direct fires against the enemy in support of a squadron-size interdiction mission. While at an observation position on top of a mountain ridge, Sergeant First Class Monti’s sixteen-man patrol came under attack by a superior force consisting of as many as 50 enemy fighters. On the verge of being overrun, Sergeant First Class Monti directed his patrol to set up a hasty defensive position behind a collection of rocks. He then began to call for indirect fire from a nearby support base; accurately bringing the rounds upon the enemy who had closed to within 50 meters of his position. While still calling for fire, Sergeant First Class Monti personally engaged the enemy with his rifle and a grenade, successfully disrupting an attempt to flank the patrol. Sergeant First Class Monti then realized that one of his Soldiers was lying wounded and exposed in the open ground between the advancing enemy and the patrol’s position. With complete disregard for his own safety, Sergeant First Class Monti moved from behind the cover of the rocks into the face of withering enemy fire. After closing within meters of his wounded Soldier, the heavy volume of fire forced Sergeant First Class Monti to seek cover. Sergeant First Class Monti then gathered himself and rose again to maneuver through a barrage of enemy fire to save his wounded Soldier. Again, Sergeant First Class Monti was driven back by relentless enemy fire. Unwilling to leave his Soldier wounded and exposed, Sergeant First Class Monti made another attempt to move across open terrain and through the enemy fire to the aid of his wounded Soldier. On his third attempt, Sergeant First Class Monti was mortally wounded, sacrificing his own life in an effort to save his Soldier. Sergeant First Class Monti’s acts of heroism inspired the patrol to fight off the larger enemy force. Sergeant First Class Monti’s immeasurable courage and uncommon valor were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, 3d Squadron 71st Cavalry Regiment, the 3d Brigade Combat Team, the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), and the United States Army.[8]

Other Honours

On 13 January 2009, Marc R. Pacheco submitted a petition to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to designate a state owned bridge in the town of Raynham as the SFC Jared C. Monti Bridge. The motion passed and the state Senate approved for the bridge to be renamed.

A call-for-fire training facility at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where Monti trained, is named in his honour.

The former Pine Plains Fitness Center on Fort Drum has been renamed the Monti Fitness Facility in honour of SFC Jared C. Monti.

In May 2013, Connie Harrington, songwriter of Lee Brice’s number one country hit “I Drive Your Truck,” revealed that she wrote the song after listening to Monti’s father, Paul, on the public radio program Here & Now. It was Paul Monti’s answer to Here & Now when asked what he did to reconnect with his son’s memory.

This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jared_C._Monti >; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA.

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