AFSOC Reviewing Valor Awards for Possible Upgrade

ORLANDO, Fla.—Air Force Special Operations Command is collecting evidence that may bolster a few valor cases for upgrades, possibly even to the Medal of Honor.

The review is using hindsight to determine “where did we perhaps undershoot in terms” of the award nomination, Air Force Special Operations Command boss Lt. Gen. James Slife said Feb. 27 at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium.

While he would not offer specific cases, he said the command is “doing a comprehensive search for the evidence that is out there.” For example, in the upgrade of Master Sgt. John Chapman’s Air Force Cross to the Medal of Honor, the Pentagon was able to review surveillance feed of his final moments in Afghanistan to determine the extent of his valor.

Last fall, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said the service was taking a “lot of time, a lot of effort reviewing every award,” and measuring that against the standards other services use for the Medal of Honor.

AFSOC’s job now is collecting the evidence and presenting the cases for upgrades to Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett.

The service has recently upgraded other valor awards, such as the September award of an Air Force Cross to Tech. Sgt. Daniel Keller, who originally received a Silver Star for his actions during a 15-hour fight against Islamic State group fighters in Afghanistan.