TSgt. Clint Campbell, a combat controller assigned to the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla., received the Silver Star medal for his gallantry and marked heroism during combat in 2010 near Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel, head of Air Force Special Operations Command, presented Campbell with the medal during a Jan. 18 ceremony at Hurlburt. According to Campbell’s citation, he directed 22 air strikes on Aug. 4, 2010, including multiple “danger close” strikes, resulting in 13 enemy fighters killed. He also ran 300 meters through a gauntlet of enemy fire in order to mark enemy positions with a smoke grenade. He also directed an F-16 strafing run, helping to eliminate attackers and enabling the evacuation of wounded troops. “His bravery . . . turned the tide of the battle, defeated the ambush, saved three teammates’ lives, and prevented certain additional casualties,” reads the citation. Campbell’s Silver Star was one of more than 30 medals that members of the squadron received that day at Hurlburt for their most recent overseas deployment. Among them were six Bronze Star with Valor medals. (Hurlburt report by Capt. Kristen D. Duncan)
Americans’ trust and confidence in the U.S. military has declined precipitously in recent months, according to the results of a survey. Experts lay the blame on increasing political polarization and the fallout from this summer’s turbulent withdrawal from Afghanistan.