October 27, 2011

SSgt. Robert Gutierrez Jr., an Air Force Special Operations Command combat controller, receives the Air Force Cross for his actions Oct. 5, 2009, in Afghanistan. During a lengthy firefight, Gutierrez accurately guided close air support at a “danger-close” range helping to decimate the enemy and allow his team to escape the kill zone without additional casualties. Even though wounded, losing more than five pints of blood, and having a burst eardrum (following close-in strafing by A-10s he directed), he continued to direct aircraft overhead, called in his own medevac, and walked himself to the landing zone.