Britt K Slabinski
Britt was born on the 1st of December, 1969 in Northampton, Massachusetts, and was active in the Boy Scouts as a child. He had become an Eagle Scout at the age of 14 and after graduating from Smith Vocational and Agriculture High School, Britt enlisted in the US Navy.
He attended boot camp in Orlando, Florida, and then went to San Diego, California, for Radioman Class “A” school where he would learn the basics of naval communications. Britt graduated in Spring of 1989 and would then qualify and was accepted into the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL, or BUDS, training at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in San Diego. Graduating in January of 1990 with Class 164, Britt then went on to SEAL Team Four until 1993 when he was then part of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group. It was Britt's actions six months after the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001 that would earn him the Medal of Honor. The citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while assigned to a Joint Task Force in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. In the early morning of 4 March 2002, Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Slabinski led a reconnaissance team to its assigned area atop a 10,000-foot snow-covered mountain. Their insertion helicopter was suddenly riddled with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire from previously undetected enemy positions. The crippled helicopter lurched violently and ejected one teammate onto the mountain before the pilots were forced to crash land in the valley far below. Senior Chief Slabinski boldly rallied his five remaining team members and marshaled supporting assets for an assault to rescue their stranded teammate. During reinsertion the team came under fire from three directions, and one teammate started moving uphill toward an enemy strongpoint. Without regard for his own safety, Senior Chief Slabinski charged directly toward enemy fire to join his teammate. Together, they fearlessly assaulted and cleared the first bunker they encountered. The enemy then unleashed a hail of machine gun fire from a second hardened position only twenty meters away. Senior Chief Slabinski repeatedly exposed himself to deadly fire to personally engage the second enemy bunker and orient his team’s fires in the furious, close-quarters firefight. Proximity made air support impossible, and after several teammates became casualties, the situation became untenable. Senior Chief Slabinski maneuvered his team to a more defensible position, directed air strikes in very close proximity to his team’s position, and requested reinforcements. As daylight approached, accurate enemy mortar fire forced the team further down the sheer mountainside. Senior Chief Slabinski carried a seriously wounded teammate through deep snow and led a difficult trek across precipitous terrain while calling in fire on the enemy, which was engaging the team from the surrounding ridges. Throughout the next 14 hours, Senior Chief Slabinski stabilized the casualties and continued the fight against the enemy until the hill was secured and his team was extracted. By his undaunted courage, bold initiative, leadership, and devotion to duty, Senior Chief Slabinski reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Britt went on to complete fourteen other combat deployments in support of the Global War on Terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan, including the rescue mission of then prisoner of war Jessica Lynch in 2003. Britt also completed nine overseas deployments, making his total deployments equal twenty-five and he retired from the Navy in 2014 after twenty-five years of service. Originally, he received the Navy Cross for his actions during the Battle of Takur Ghar, also known as the Battle of Roberts Ridge, but it was upgraded to the Medal of Honor which he received from President Trump on the 24th of May, 2018, in a ceremony at the White House. Britt Kelly Slabinski dedicated his Medal during the ceremony to the seven men that lost their lives during the battle: Neil Roberts, John Chapman, Philip Svitak, Marc Anderson, Matthew Commons, Bradley Crose, and Jason Cunningham.