Staff Sergeant Alan T. Yoshida, U. S. Air Force
Silver Star awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Staff Sergeant Alan T. Yoshida, United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States while serving with the 23d Special Tactics Squadron near Sayyd Alma Kalay, Afghanistan, from 30 November to 4 December 2001. Sergeant Yoshida rode with the lead elements of Northern Alliance Commander Hamid Karzai’s ground force as they advanced and seized the town of Sayyd Alma Kalay. On the night of 3 December 2001, in an attempt to reoccupy the town, Taliban forces launched a major counterattack across the Arghendab River forcing a majority of the Northern Alliance soldiers to retreat to the north. Over the next eight hours, despite being outnumbered two to one and in grave danger of being overrun, Sergeant Yoshida orchestrated numerous danger-close air strikes, crushing the Taliban attack and forcing the enemy to retreat to the southern side of the river, saving both his team members and hundreds of Afghanis in the nearby town. On 4 December 2001, Sergeant Yoshida, accompanied by friendly forces, attacked a critical hilltop overlooking the only bridge in the sector crossing the Arghendab River. While exposed to intense machine-gun fire and rocket-propelled grenades, Sergeant Yoshida advanced toward the hilltop to ascertain the location of three key targets on the hillside. Under heavy fire, Sergeant Yoshida meticulously plotted out the enemy positions, developed aircraft attack restrictions and determined optimal munitions selection, resulting in neutralization of the enemy threat, survival of friendly forces and ensuring the strategically vital bridge remained intact. Staff Sergeant Yoshida’s heroic actions prevented a second friendly retreat and directly resulted in the occupation of the critical hilltop by friendly forces. Less than 24 hours later, the Taliban requested a cease-fire and sent a delegation to surrender the city of Kandahar to Hamid Karzai. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Staff Sergeant Yoshida has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.