Army Special Forces Lt. Col. Michael Sullivan, a Yakima native, has been awarded the Bronze Star for Valor as a result of his actions during an operation in May 2009 as commander of a unit that attacked insurgents in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province.
The Bronze Star Medal for Valor is awarded for heroism and extraordinary acts of valor while in direct contact with the enemy.
According to the citation, Sullivan, then a major, led 150 U.S. and Afghan soldiers in seizing the Loy Cherah Bazaar in Marjah in an air assault raid and held it through four days of counterattacks. The operation resulted in 64 enemy confirmed killed, with some estimates of the total count exceeding 100 killed. Additionally, the task force Sullivan led destroyed 200 tons of opium products and more than 100 tons of weapons and explosives.
The unit under his command suffered six casualties during the operation, which included close air support. His unit fired 10 Hellfire missiles, hundreds of mortars and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Michael Sullivan, 40, joined the U.S. Army in 1994 and currently is executive officer for the commanding general of Army Special Forces at Fort Bragg, N.C. The commanding general awarded Sullivan the Bronze Star during a private ceremony at Fort Bragg on July 20.
Jeff Sullivan said his son has served four tours in Afghanistan.