Michael was the third of four
children born to a Christian Arab/American former Marine father
and an American mother.
asthma as a child, Monsoor strengthened his lungs by
racing his siblings in the family's swimming pool. Monsoor
Garden Grove High School in
Garden Grove, California. He played tight-end on the
school's football team and graduated in 1999. His hobbies
included snowboarding, body-boarding, spearfishing, motorcycle
riding, and driving his
Monsoor joined the
United States Navy in 2001 before the
September 11 terrorist attacks. He graduated from
Class 250 of the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in
2004. He was later assigned to Delta Platoon, SEAL Team Three.
SEAL Team Three was sent to
Iraq in 2006 and assigned to train and mentor Iraqi
army troops. As a communicator and machine-gunner on patrols,
Monsoor carried 100 pounds of gear in temperatures often
exceeding 100 degrees. He took a lead position to protect the
platoon from frontal assault. The team was involved in frequent
engagements with insurgent fighters. Over the first five months
of the deployment, the team reportedly killed 84 insurgents.
During an engagement on
2006, Monsoor ran into a street while under
continuous insurgent gunfire to rescue an injured comrade.
Monsoor was awarded the
Silver Star for this action.
He was also awarded the
Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.
2006, the platoon engaged four insurgents in a
firefight, killing one and injuring another. Anticipating
further attacks, Monsoor and three SEAL snipers and three Iraqi
soldiers took up a rooftop position. Civilians aiding the
insurgents blocked off the streets, and a nearby mosque
broadcast a message for people to fight against the Americans
and the Iraqi soldiers. Monsoor was protecting his SEAL
comrades, two of whom were 15 feet away. His position made him
the only SEAL on the rooftop with quick access to an escape
grenade was thrown onto the rooftop by an insurgent
in the street below. The grenade hit Monsoor in the chest and
fell onto the floor. Immediately, Monsoor fell onto and covered
the grenade with his body, saving the lives of his three
comrades. Monsoor was critically wounded and, although evacuated
immediately, died 30 minutes later. Two SEALs next to him were
injured by the blast but lived.
George and Sally Monsoor receive Michael Monsoor's Medal of
Honor with George W. Bush.
Michael A. Monsoor's Medal of Honor pictured with the Navy
Special Warfare (SEAL) Trident.
Monsoor was described as a "quiet
professional" and a fun-loving guy by his teammates. He was
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.
United States Department of Defense confirmed that
Monsoor would posthumously receive the
Medal of Honor from the president of the United
States, George W. Bush, for his actions.
Monsoor's parents George and Sally Monsoor, received the medal
on his behalf at an
April 8 ceremony at the
White House held by the president.
Monsoor became the fourth American servicemember and second Navy
SEAL - each killed in the line of duty - to receive the United
States' highest military award for the "war on terrorism."
Medal of Honor citation
The President of the United States
in the name of
The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF
HONOR posthumously to
MASTER AT ARMS SECOND CLASS, SEA, AIR and LAND
MICHAEL A. MONSOOR
UNITED STATES NAVY
For service as set forth in the
For conspicuous gallantry and
intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of
duty while serving as Automatic Weapons Gunner for Naval Special
Warfare Task Group Arabian Peninsula, in support of Operation
IRAQI FREEDOM on 29 September 2006.As a member of a combined
SEAL and Iraqi Army
sniper overwatch element, tasked with providing early
warning and stand-off protection from a rooftop in an
insurgent-held sector of
Ar Ramadi, Iraq, Petty Officer Monsoor distinguished
himself by his exceptional bravery in the face of grave danger.
In the early morning, insurgents prepared to execute a
coordinated attack by reconnoitering the area around the
element's position. Element snipers thwarted the enemy's initial
attempt by eliminating two insurgents. The enemy continued to
assault the element, engaging them with a
rocket-propelled grenade and
small arms fire. As enemy activity increased, Petty
Officer Monsoor took position with his machine gun between two
teammates on an outcropping of the roof. While the SEALs
vigilantly watched for enemy activity, an insurgent threw a
hand grenade from an unseen location, which bounced
off Petty Officer Monsoor's chest and landed in front of him.
Although only he could have escaped the blast, Petty Officer
Monsoor chose instead to protect his teammates. Instantly and
without regard for his own safety, he threw himself onto the
grenade to absorb the force of the explosion with his body,
saving the lives of his two teammates. By his undaunted courage,
fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of
certain death, Petty Officer Monsoor gallantly gave his life for
his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and
upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval