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Navarre-native honored with Silver Star, Bronze Star for bravery in 2017 night raid in Yemen

Under enemy fire, Staff Sergeant Cory A. Haggett ran back and fourth to treat 4 injured teammates while on a night raid deep in enemy territory on January 28, 2017.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jim Slife, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, presents the Silver Star Medal to Master Sgt. Cory Haggett, a special tactics operator with the 23d Special Tactics Squadron, 24th Special Operations Wing, during a ceremony May 13, 2022, at Hurlburt Field, Fla. The Silver Star is the third-highest military combat decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Armed Forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Charles)

On Friday, May 13th, 2022, U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Cory Haggett was presented the Silver Star Medal and his second Bronze Star Medal at Hurlburt Field.

  • Gen. Jim Slife, Air Force Special Operations Command commander, presided over the ceremony. 

Staff Sergeant Cory A. Haggett distinguished himself by gallantry in action while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force near Yemen on January 28, 2017.

On that date, according to Hurlburt Field, as Lead Pararescueman for a Joint Task Force, in support of overseas contingency operations, Sergeant Haggett displayed exceptional battlefield courage as a member of an assault force on a direct-action night raid deep into enemy territory.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jim Slife, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, presents the Bronze Star Medal to Master Sgt. Cory Haggett, a special tactics operator with the 23d Special Tactics Squadron, 24th Special Operations Wing, during a ceremony May 13, 2022, at Hurlburt Field, Fla. Haggett was also presented the Silver Star during the ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Charles)

Following a difficult 8-kilometer infill to the set-point, the assault force immediately took heavy and effective enemy fire within 75 meters in all directions.

  • When a teammate was struck in the chest by small arms fire, and with total disregard for his own life, Sergeant Haggett quickly moved to his aid, dragging the casualty, shielding him with his own body, and rendering trauma care under intense enemy fire.

Determining his wounded teammate required an immediate evacuation, Sergeant Haggett led an element of four teammates to carry the casualty over 130 meters under tremendous small arms, according to Hurldburt.

“Shortly after movement began, Sergeant Haggett received a radio call for additional support, and without hesitation, he directed a member of his element to return to the assault force to provide support while the element continued to slide down the steep and slippery, shale faced mountainside,” wrote Hurlburt in a press release.

Fort Walton Beach Mayor Dick Rynearson, congratulates Master Sgt. Cory Haggett, a special tactics operator with the 23d Special Tactics Squadron, 24th Special Operations Wing, following Haggett’s Silver Star Medal Presentation Ceremony May 13, 2022, at Hurlburt Field, Fla. The Silver Star is the third-highest military combat decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Armed Forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Charles)

Once Sergeant Haggett and his element arrived at the helicopter landing zone, he performed an expedited cricothyrotomy to establish an airway and stabilized his teammate until the medical evacuation helicopter arrived.

  • Following the evacuation, Sergeant Haggett immediately ran the 130 meters back up the rocky mountain face, “braving fierce and unrelenting enemy fire” as rounds impacted the ground within inches of his position.

Upon reaching the assault force and his second wounded teammate’s position, Sergeant Haggett once again selflessly shielded him with his own body and rendered treatment even while intense small arms fire impacted the area around him.

Additionally, once the movement started to the exfil site, Sergeant Haggett provided medical assistance to a third teammate requiring medical attention to a blunt force trauma wound to the face. Sergeant Haggett quickly bandaged the wound permitting his teammate to stay engaged in the firefight.

Master Sgt. Cory Haggett, a special tactics operator with the 23d Special Tactics Squadron, 24th Special Operations Wing, leads members of Air Force Special Operations Command in memorial pushups following his Silver Star Medal Presentation Ceremony May 13, 2022, at Hurlburt Field, Fla. The Silver Star is the third-highest military combat decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Armed Forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Charles)

Finally, once the assault force arrived to the exfil site, Sergeant Haggett treated a fragmentation wound to his Troop Chief’s arm, treating the wound to mitigate exposure to the elements and the chance of infection.

“By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Haggett has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force,” wrote Hurlburt Field in a press release.

Sergeant Haggett is currently assigned to the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, 24th Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Fla.

He graduated from Navarre High School in 2005 and attended Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, in 2006.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen Jim Slife, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command (left), U.S. Air Force Col. Jason Daniels, commander of the 24th Special Operations Wing (right), and family members pose with Master Sgt. Cory Haggett, a special tactics operator with the 23d Special Tactics Squadron, 24th Special Operations Wing, following the presentation of his Silver Star Medal May 13, 2022, at Hurlburt Field, Fla. The Silver Star is the third-highest military combat decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Armed Forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Charles)

His other awards and decorations include:

  • Meritorious Service Medal
  • Air Medal
  • Joint Service Commendation Medal with Combat Device
  • Joint Service Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters
  • An Air Force Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster 

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