Air Force Special Operations Command boss Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel presented TSgt. Ismael Villegas and SSgt. Dale Young each with a Silver Star Medal for gallantry in combat on separate occasions near Helmand province, Afghanistan. The award ceremony took place on July 22 at JBSA-Lackland, Tex., where both combat controllers are currently assigned, according to a base release. Villegas is now the Air Force’s only two-time Silver Star recipient currently on active duty, states the release. “Gentlemen, your bravery and tenacity epitomize what being a warrior is all about,” said Fiel. “Your stories are truly inspiring.” The Air Force recognized Villegas for his heroics “during nonstop enemy engagements” from Feb. 6-24, 2011. He controlled numerous strike aircraft that took out eight enemy fighting positions and killed more than 20 insurgents. He also gathered intelligence at great risk and pulled to safety a teammate hit by shrapnel. The Air Force honored Young for his actions from May 19-23, 2009, when he was under continuous enemy fire for 94 hours. He controlled coalition aircraft and ensured effective fires on enemy positions; this mission also resulted in the destruction of “more than $1 billion in black tar opium,” states the release. (Lackland report by Mike Joseph)
More than 100 Guardians across the globe have started wearing the Space Force’s prototype service dress uniform three times per week as part of “wear testing”—the final stage before the uniform is produced and rolled out to Guardians everywhere in 2025.