Brian Stann is often referred to as an “American war hero.” It’s commonly known that Stann actively served in the US Marine Corp, but did he get the “hero” label by simply fighting overseas or did Stann do something extraordinary in combat to earn the distinction?

Well, I admittedly (and shamefully) did not know the answer to that question until MMA Mania uncovered the public listing that confirms the latter. Stann earned a Silver Star Medal for his heroic actions during Operation Iraqi Freedom in May 2005.

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Brian M. Stann, First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy as Second Mobile Assault Platoon Leader, Weapons Company, Third Battalion, Second Marines, Regimental Combat Team 2, SECOND Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from 8 May to 14 May 2005. During Operation MATADOR, Second Lieutenant Stann led his reinforced platoon on an assault through a foreign fighter and Mujahedeen insurgent defense-in-depth to seize the Ramana Bridge north of Karabilah, Iraq. On three separate occasions, he traversed four kilometers of enemy occupied urban terrain in order to maintain his battle position. With each deliberate attack he controlled close air support and the direct fire systems of tanks and heavy machineguns destroying enemy positions along the route. At one point, the enemy massed on his platoon and fired over 30 rocket propelled grenades, machineguns, detonated two improvised explosive devices and attacked the unit with three suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive devices. Second Lieutenant Stann personally directed two casualty evacuations, three vehicle recovery operations and multiple close air support missions under enemy small arms, machinegun and mortar fire in his 360-degree fight. Inspired by his leadership and endurance, Second Lieutenant Stann’s platoon held the battle position on the Euphrates River for six days protecting the Task Force flank and isolating foreign fighters and insurgents north of the river. Second Lieutenant Stann’s zealous initiative, courageous actions, and exceptional presence of mind reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

I would generally argue that all of our soldiers who fight overseas are “heroes” in one form or another, but what Brian Stann did in combat is certainly worthy of a special distinction — in this case, a Silver Star.

So is Brian Stann an “American War Hero?” The answer is a resounding yes.