Retired Master Sgt. Larry Hawks was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on June 21 for his actions in Afghanistan back in 2005.
Hawks received the DSC — the second highest military decoration awarded to a U.S. soldier — for gallantry under fire as a member of 3rd Special Forces Group on July 24 and July 25, 2005, in Afghanistan.
“Sgt. 1st Class Hawks, while conducting armed reconnaissance of a town, came under intense enemy small arms, rocket propelled grenade, and mortar fire," the citation reads, according to the Army release. “While moving to interdict enemy combatants attempting to reposition themselves on the high ground west of the village, he discovered one of his comrades was pinned down by enemy fire.”
"Sgt. 1st Class Hawks, without regard for his own safety dismounted from his vehicle and charged toward the enemy position on the high ground. Under continuous fire, he engaged and neutralized the enemy position.”
His actions led to 15 confirmed enemy killed in action, the capture of 14 insurgents, and the recovery of over 30 light and heavy weapons, according to his older Silver Star citation.
Hawks previously received the Silver Star for his actions in 2008 as part of one of the largest award ceremonies since the Vietnam War, according to the Army.
Hawks, a native of Wingfield, Kentucky, first enlisted in the Army as an infantryman in 1988, according to Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, a U.S. Army Special Operations Command spokesman.
His first duty station was with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he served four years and deployed to Panama, the Sinai, Egypt, and Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm all with 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
In 1992, Hawks was assigned to the XVIII Airborne Corps Long Range Surveillance Company where he served in every position from scout up to platoon sergeant.
He then attended Army Special Forces Qualification Course and subsequently became an 18C, or engineer sergeant.
During his time in the service, Hawks was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Southwest Asia Service Medal with 2 stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait), Special Forces tab, Ranger tab, Combat Infantry Badge, HALO Jumpmaster Badge, Static Line Jumpmaster and the Excellence in Combat Marksmanship Badge Bronze.
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter whose investigations have covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.