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First Name: Michael

Last Name: Monsoor

Birthplace: Long Beach, CA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)

Rating: Master-at-Arms Petty Officer 2nd Class

Middle Name: Anthony

Date of Birth: 05 April 1981

Date of Death: 29 September 2006

Rank or Rate: Petty Officer Second Class

Years Served: 2001-2006
Michael Anthony Monsoor

•  Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom) (2003 - 2011)


Michael Anthony Monsoor
Master-at-Arms Second Class, U.S. Navy
Medal of Honor Recipient
Iraq War

Michael Anthony Monsoor (5 April 1981 - 29 September 2006) was a U.S. Navy SEAL killed during the Iraq War. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions on 29 September 2006.

The Early Years

Michael Anthony Monsoor was born on 5 April 1981 in Long Beach, CA, the third of four children born to George and Sally Monsoor. George was formerly in the U.S. military, as a Marine. When he was a child, Monsoor was afflicted with asthma but strengthened his lungs by racing his siblings in the family's swimming pool. He attended Dr. Walter C. Ralston Intermediate School and Garden Grove High School in Garden Grove, CA, and played tight-end on the school's football team, graduating in 1999. Monsoor was of Lebanese-Christian descent on his father's side and Irish by way of his mother.

Military Service

SEAL Training

Monsoor enlisted in the United States Navy on 21 March 2001, and attended Basic Training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, IL. Upon graduation from basic training, he attended Quartermaster "A" School, and then transferred to Naval Air Station, Sigonella, Italy, for a short period of time. He entered the Basic Underwater Demolitions School (BUD/S) and graduated from Class 250 on 2 September 2004 as one of the top performers in his class. After BUD/S, he completed advanced SEAL training courses including parachute training at Basic Airborne School, cold weather combat training in Kodiak, AK, and six months of SEAL Qualification Training in Coronado, CA, graduating in March 2005. The following month, his rating changed from Quartermaster to Master-at-Arms, and he was assigned to Delta Platoon, SEAL Team Three.

Iraq Deployment

During Operation Kentucky Jumper, SEAL Team Three was sent to Ramadi, Iraq, in April 2006 and assigned to train Iraqi Army soldiers. 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 and the team was frequently involved in engagements with insurgent fighters. During the first five months of deployment, the team reportedly killed 84 insurgents.

During an engagement on 9 May 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 and was also awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.

On 29 September 2006, Monsoor's platoon engaged four insurgents in a firefight, killing one and injuring another. Anticipating further attacks, Monsoor, three SEAL snipers and three Iraqi Army 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 other SEALs, two of whom were 15 feet away from him. Monsoor's position made him the only SEAL on the rooftop with quick access to an escape route.

A grenade was thrown onto the rooftop by an insurgent on the street below. The grenade hit Monsoor in the chest and fell onto the floor. Immediately, Monsoor yelled "Grenade!" and jumped onto the grenade, covering it with his body. The grenade exploded seconds later and Monsoor's body absorbed most of the force of the blast. Monsoor was severely wounded and although evacuated immediately, he died 30 minutes later. Two other SEALs next to him at the time were injured by the explosion but survived.

On 31 March 2008, the United States Department of Defense confirmed that Michael Monsoor would posthumously receive the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

"The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to


For service as set forth in the following CITATION:

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 Service."

The President of the United States, George W. Bush, presented Petty Officer Mansoor's Medal of Honor to his parents, George and Sally Monsoor, on Tuesday, 8 April 2008, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House.

Medals and Awards

SEAL Insignia

Medal of Honor
Silver Star Medal
Bronze Star Medal with "V" (Valor) Device
Purple Heart
Combat Action Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal w/ Campaign Star
Sea Service Deployment Ribbon


In October 2008 U.S. Secretary of the Navy, Donald C. Winter, announced that the second ship in the Zumwalt-class of destroyers would be named USS Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) in honor of Petty Officer Monsoor.

Death and Burial

Monsoor was killed in action on 29 September 2006 in Ar Ramadi, Iraq. He was described as a "quiet professional" and a "fun-loving guy" by those who knew him.

During the funeral, as the coffin was moving from the hearse to the grave site, Navy SEALs were lined up forming a column of twos on both sides of the pall bearers' route, with the coffin moving up the center. As the coffin passed each SEAL, they slapped down the gold Trident each had removed from his own uniform and deeply embedded it into the wooden coffin. For nearly 30 minutes the slaps were audible from across the cemetery as nearly every SEAL on the west coast repeated the ceremony.

The display moved many attending the funeral, including U.S. President, George W. Bush, who spoke about the incident later during a speech stating: "The procession went on nearly half an hour, and when it was all over, the simple wooden coffin had become a gold-plated memorial to a hero who will never be forgotten."

He is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, CA, in Section U, Site 412-E.

Honoree ID: 1265   Created by: MHOH




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