NH Soldier to be Awarded Medal of Honor

White House: "Staff Sergeant Pitts will be the ninth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan."

Staff Sgt. Ryan Pitts, Medal of Honor.
Staff Sgt. Ryan Pitts, Medal of Honor.
Former Staff Sgt. Ryan Pitts of Nashua will be awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in a ceremony July 21 at the White House.

The White House statement on the award includes:

"On July 21, 2014, President Barack Obama will award Ryan M. Pitts, a former active duty Army Staff Sergeant, the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry.  Staff Sergeant Pitts will receive the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions while serving as a Forward Observer with 2nd Platoon, Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, during combat operations at Vehicle Patrol Base Kahler, in the vicinity of Wanat Village in Kunar Province, Afghanistan on July 13, 2008.

"Staff Sergeant Pitts will be the ninth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. He and his family will join the President at the White House to commemorate his example of selfless service."

Pitts joined the Army in 2003 when he was just 17, under the delayed entry program. He attended basic training and advanced individual training at Fort Sill, Okla. 

His official Medal of Honor profile includes:

Pitts then went to the U.S. Army Airborne School at Fort Benning, Ga., before being assigned as a radio telephone operator for the 4th Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment and 173rd Airborne Brigade at Camp Ederle, Italy from 2004-2005. He remained headquartered at Camp Ederle as part of the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Abn. Bde. from 2006 to 2009.

While assigned to the 173rd, Pitts deployed twice to Afghanistan. His first deployment in 2005 lasted 12 months. His final deployment spanned 15 months beginning in 2007. Pitts departed the active-duty Army in 2009.

His civilian education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business from the University of New Hampshire at Manchester. He currently resides in Nashua, New Hampshire where he is in business development for the computer software industry.

His military education includes the U.S. Army Airborne School, U.S. Army Pathfinder Course, and the Warrior Leader Course.

Staff Sergeant Pitt's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal w/ "V" Device, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal w/ "V" Device and three Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal with Bronze Clasp and two Loops, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Two Campaign Stars, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with Numeral "4", NATO Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Valorous Unit Award, Combat Action Badge, Pathfinder Badge and Parachutist Badge.

* * * * *
Gov. Maggie Hassan issued the following statement on the honor:

"Sergeant Ryan Pitts, a U.S. Army paratropper, demonstrated extraordinary valor above and beyond the call of duty during the Battle of Wanat, one of the bloodiest battles of the Afghan War. His remarkable poise, toughness and courage despite his critical wounds were instrumental in turning the tide of the battle and preventing further U.S. casualties. Because of his heroic actions, our country is safer, our freedom is stronger, and many of his fellow soldiers returned home safely to their families. Sergeant Pitts joins only a handful of other soldiers who served in Operation Enduring Freedom to receive this highest military honor, and we are all inspired by Sergeant Pitts’ unyielding dedication to his unit and his fellow Americans.

"After his military discharge, Sergeant Pitts graduated with honors from the University of New Hampshire with a business degree, and his remarkable penchant for leadership, collaboration and hard work will continue to serve him well in all of his endeavors in civilian life. The entire State of New Hampshire is deeply proud of Sergeant Pitts, and I join all Granite Staters in thanking him for his bravery, service and sacrifice."

President Obama will award the Medal of Honor in a ceremony July 21.


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