The United States Army has a long history of great soldiers, noncommissioned officers, and leaders. Sergeant First Class Jared Monti was amongst those ranks. He was an outstanding leader who constantly motivated his soldiers and ensured that his unit was always ready to fight and win.
Monti enlisted in the U. S. Army in March 1993. In February 2006, he was deployed to Afghanistan with Task Force Spartan and was assigned as a forward observer with the 3rd squadron, 71st Cavalry, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). His career culminated with this task force while conducting combat operations in Afghanistan and helping his fellow soldiers.
On June 21, 2006, Monti, then a staff sergeant, was the assistant patrol leader for a 16-man patrol tasked to conduct surveillance in the Gowardesh region. The patrol was to provide intelligence and interdict enemy movement as the squadron’s main effort moved into the province. As nightfall approached, the patrol was attacked by a well-organized enemy force of at least 60 personnel.
Outnumbered four-to-one, Monti’s patrol was in serious danger of being overrun. The enemy fighters had established two support-by-fire positions directly above the patrol in a densely wooded ridgeline. Monti immediately returned fire and ordered the patrol to seek cover and return fire. He then reached for his radio headset and calmly initiated calls for indirect fire and close air support, both danger-close to the patrol’s position.
He did this while simultaneously directing the patrol’s fires.
When Monti realized that a member of the patrol, Private First Class Brian J. Bradbury, was critically wounded and exposed 10 meters from cover, without regard for his personal safety, he advanced through enemy fire to within three feet of Bradbury’s position. But he was forced back by intense rocket propelled grenade fire. He tried again to secure Bradbury, but he was forced to stay in place again as the enemy intensified its fires. The remaining patrol members coordinated covering fires for Monti, and he advanced a third time toward the wounded soldier. But he only took a few steps this time before he was mortally wounded by an RPG. About the same time, the indirect fires and close air support that he called for began raining down on the enemy’s position. The firepower broke the enemy attack, killing 22 enemy fighters.
Monti’s actions prevented the patrol’s position from being overrun, saved his team’s lives and inspired his men to fight on against overwhelming odds.
Monti epitomizes what it means to be a noncommissioned officer. Because of his personal sacrifice and selfless service to the Army, the men of his patrol are alive today and continue the fight.
He was promoted to Sergeant First Class and received the Medal of Honor, both posthumously, for his heroic actions in combat in Afghanistan. His parents and family members attended a White House ceremony on September 17.
“The ceremony was bittersweet,” said Paul Monti, Jared’s father. “I’m reliving all of this all over again. I’d much rather have him than any medal.”
In honor of his actions, there is now a Combat Outpost Monti in Afghanistan. A new Fort Sill Call for Fire Training Center will also bear Monti’s name. The “Monti Call for Fire Training Facility” will be used to train future joint fire observers. Fort Sill, Okla., is where Monti received his basic training.
Monti is the sixth service member to receive the Medal of Honor during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the first soldier to receive the nation’s highest medal for valor in Afghanistan. Navy LT Michael Murphy is the only other service member to receive the award for actions in Afghanistan.
Monti, a graduate of Bridgewater-Raynham High School, displayed immeasurable courage and uncommon valor - eventually sacrificing his own life in an effort to save his comrade.
A scholarship in his honor will be awarded annually to a local Raynham student through a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, the Jared C. Monti Memorial Scholarship Fund, Inc.
Excerpts of the article are from the Fort Sill Fires Bulletin, March – April 2009 edition, sil-www.army.mil/firesbulletin