2023 // Silver Star

SOCS (SEAL) Steven L. Van Horn
Steven Van Horn

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Assault Team Leader assigned to a Joint Task Force conducting Special Operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM on 21 May 2006.  Senior Chief Van Horn led his team as part of a larger element that executed a complex and daring direct action mission against a heavily armed and numerically superior enemy force.  Senior Chief Van Horn’s assault force successfully penetrated enemy territory and engaged in a four-hour firefight often at close quarters.  Moving through the objective area, he eliminated two enemy fighters waiting for his assault force.  Senior Chief Van Horn directed the clearing of a follow-on target, where he engaged in close-quarters combat to secure an additional enemy fighter.  His superb leadership and exceptional performance while eradicating a critical terrorist network significantly degraded the enemy’s effectiveness and contributed greatly to the Joint Task Force mission.  By his bold leadership, personal initiative, and total devotion to duty, Senior Chief Van Horn reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.