Edward C. Byers Jr., born in Toledo, Ohio, is a United States Navy SEAL. On February 29, 2016, he
received the Medal of Honor for the rescue of an American citizen in Afghanistan. He enlisted in
the Navy in September 1998 and spent his first four years as a Hospital Corpsman attached to 2nd
Battalion, 2nd Marines in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
In 2002, he attended the toughest military training in the world, Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL
(BUD/S) training to become a US Navy SEAL and graduated with Class 242. During his career,
Byers, spent up to 280 days a year away from home to include 9 combat deployments (each up to
7 months in length) conducting missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa. During his assignment
as an Assault Team Member attached to Joint Task Force in support of Operation ENDURING
FREEDOM on December 8, 2012, he was involved in an action, which would lead him to become the
sixth Navy SEAL to receive the Medal of Honor.
In the early hours of December 2012, an elite Navy SEAL Hostage Rescue Force was launched to
save American citizen, Dr. Dilip Joseph, who was being held hostage by the Taliban in an Eastern
Afghanistan compound. Led by Chief Nic Checque, Byers and his team fearlessly breached the
door and rushed into the room to save the hostage. Upon entering, Byers engaged an enemy
captor armed with an AK- 47. As he was engaging the enemy captor, he then tackled another
terrorist that moved across the room and Byers shot him. Moments later, he identified Dr. Joseph’s
location, jumping on him to shield him from the high volume of enemy fire. Simultaneously, Byers
immobilized another terrorist by the throat with his bare hands until he was eliminated.
Byers’ actions were a direct reflection of his intrepid fighting spirit and unwavering devotion to duty in
the face of near certain death. Byers enduring mission is to honor those he served with especially Chief
Nic Checque who paid the ultimate sacrifice saving an American Doctor. Nic will always be remembered
as a true hero and warrior. Nic Checque was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism.
To learn more about Edward Byers’ story, visit
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EDWARD C. BYERS JR.
MASTER CHIEF, US NAVY SEAL (RET.)