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Fort Benning: Staff Sgt. Michael Norton to receive Silver Star today

Staff Sgt. Michael E. Norton of the 75th Ranger Regiment will be awarded a Silver Star medal during a ceremony to be held today at the Ranger Memorial on Fort Benning.

Norton, 27, is being awarded the Army's third highest military decoration for extraordinary heroism during an assault on a heavily armed fighter camp in the mountains of Afghanistan on Aug. 4 and 5, 2009, according to Fort Benning public affairs.

Ambushed at close range, Norton ordered his squad to break contact. At great risk to his own life, he then braved multiple rocket-propelled grenades and withering machine gun fire and returned to recover two of his Rangers who lay unconscious in the beaten zone of enemy fire, saving their lives.

He then rallied his squad and continued the attack, eliminating two more enemy combatants in the course of the mission. His actions saved the lives of his squad and resulted in the destruction of an enemy headquarters camp.

The Silver Star ceremony will begin at 1 p.m.

Norton, 27, serves with 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment and has been a Ranger for five years. He has deployed five times in support of the war on terror.

The Silver Star is awarded for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States during military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force.

Lt. Gen. John Mulholland, commander of U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C., will preside over the ceremony and present the awards.

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