Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester was assigned to the 617th Military Police Company, a Kentucky Army National Guard unit in Richmond, Kentucky. During an enemy ambush on a supply convoy near the town of Salman Pak, Iraq, Sgt. Hester led her team directly into the line of fire and began an assault on a trench line. She and her squad leader cleared two trenches. When the attack was over, 27 insurgents were dead, six were wounded, and one was captured.
In June 2005, Hester received the Silver Star Medal for exceptional valor at the age of 23. She became the first woman to earn the Silver Star Medal since World War II. Hester has been in the National Guard since April 2001, but took a brief break from the U.S. Army in 2009 to become a civilian law enforcement officer in Nashville, Tennessee. She returned to the Army in 2010.
Awards and Decorations:
Army Commendation Medal
NCO Professional Development Ribbon
Army Service Ribbon
Combat Action Badge