Michael P. Murphy
Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy
|Nickname(s)||"Murph", "Mikey", "The Protector"|
|Born||May 7, 1976|
Smithtown, New York, U.S.
|Died||June 28, 2005 29) (aged|
Kunar Province, Afghanistan
|Years of service||2000–2005|
|Battles/wars||War in Afghanistan|
Michael Patrick "Murph" Murphy (May 7, 1976 – June 28, 2005) was a United States Navy SEAL officer who was awarded the U.S. military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during the War in Afghanistan. He was the first member of the U.S. Navy to receive the award since the Vietnam War.His other posthumous awards include the Silver Star Medal (which was later upgraded to the Medal of Honor) and the Purple Heart.
Michael Murphy was born and raised in Suffolk County, New York. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University with honors and dual degrees in political science and psychology. After college he accepted a commission in the United States Navy and became a United States Navy SEAL in July 2002. After participating in several War on Terrorism missions, he was killed on June 28, 2005, after his team was compromised and surrounded by Taliban forces near Asadabad, Afghanistan.
The U.S. Navy ship USS Michael Murphy, and several civilian and military buildings have been named in his honor.
Murphy was born on May 7, 1976 in Smithtown, New York to Irish American parents Maureen and Daniel Murphy, a former assistant Suffolk County district attorney and a veteran of the Vietnam War.He was raised in Patchogue, New York. The name Murphy means "sea warrior" in Irish Gaelic. He attended Saxton Middle School, where he played youth soccer and pee-wee football, with his father serving as his coach. In high school, he continued playing sports, and took a summer job as a lifeguard at the Brookhaven town beach in Lake Ronkonkoma, New York. He returned to the job every summer throughout his college years.
Murphy was known to his friends as "Murph" and as "The Protector" in his high school years. In 8th grade, he protected a child with special needs who was being shoved into a locker by a group of boys, ending with Murphy physically pulling the attackers away from the child. This was the only time the school principal had to notify Murphy's parents of a 'disciplinary' issue; his parents later reported that they "couldn't have been prouder". He also protected a homeless man who was being attacked while collecting cans. He chased away the attackers and helped the man pick up his cans.
In 1994, Murphy graduated from Patchogue-Medford High School and left home to attend The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). He graduated in 1998 with a double major in political science and psychology.Murphy was engaged to his college sweetheart, Heather Duggan, and their wedding scheduled for November 2005.
After graduating from Penn State, Murphy applied and was accepted to several law schools, but decided to attend SEAL mentoring sessions at the United States Merchant Marine Academy. In September 2000, he accepted an appointment to the U.S. Navy's Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida. On December 13 of that year, he was commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy and began Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training in Coronado, California in January 2001, eventually graduating with Class 236 in November 2001.
Upon graduation from BUD/S, he attended the United States Army Airborne School, SEAL Qualification Training and SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) school. Murphy earned his SEAL Trident and checked on board SDV Team ONE (SDVT-1) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in July 2002. In October 2002, he deployed with Foxtrot Platoon to Jordan as the liaison officer for Exercise Early Victor. Following his tour with SDVT-1, Murphy was assigned to Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT) in Florida and deployed to Qatar in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After returning from Qatar, he was deployed to Djibouti to assist in the operational planning of future SDV missions.
Operation Enduring Freedom is the official name used by the United States Government for its War in Afghanistan, together with three smaller military actions under the umbrella of its Global War on Terrorism.The war began on 7 October 2001 with the response of the United States and United Kingdom to the September 11 attacks in New York City and Arlington, Virginia. In early 2005, Murphy was assigned to SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team ONE as officer in charge of Alpha Platoon and deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Operation Red Wings was a counter-insurgent mission in Kunar province, Afghanistan, involving four members of the United States Navy SEALs. Murphy and two other SEALs, Danny Dietz and Matthew Axelson, were killed in the fighting, in addition to 16 U.S. special operations soldiers, who were killed when their helicopter was shot down while attempting to extract the SEAL Team. Prior to a helicopter being shot down in 2011,it was both the largest loss of life for U.S. forces since the invasion began and the largest loss for the SEALs since the Vietnam War. Marcus Luttrell was the only surviving U.S. sailor from the squad; he was protected by local villagers, who sent an emissary to the closest military base, allowing a rescue team to locate him.
Murphy was the Commander of a four-man reconnaissance team, they were on a mission to kill or capture a top Taliban leader, Ahmad Shah (code name Ben Sharmak),who commanded a group of insurgents known as the "Mountain Tigers," west of Asadabad. The team was dropped off by helicopter in a remote, mountainous area east of Asadabad in Kunar Province, near the Pakistan border. After an initially successful infiltration, local goat herders stumbled upon the SEALs' hiding place. Unable to verify any hostile intent from the herders, the team cut them loose. Hostile locals, possibly the goat herders they let pass, alerted nearby Taliban forces, who surrounded and attacked the small group. After Murphy called for help, an MH-47 Chinook helicopter loaded with reinforcements was dispatched to rescue the team, but was shot down with an RPG, killing all 16 personnel aboard; eight SEALs and eight service members from the 160th SOAR.
Murphy, Dietz, and Axelson were killed in the action. Luttrell was the only U.S. survivor and was eventually rescued, after several days of wandering in the mountains and being protected by the people of an Afghan village.All three of Murphy's men were awarded the Navy's second-highest honor, the Navy Cross, for their part in the battle making theirs the most decorated Navy SEAL team in history.
Murphy was killed on 28 June 2005 after he left his cover position and went to a clearing away from the mountains, exposing himself to a hail of gunfire in order to get a clear signal to contact headquarters for relaying the dire situation and requesting immediate support for his team.He dropped the satellite phone after being shot multiple times but picked the phone back up and finished the call. While being shot, he signed off saying- "Thank You", then continued fighting from his exposed position until he died from his wounds.
On 4 July 2005, Murphy's remains were found by a group of American soldiers during a combat search and rescue operation and returned to the United States.Nine days later, on 13 July, Murphy was buried with full military honors at Calverton National Cemetery.
|Special Warfare Insignia|
|1st row||Medal of Honor||Purple Heart Medal||Joint Service Commendation Medal|
|2nd row||Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal||Combat Action Ribbon||National Defense Service Medal|
|3rd row|| Afghanistan Campaign Medal |
w/ 1 service star
|Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal||Global War on Terrorism Service Medal|
|4th row||Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon|| Navy Rifle Marksmanship Medal |
w/ expert device
| Navy Pistol Marksmanship Medal |
w/ expert device
|Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia|
On 11 October 2007 The White House announced Murphy would be presented the Medal of Honor, awarded posthumously, during a ceremony at the White House on 22 October 2007.
The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government and is bestowed on a member of the armed forces who distinguishes himself "... conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States ..." Due to the nature of the award, it is commonly presented posthumously.
On 22 October 2007 the Medal of Honor presentation ceremony was held at the White House. President George W. Bush presented Murphy's Medal of Honor to his parents.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life and above and beyond the call of duty as the leader of a special reconnaissance element with Naval Special Warfare task unit Afghanistan on 27 and 28 June 2005.
While leading a mission to locate a high-level anti-coalition militia leader, Lieutenant Murphy demonstrated extraordinary heroism in the face of grave danger in the vicinity of Asadabad, Kunar Province, Afghanistan. On 28 June 2005, operating in an extremely rugged enemy-controlled area, Lieutenant Murphy's team was discovered by anti-coalition militia sympathizers, who revealed their position to Taliban fighters. As a result, between 30 and 40 enemy fighters besieged his four member team. Demonstrating exceptional resolve, Lieutenant Murphy valiantly led his men in engaging the large enemy force. The ensuing fierce firefight resulted in numerous enemy casualties, as well as the wounding of all four members of the team. Ignoring his own wounds and demonstrating exceptional composure, Lieutenant Murphy continued to lead and encourage his men. When the primary communicator fell mortally wounded, Lieutenant Murphy repeatedly attempted to call for assistance for his beleaguered teammates. Realizing the impossibility of communicating in the extreme terrain, and in the face of almost certain death, he fought his way into open terrain to gain a better position to transmit a call. This deliberate, heroic act deprived him of cover, exposing him to direct enemy fire. Finally achieving contact with his headquarters, Lieutenant Murphy maintained his exposed position while he provided his location and requested immediate support for his team. In his final act of bravery, he continued to engage the enemy until he was mortally wounded, gallantly giving his life for his country and for the cause of freedom. By his selfless leadership, Lieutenant Murphy reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
During his military career, Murphy received 11 different military decorations, including the Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and Navy Commendation Medal. Michael Murphy (DDG-112), have been named in his honor.Since his death, the high school he attended, a post office in his home town, a park and a guided missile destroyer, the USS
In addition to the Medal of Honor, his military awards and his inscription on the Hall of Heroes in the Pentagon,Murphy has received several other honors.
The Penn State class of 2011's senior gift was a memorial named after Lt. Michael P. Murphy to commemorate all veterans who served the United States. The wall behind the memorial is inscribed with a Greek phrase meaning "With it [your shield], or on it" referencing the ancient Spartan tradition that a warrior came home from a battle "with his shield" after a victory, or dead being carried home "on his shield" after a defeat. A Greek warrior could not escape the field of battle unless he tossed away the heavy and cumbersome shield. Therefore, "losing one's shield" meant retreat.
On 7 May 2006, on what would have been his 30th birthday, Murphy's hometown dedicated the Michael P. Murphy Memorial Park; formerly Lake Ronkonkoma Park. The park contains a black granite wall dedicated to the men lost in Operation Red Wings, with each member's name inscribed. A black granite stone embedded in the plaza bears the picture of Murphy and his Medal of Honor.
The memorial was vandalized by a 14-year-old boy in 2018. Murphy's parents forgave the teen and stated that they did not believe "he understood the significance of what he had done".
On 7 May 2007, the Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy United States Post Office was dedicated in Patchogue, New York. The request to rename the historic United States Postal Office located at 170 East Main Street in Patchogue, New York, was submitted as bill H.R. 4101 to the 109th Congress. On 3 January 2006, the 109th Congress approved the request and on 1 August 2006, it was signed by President George W. Bush and became Public Law No: 109-256.
The facility of the United States Postal Service located at 170 East Main Street in Patchogue, New York, shall be known and designated as the 'Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy Post Office Building'."
On 7 May 2008, Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter announced that DDG-112, the last planned U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer at the time, would be named USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112) in honor of Murphy. On 7 May 2011, on what would have been Murphy's 35th birthday, USS Michael Murphy was christened by his mother Maureen Murphy, the ship's sponsor.
On 9 July 2009, the newly constructed Combat Training Pool at the Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island was dedicated in honor of Murphy. The pool is an L-shaped, 8-lane pool which holds approximately 347,000 gallons of chlorinated water. The training pool also has a training platform three meters above the water which is used for military training, abandon ship drills, etc.
The Lt. Michael P. Murphy Award in Geospatial Intelligence recognizes achievement by a Penn State graduate student who is serving or has served in the U.S. Armed Forces or with the U.S. Intelligence Community and demonstrated exceptional contributions to the discipline. The award was made possible by the gifts of GeoEye and the US Geospatial Intelligence Foundation. This award is endowed to be given in Murphy's name in perpetuity.
On 2 November 2010, it was announced the senior gift for the Pennsylvania State University (Murphy's alma mater) Class of 2011 will be the Lt. Michael P. Murphy/Penn State Veterans Plaza. The plaza will honor all Penn State veterans and Penn State's only Medal of Honor recipient, Murphy.
The United States Veterans Hospital at Northport Long Island New York maintains a memorial plaque that names all of the Medal of Honor recipients who have lived in Long Island. Lt. Murphy's name was placed in honor on this memorial shortly after he was awarded the Medal of Honor. Others honored include President Theodore Roosevelt, General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., and Murphy's fellow Eastern Long Island hero Garfield Langhorn. The Memorial, which is at the back end of the hospital lobby, is in close proximity to where his mother works in the hospital.[ citation needed ]
In April 2014, Patchogue-Medford High School in Medford, New York, named its campus the "Navy (SEAL) Lt. Michael P. Murphy Campus" after its fallen former pupil.
The Sea Cadet unit from West Sayville, New York is named the "Lt. Michael P. Murphy Division" and has hosted and sponsored events in honor of Murphy.[ citation needed ]
The Fort Hamilton MEPS main lobby has a memorial wall dedicated to Murphy.[ citation needed ]
The Central Pennsylvania council of the Navy League of the United States awards the "Lt. Michael P Murphy Distinguished Citizen Award" in his name.The award honors living, non-active duty citizens who exemplify his character and commitment to his country and his community.
A workout named "Murph" was created in Michael's honor and is often performed at CrossFit affiliates, military bases, and Navy ships across the globe on Memorial Day. The workout consists of a one mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats, and a final one mile run.The pull-ups, push-ups, and air squats can be partitioned and scaled as needed.
Participants are encouraged to wear a 20lb body vest. This workout was one of Murphy's favorites. He called it "Body Armor"but it was later renamed “Murph” in his honor.
In the 2013 film Lone Survivor , Murphy is portrayed by actor Taylor Kitsch.
Murph: The Protector is a 2013 documentary by individuals who knew Murphy after Operation Red Wings.
The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those wounded or killed while serving, on or after April 5, 1917, with the U.S. military. With its forerunner, the Badge of Military Merit, which took the form of a heart made of purple cloth, the Purple Heart is the oldest military award still given to U.S. military members – the only earlier award being the obsolete Fidelity Medallion. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New Windsor, New York.
Lake Ronkonkoma is a census-designated place (CDP) in Suffolk County, New York, United States. The population was 20,155 at the 2010 census.
Audie Leon Murphy was an American soldier, actor, songwriter, and rancher. He was one of the most decorated American combat soldiers of World War II. He received every military combat award for valor available from the U.S. Army, as well as French and Belgian awards for heroism. Murphy received the Medal of Honor for valor that he demonstrated at the age of 19 for single-handedly holding off a company of German soldiers for an hour at the Colmar Pocket in France in January 1945, then leading a successful counterattack while wounded and out of ammunition.
Lieutenant , commonly abbreviated as LTJG or, historically, Lt. (j.g.), is a junior commissioned officer rank of the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps. LTJG has a US military pay grade of O-2, and a NATO rank code of OF-1a. The rank is also used in the United States Maritime Service. The NOAA Corps's predecessors, the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey Corps (1917–1965) and the Environmental Science Services Administration Corps or ESSA Corps (1965–1970), also used the rank.
Operation Red Wings, informally referred to as the Battle of Abbas Ghar, was a combined / joint military operation during the War in Afghanistan in the Pech District of Afghanistan's Kunar Province, on the slopes of a mountain named Sawtalo Sar, approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of Kunar's provincial capital of Asadabad, in late June through mid-July 2005. Operation Red Wings was intended to disrupt local anti-coalition militia (ACM) activity, thus contributing to regional stability and thereby facilitating the Afghan Parliament elections scheduled for September 2005. At the time, anti-coalition militia activity in the region was carried out most notably by a small group, led by a local man from Nangarhar Province, Ahmad Shah, who had aspirations of regional Islamic fundamentalist prominence. He and his small group were among the primary targets of the operation.
Thomas Rolland Norris is a retired United States Navy SEAL and Distinguished Eagle Scout who received the Medal of Honor for his ground rescue with the assistance of Petty Officer Third Class Nguyen Van Kiet of two downed pilots in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam on April 10–13, 1972. At the time of the action, Lieutenant Norris was a SEAL Advisor with the Strategic Technical Directorate Assistance (STDA) Team. The STDA was known as Studies and Observations Group prior to 1971.
Baldomero López was a first lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. He posthumously received the Medal of Honor for smothering a hand grenade with his own body during the Inchon Landing on September 15, 1950.
John Paul Bobo was a United States Marine Corps second lieutenant who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Vietnam War on March 30, 1967.
Captain Raymond Gerald "Jerry" Murphy was the 39th United States Marine to receive the Medal of Honor for heroism in the Korean War. He was decorated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in a White House ceremony on October 27, 1953. He earned the Nation's highest military decoration for heroic action for valor in the Reno-Vegas fighting of February 1953.
Michael Anthony Monsoor was a United States Navy SEAL who was killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom and posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Monsoor enlisted in the United States Navy in 2001 and graduated from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training BUD/S class 250 in 2004. After further training he was assigned to Delta Platoon, SEAL Team 3.
Ernest Calvin Williams was a United States Marine Corps officer who received the Medal of Honor for his actions on November 29, 1916, during the Battle of San Francisco de Macoris. Then 1st Lt Williams, leading 12 Marines, charged and captured the fortress from a numerically superior enemy. These actions were part of the U.S. occupation of the Dominican Republic. He was later awarded the Navy Cross.
Marcus Luttrell is a former United States Navy SEAL who received the Navy Cross and Purple Heart for his actions in June 2005 against Taliban fighters during Operation Red Wings. Luttrell was a SO1 by the end of his eight-year career in the United States Navy.
Erik Samsel Kristensen was a Lieutenant commander of the United States Navy SEALs who were killed in action during Operation Red Wings. He and several other SEALs set off as part of a search and rescue mission, hoping to assist a four-man SEAL team that was engaged in a firefight with Taliban fighters.
Patchogue-Medford High School is a public high school in Medford, New York, which is located in Suffolk County, Long Island, in the United States. The school is part of Patchogue-Medford School District. The campus was renamed "Navy (SEAL) LT Michael P. Murphy Campus" after the US NAVY SEAL, Michael P. Murphy.
Gerald F. Russell was a Marine who served in World War II, including missions to Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal. He commanded one of the first units to land in Japan and provided protection for the US technical teams covering the atomic bomb site in Nagaskai. Col. Russell also witnessed the historical raising of the American flag on Mt. Suribachi in Iwo Jima.
John A. Chapman was a Combat Controller in the United States Air Force who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on August 22, 2018 for his actions in the Battle of Takur Ghar during the War in Afghanistan. He is the first airman to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.
Miroslav "Steven" Zilberman was a United States Navy officer who posthumously received the Distinguished Flying Cross for saving the lives of three fellow pilots during an airplane crash in 2010.
Daniel Phillip Dietz Jr was a Navy SEAL who was awarded the U.S. Navy's second highest decoration, the Navy Cross, along with the Purple Heart, for his actions during the War in Afghanistan.
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