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Silver Star Awarded to First Female Soldier in 60 years

Given by the U.S. military, the Silver Star medal recognizes gallantry in battle

Last March, Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester's unit was attacked by militants while on foot patrol next to a military truck convoy in South Baghdad. One of the U.S. soldiers had a camera and captured images of the battle.

"I just looked to the right and saw seven or eight guys shooting back at us--muzzle flashes," said Sergeant Hester.

The sergeant and her squad put themselves between the convoy and the insurgents, and returned fire.

"I shot one guy. Saw him fall. And I know for a fact, also I shot another insurgent before we jumped down the trenchline to go after them."

With that counter-attack, the soldiers saved the convoy. Seven members of the unit received citations. Two men, along with Sergeant Hester received the Silver Star. Sergeant Hester is the first woman to be awarded the Silver Star in Iraq.

The U.S. Army awards the Silver Star to U.S. soldiers who show extraordinary courage in battle.