Britt K. Slabinski

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Britt K. Slabinski
Britt Slabinski 180525-A-SS368-007.jpg
Official portrait of SOCM Slabinski in May 2018
Born (1969-12-01) December 1, 1969 (age 49)
Northampton, Massachusetts, U.S.
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Years of service1988–2014
RankMaster chief special warfare operator
UnitU.S. Navy SEALs
Battles/warsWar in Afghanistan Iraq War
AwardsMedal of Honor
Navy and Marine Corps Medal
Bronze Star Medal with V (5)
Relations1 son

Britt Kelly Slabinski[1] (born December 1, 1969) is a former United States Navy SEAL who was awarded the Medal of Honor on May 24, 2018 for his actions during the Battle of Takur Ghar.

Early life[edit]

Slabinski is from Northampton, Massachusetts. He earned the rank of Eagle Scout at age 14 on March 9, 1984.[2]

Military career[edit]

Upon graduation from Smith Vocational and Agriculture high school[3] in 1988, Slabinski enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He attended boot camp in Orlando, Florida. Upon completion, he received orders to attend Radioman Class "A" School in San Diego, California. There, he trained on the basics of naval communications graduating in spring 1989. He qualified and was accepted into Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training (BUD/S) at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. He graduated in January 1990 with BUD/S Class 164.[2][4]

Britt Slabinski on Roberts Ridge (Takur Ghar) in March 2002

Slabinski's operational assignments include SEAL Team FOUR, 1990 to 1993; Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG), 1993 to 2006; and Command Master Chief of Naval Special Warfare Tactical Development and Evaluation Squadron TWO, 2006 to 2008. He was the Senior Enlisted Advisor of the Joint Special Operations Command, Washington, DC Office, 2008 to 2010 and Command Master Chief, Naval Special Warfare Group TWO, 2010 to 2012.[2]

Slabinski has completed nine overseas deployments and 15 combat deployments in support of the Global War on Terrorism, including Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.[2] He retired in June 2014 as the Director of Naval Special Warfare Safety Assurance and Analysis Program after more than 25 years of service.[5]

Awards and decorations[edit]

United States Navy Special Warfare insignia.png
Navy and Marine Corps Medal ribbon.svg 1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg"V" device, brass.svg
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Gold star
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Gold star
Gold star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png
Silver star
United Nations Medal ribbon.svg
United States Navy Parachutist Badge.png
Badge of a U.S. Navy command master chief petty officer.png
Badge Special Warfare insignia
1st row Medal of Honor
2nd row Navy and Marine Corps Medal Bronze Star w/ Combat V and four gold 5/16 inch award stars Defense Meritorious Service Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster
3rd row Meritorious Service Medal with award star Joint Service Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster Joint Service Achievement Medal
4th row Navy Achievement Medal with award star Combat Action Ribbon with award star Navy Presidential Unit Citation with one bronze 3/16 service star
5th row Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Navy Good Conduct Medal with one silver and two bronze 3/16 service stars National Defense Service Medal
6th row Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with service star Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three 3/16 service stars Iraq Campaign Medal with two 3/16 service stars
7th row Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Armed Forces Service Medal
8th row Humanitarian Service Medal Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with silver 3/16 service star United Nations Medal
9th row NATO Medal for the former Yugoslavia Navy Expert Rifleman Medal Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal
Badge Naval Parachutist Badge
Badge Navy "COMMAND MASTER CHIEF" gold badge

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

The March 2002 ambush that resulted in Slabinski's heroic actions (now known as the Battle of Roberts Ridge) was described as one of the most savage and controversial battles of the Afghan war.[6] The Medal of Honor awarded Slabinski is an upgrade from the Navy Cross award he previously received.[5] In 2018, for his heroism during the same battle, TSgt John Chapman was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor (he was "the one teammate [who] started moving uphill toward an enemy strongpoint").

Britt Slabinski

Senior Chief Petty Officer, United States Navy

For Services as Set Forth in the Following

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while assigned to a Joint Task Force in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. In the early morning of 4 March 2002, Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Slabinski led a reconnaissance team to its assigned area atop a 10,000-foot snow-covered mountain. Their insertion helicopter was suddenly riddled with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire from previously undetected enemy positions. The crippled helicopter lurched violently and ejected one teammate onto the mountain before the pilots were forced to crash land in the valley far below. Senior Chief Slabinski boldly rallied his five remaining team members and marshalled supporting assets for an assault to rescue their stranded teammate. During reinsertion the team came under fire from three directions, and one teammate started moving uphill toward an enemy strongpoint. Without regard for his own safety, Senior Chief Slabinski charged directly toward enemy fire to join his teammate. Together, they fearlessly assaulted and cleared the first bunker they encountered. The enemy then unleashed a hail of machine gun fire from a second hardened position only twenty meters away. Senior Chief Slabinski repeatedly exposed himself to deadly fire to personally engage the second enemy bunker and orient his team’s fires in the furious, close-quarters firefight. Proximity made air support impossible, and after several teammates became casualties, the situation became untenable. Senior Chief Slabinski maneuvered his team to a more defensible position, directed air strikes in very close proximity to his team’s position, and requested reinforcements. As daylight approached, accurate enemy mortar fire forced the team further down the sheer mountainside. Senior Chief Slabinski carried a seriously wounded teammate through deep snow and led a difficult trek across precipitous terrain while calling in fire on the enemy, which was engaging the team from the surrounding ridges. Throughout the next 14 hours, Senior Chief Slabinski stabilized the casualties and continued the fight against the enemy until the hill was secured and his team was extracted. By his undaunted courage, bold initiative, leadership, and devotion to duty, Senior Chief Slabinski reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Slabinski has an Emergency Medical Technician/Paramedic National Certification. He is self-employed as a corporate consultant. He has one son who is also an Eagle Scout.[2][8]

Slabinski appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of the American Battlefield Trust's magazine Hallowed Ground, writing about his visit to the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.


  1. ^ "COMMAND MASTER CHIEF SELECTION BOARD RESULTS". United States Navy. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Retired Master Chief Britt Slabinski to Receive Medal of Honor at White House Ceremony | Navy Live". Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Clark, James (7 May 2018). "SEAL Team Six Vet Britt Slabinski To Receive Medal Of Honor For Operation Anaconda".
  5. ^ a b Naval Special Warfare Command (2018-05-07). "Retired Master Chief Britt Slabinski to Receive Medal of Honor". Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  6. ^ Martin, David. ""Not a day goes by that I don't think of it": Medal of Honor recipient on Afghan battle". Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  7. ^ "BRITT KELLY SLABINSKI | Medal of Honor". Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  8. ^ "Navy SEAL Receives Medal of Honor for Afghanistan Actions in 2002".