Osan colonel receives Bronze Star Medal
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The Bronze Star Medal is awarded to personnel in any branch of the military service who distinguished themselves by heroic or meritorious achievement or service in connection with military operations against an armed enemy.
Lt. Col. William Bryant, 7th Air Force plans and strategy deputy director, earned the Bronze Star Medal after his year-long deployment to Ali Air Base, Iraq, and Lt. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas, 7th Air Force commander, presented the medal to him Oct. 26, 2012.
"On behalf of the US Air Force, I congratulate your courage and heroism," Jouas said. "I am honored and privileged to be able to present this award."
From Jan. 21, 2011 to Dec. 15, 2011, Bryant led a diverse group of Airmen from 19 different career fields ranging from airfield operations and civil engineering to security forces in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn.
The general credited Bryant for not only being courageous, but for also being humble in recognition.
"With the modesty that is characteristic of this humble professional, he would hardly hesitate to claim that, he was merely performing as he was trained," Jouas said. "And he is accepting the honor on behalf of the entire team that worked with him."
Bryant humbly accepted the award but gives all the credit to his team.
"Coming from a fundamentally avionic background, the deployment was an amazing opportunity to see all the career fields operating," Bryant said. "Working with all the Airmen of different backgrounds was a great experience. I have a bunch of really outstand people in my group. It was amazing watching them do what they had to for the mission."
According to his citation, Bryant orchestrated the beddown of fourteen different types of manned and unmanned fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft from seven different agencies into one organization.
Bryant also led the movement of 56,000 personnel and more than 14 million pounds of cargo, while supporting over 40,000 combat support air missions from a decaying airfield he kept fully operational thorough $879,000 worth of repairs and improvements even during rocket attacks that caused damage.
"We were attacked while I was there, but we were fortunate to not have a single person injured," Bryant said.
During his tour, Bryant's Airmen helped train the Iraqis to take over the airfield after the U.S. service members left.
"My team did amazing things," he said. "They deserve the recognition."