Bookmark and Share

Joseph G. Lemm

Date of death: December 21, 2015
Home of record: New York New York
Status: KIA


Bronze Star

See more recipients of this award

Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V" (Posthumously) to Technical Sergeant Joseph G. Lemm, United States Air Force, for heroism as the Tactical Security Element Squad leader, 455th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, 455th Expeditionary Mission Support Group, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, while engaged in operations against an opposing armed force at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, on 21 December 2015. On that date, in support of Operations INHERENT RESOLVE, FREEDOM'S SENTINEL, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's RESOLUTE SUPPORT mission, Sergeant Lemm was conducting outside the wire human intelligence operations. As the lead for the Blue Team Security Element, during the exfiltration of an Operation Sentinel Eagle outside the wire patrol, he courageously placed himself in harm's way to u8ltimately protect the members of his fellow Gold Team Security Element from a motorcycle borne improvised explosive device. While deliberately executing a dismounted patrol in the Bajawri village, approximately six kilometers north of Bagram Airfield, he was directly responsible for the safety and security of five fellow Security Forces Airmen, five Office of Special Investigation Agents and two linguists. As he tactically maneuvered his fire team into an overwatch position, his dismounted team was approached by a suicide Taliban terrorist operating an explosive-laden motorcycle. The suicide bomber subsequently made a sudden erratic stop, which positioned his explosive laden motorcycle within 15 feet of both the Blue and Gold security teams. Sergeant Lemm, with selfless disregard for his own personal safety, heroically placed himself between his fellow team members and the terrorist's motorcycle. As a result of his heroic actions, he provided immediate cover for two of his fellow defenders, which were approximately 10 feet behind his immediate position. As Sergeant Lemm maneuvered into tactical security fighting position, the suicide bomber cowardly detonated his deadly explosive device, which mortally wounded him and five of his fellow Airmen. His incredible heroic positioning resulted in his own selfless exposure to the brunt of the deadly blast. Sergeant Lemm's courageous sacrifice shielded and safeguarded two of his team members, which inevitably ensured their ultimate safety and survival. By his heroic actions and unselfish dedication to duty in the service of his country, Sergeant Lemm has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

General Orders: Department of the Air Force, Special Order G-06163 (December 28, 2015)

Action Date: December 21, 2015

Service: Air Force

Rank: Technical Sergeant