Women in the Army

Heroes Corner

Specialist Monica Lin Brown

Portrait of Specialist Monica Brown

Monica Lin Brown enlisted in the Army at 17 because her brother, Justin was enlisting. She completed Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training as a medic before assignment to a Forward Support Company of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Corps. In February 2007 the unit deployed to Afghanistan. On April 25, 2007, then a PFC, Brown was the medic attached to a platoon on a mission to track members of a bomb-making cell. As they returned from the mission, their rear vehicle of the convoy was hit with an IED. The rest of the convoy was engulfed in an ambush. Brown and her platoon sergeant, SSG Joe Santos ran back to the truck hit by the IED, where all five Soldiers were injured. Brown and other Soldiers moved the seriously injured Soldiers to a shallow stream while under fire from the ambush, as close as 25 yards away. Fire had spread through the damaged vehicle and was detonating the ammunition in the vehicle. At least twice Brown shielded an injured Solider from the gunfire with her body, continuing to treat their wounds. The ambush lasted more than thirty minutes and the wounded Soldiers had to be moved two more times. All were eventually evacuated by helicopter and survived.

For her actions, PFC Brown was awarded the Silver Star, the Nationís third highest award for valor. She was the first female Soldier in Afghanistan to receive the Silver Star and only the second woman since World War II to do so. Vice-President Cheney personally awarded her medal in April 2008. She and her unit are back at Fort Bragg, NC. She plans to eventually pursue a Nursing degree and commission through ROTC. Then she plans return to active duty to again provide medical care for Soldiers.