SEAL Mike Monsoor Falls on Grenade to Save Comrades

Falling on a grenade, intentionally sacrificing your own life to save that of your men, is often cited as the noblest kind of heroism in combat. Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor did exactly that to save his fellow SEALs.

Navy SEAL Michael Mansoor Colleagues described Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor, seen in this 2004 photo, as

A Navy SEAL sacrificed his life to save his comrades by throwing himself on top of a grenade Iraqi insurgents tossed into their sniper hideout, fellow members of the elite force said.

had been near the only door to the rooftop structure Sept. 29 when the grenade hit him in the chest and bounced to the floor, said four SEALs who spoke to The Associated Press this week on condition of anonymity because their work requires their identities to remain secret. “He never took his eye off the grenade, his only movement was down toward it,” said a 28-year-old lieutenant who sustained shrapnel wounds to both legs that day. “He undoubtedly saved mine and the other SEALs’ lives, and we owe him.”

It’s another tragic loss but one that was quite obviously not in vain. It’s hard for a Navy SEAL to do something so heroic that it stands out, because their every mission requires risks that go beyond the call of duty. Mansoor’s ultimate sacrifice is noteworthy even in that elite company.

U.S. Navy SEAL Trident Badge

I’m a day late but happy 231st birthday to the United States Navy.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.