By Katie Lange

USA – -( This blog is part of a weekly series called “Medal of Honor Monday,” in which we’ll highlight one of the more than 3,500 Medal of Honor recipients who have earned the U.S. military’s highest medal for valor.

Usually, on Medal of Honor Monday, we highlight the actions of someone who has already earned the honor. Today, we’re focusing on a man who will posthumously be awarded the medal this week, more than 16 years after he sacrificed his life for his comrades in the mountains of Afghanistan.

Air Force Tech Sgt. John Chapman grew up in Connecticut and joined the Air Force in September 1985. He was an information systems operator and later volunteered to be a special tactics combat controller.

An Expert in His Field

Tech. Sgt. John A. Chapman, shown at the rank of Senior Airman. Air Force photo
Tech. Sgt. John A. Chapman, shown at the rank of Senior Airman. Air Force photo

In case you don’t know, combat controllers spend more than two years in one of the most rigorous training programs in the U.S. military. Only about one in 10 airmen who start it actually graduate.

Chapman was considered a top performer in his field. He was an experienced static line and freefall jumper, as well as a combat diver. He was an expert in reconnaissance operations, air traffic control and terminal attack control operations, which integrates airpower onto the battlefield.

He was also a dedicated husband and father to two girls.

Chapman was part of a joint special operations reconnaissance team in Afghanistan in 2002 taking part in Operation Anaconda, which worked to establish observation posts in strategic locations.


On March 4, the team was trying to land on top of Takur Ghar Mountain

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