Citation to Accompany the award ofThe Air Force Cross
Ivan M. Ruiz
Master Sergeant Ivan M. Ruiz distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in military operations against an armed enemy of the United States. On 10 December 2013 during a raid in denied terrain in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan while attached to Army Special Forces and Afghan Commandos team, Sergeant Ruiz engaged and neutralized 4 insurgents at point blank range, becoming isolated from the 14 man element, Sergeant Ruiz and 2 teammates encountered vicious insurgent crossfire, sweeping the courtyard with small arms fire and throwing hand grenades from barricaded strongpoints, Sergeant Ruiz eliminated one enemy fighter with well-aimed carbine fire, while enemy fire wounded his two comrades, rendering them immobile and exposed to the enemy. Alone in the courtyard, Sergeant Ruiz completely disregarded his personal safety and refused to withdraw to cover. Single-handedly suppressing enemy fire until reinforcements arrived, Sergeant Ruiz pressed ahead under intense fire to reach his wounded comrades. Joined by teammates, Sergeant Ruiz advanced through a hail of machine gun fire and grenades to drag a wounded teammate back to a position of relative cover and concealment. Still dangerously exposed
to gunfire raking the compound, Sergeant Ruiz administered life-saving trauma care to his teammates while wearing night vision goggles. Sergeant Ruiz's heroic actions saved the lives of two teammates and contributed to 11 insurgents killed. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Sergeant Ruiz reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.