By Lt. Gennaro Buonocore, Public Affairs Officer, SEAL Team 17.
Lt. Edward Crawford, an intelligence officer in the Naval Reserve currently assigned to Special Operations Command South, Detachment 108 at Homestead Air Force Base, Florida, was awarded a Bronze Star, Oct. 27. Crawford earned the award for meritorious service in connection with combat operations against the enemy while serving as a tribal engagement officer, Special Operations Command Task Force Southeast.
While deployed to Afghanistan in 2012-2013, Crawford served with SEAL Team 2 and SEAL Team 4 as their tribal engagement officer. Throughout the deployment, he operated as the Teams’ lead military advisor for key leader engagements with Afghan tribal leaders in Zabul and Uruzgan provinces, the birthplace of the Taliban. In the course of his deployment, Crawford participated in more than 100 missions. Crawford’s background, strong education and professional experience (in his civilian job, Crawford works as a vice president at a large investment bank) all allowed him to interact successfully with tribal leaders. Crawford’s superiors agreed that his exemplary diplomacy with Afghan civilians, in a highly dynamic and hostile environment, yielded tremendous success for SOTF-SE, as Crawford served as the ideal bridge between special operations forces and local clans. Both Afghan tribes and SOF are tight-knit, warrior cultures, and Crawford was able to synchronize these two groups to fight for a common purpose.
In late 2012, SEAL Team 4 and SOTF-SE lost a number of great warriors to include their commanding officer, Cmdr. Job Price. Crawford and the Team’s professionalism and focus allowed the mission to continue.
“I’m honored to present the Bronze Star to Edward, who earned the award due to his loyalty to his Team, dedication to duty, and selfless service to our great nation,” said Lt. Cmdr. Hector Delgado, the executive officer at Special Operations Command South, Detachment 108. “Crawford is a humble officer and consummate professional who repeatedly demonstrates his leadership both on and off the battlefield.”