Commander Craig Powell
From Vietnam to Iraq, stories of Navy SEAL heroism abound. But one such story did not take place on foreign shores. Commander Craig Powell had recently reported for what should have been contrasting shore duty at the heart of the Defense Department's bureaucracy, that five-sided building on the south shore of the Potomac known simply as "The Pentagon." He was facing challenges not usually associated with special warfare by taking a test for an acquisitions course on the fifth floor of the C-Ring, when a shockwave passed through the building.
It was 11 September 2001, and Powell had just missed becoming one of the newest casualties in a war that had been going on for a long time but was only this day to be fully acknowledged by the American people. A civilian airliner, serving as a guided missile for a ruthless enemy, had plowed into the Pentagon, striking the Navy Command Center and many other spaces in the great building.
In the harrowing hours that followed, Commander Powell carried on the SEAL tradition admirably as he worked alongside many other heroes to save those who might well have otherwise perished.