Sgt. (Retired) Daniel E. Cowart will be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on March 20 on Cooper Field here during a retreat ceremony scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on March 20.
Sgt. (Retired) Daniel E. Cowart will be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on March 20 on Cooper Field here during a retreat ceremony scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on March 20.

FORT HOOD, Texas — A former 1st Cavalry Division Soldier is scheduled to be presented the Distinguished Service Cross in a ceremony to be conducted on March 20 at 4:30 p.m. on Cooper Field here.

Sgt. (Retired) Daniel E. Cowart, who was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, previously received a Silver Star for his actions in 2007 in Iraq. This ceremony will officially upgrade that previously received award.  The upgrade was ordered after the completion of a comprehensive, year-long Military Decorations and Awards Review, which was ordered by then Sec. of Def. Ash Carter.

Twelve other awards were identified for upgrade to the Distinguished Service Cross as a part of this review. There are currently four other ceremonies scheduled at other installations.

Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, III Corps and Fort Hood commanding general, will host the ceremony.

Cowart entered into the United States Army on Sept. 14, 1999 out of Houston, Texas. He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08 and served with 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment attached to 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He was awarded the Silver Star on July 12, 2007 for his actions on May 13, 2007 and medically retired with an Honorable Discharge from the Army on Sept. 28, 2008.

The narration for Cowart’s Silver Star reads as follows:

“On May 13, 2007, while serving as Gunner, 1st Platoon, Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, Sgt. Cowart distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous conduct in the face of the enemy. During the conduct of a combat patrol along a main supply route, Sgt. Cowart’s platoon halted to conduct a traffic checkpoint. When the occupants of a stopped vehicle would not exit their vehicle, Sgt. Cowart and three of his comrades dismounted their vehicle and approached the stopped vehicle and took positions to engage with the occupants. While they were near the vehicle, the occupants burst from the vehicle, one wielding a rifle which he fired at two of the nearby Soldiers and the other wearing a suicide vest. As the rifle wielding insurgent was engaged by another Soldier, Sgt. Cowart maneuvered around the vehicle and engaged the suicide vest wearing insurgent in hand to hand combat, tackling the man and hurling himself and the man away from the vehicle. Despite the confusion, the insurgent detonated his vest, thereby traumatically wounding Sgt. Cowart. Due to his ability to discern the threat to his comrades and his utter disregard for his own safety, Sgt. Cowart was able to prevent further injury to his fellow Soldiers and nearby civilians.”

The Distinguished Service Cross is the second highest military award that can be given to a member of the United States Army, for extreme gallantry and risk of life in actual combat with an armed enemy force.

Cowart is currently resides in the Galveston area in Santa Fe, Texas.

Updates will be released as planning for this event continues and timelines for events are finalized.

Media wishing to attend this ceremony should RSVP to Master Sgt. Jacob Caldwell, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs via email at [email protected] or via phone at 254-661-0155.

Confirmed attending media will meet at the media parking area at the Fort Hood Visitors Center on T.J. Mills Blvd. no later than 3 p.m. on March 20 for escort to the ceremony.