Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith, of Tampa, Fl., was killed while nearly single-handedly blunting an Iraqi military ambush April 4, 2003, at the airport.
The Medal of Honor is the highest honor a service member can earn in the military. It will be awarded posthumously to Smith at the White House during an April 4 ceremony.
It will be only the third Medal of Honor to be awarded since the Vietnam war.
After breaching a wall into the airport compound, Smith's company and medical station came under attack by about 100 enemy fighters.
He began the counterattack by throwing a hand grenade, and fired anti-tank weapons and his personal rifle. Smith was killed while firing three boxes of ammunition from a commandeered .50 caliber machine gun from the top of a debilitated armored personnel carrier.
"Sgt. 1st Class Smith's actions to lead soldiers in direct contact with a numerically superior enemy ... demonstrates conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty," the Army said in a Wednesday news release.
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