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  • Writer's pictureJim Ratti, '82

Steve Phillis MOH Effort Gaining Traction

27 Aug 2023

Jim Demarest passed along some great news about the effort to get Steve Phillis' decoration upgraded to the Medal of Honor. Here's what he had to tell us:


Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) requests upgrade of Captain Steve Phillis’ Silver Star to the Medal of Honor

Brigadier General (retired) Boots Demarest delivering Captain Phillis’ Medal of Honor upgrade package to Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)

Dear Classmates, Over 32 years in the making, I am pleased to announce that combat veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) asked Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall to upgrade Captain Steve Phillis’ Silver Star to the Medal of Honor. In her letter to the Secretary dated August 1, 2023, Senator Duckworth lauded Steve’s efforts to protect his downed wingman, his heroic calmness, and his selfless act of heroism. Senator Duckworth provided Secretary Kendall with an extensive package in support of her upgrade request as required by Air Force and DoD Instructions, and attached is a photo of me delivering the package late last month. Both departments are unlikely to comment or respond to questions or inputs during the staffing process until a formal decision has been made. So you might be asking, "What can I do to help?" At the moment, my answer is "not much." I have it from an exceptionally good source that contacting SECAF's office at this early stage would likely elicit a response like, "Thank you for your interest. We are staffing this matter and will not comment until a formal decision has been made." That said, I think getting the word out that this package is at the Pentagon, and letting people know that this is moving forward, cannot hurt. If anyone has any ideas or questions for me, please reach out to me at james.t.demarest@gmail.com or (239) 777-4751. Thanks, Jim "Boots" Demarest BGen USAF, Retired


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