President Trump presented the medal at the White House (Picture: PA).

A United States serviceman killed in Afghanistan has posthumously been awarded America's highest military award for valor, the Medal of Honor.

Air Force Technical Sergeant John Chapman's family received the medal from US President Donald Trump, in recognition of Sergeant Chapman's actions during the Battle of Takur Ghar, Afghanistan, in March 2002.

When presenting the award, President Trump said:

"John Chapman was the first to charge up the mountain towards the enemy, he killed two terrorists and cleared out the first bunker."

Sgt Chapman's widow, Valeria Nessel, said: "He lived his life like team before self.

"The girls and I meant everything to him, when he was home, he was home, he was 110% present as a father, as a husband.

"He just was very humble, very kind, very soft-spoken, an amazing man that would be a little embarrassed to be having this bestowed upon him."

A video has been released showing an act of heroism that led to the decision to posthumously award the Medal Of Honor after 16 years.

Ms Nessal previously said: "Even though he did something he was awarded the Medal of Honor for, he would not want the other guys to be forgotten – that they were part of the team together.

“I think he would say that his Medal of Honor was not just for him, but for all of the guys who were lost."

In total, seven US service members lost their lives during the Battle of Takur Ghar.

The Battle of Takur Ghar

Sgt John Chapman and his joint special operations colleagues were tasked with establishing a reconnaissance position on Takur Ghar and reporting al-Qaida movement in the Sahi-Kowt area on the night of 3 March.

Rodriguez, Chapman’s commander at the time said: "This was a very high profile, no-fail job, and we picked John.

"In a very high-caliber career field, with the highest quality of men – even then – John stood out as our guy."

US serviceman, Air Force Tech. Sgt. John Chapman (Credit: US Department Of Defense)

During the insertion onto Afghanistan’s Takur Ghar mountaintop on 4 March, the MH-47 Chinook helicopter came under heavy fire.

A rocket-propelled grenade struck the helicopter, its blast threw Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Neil Roberts off the ramp of the helicopter onto the enemy-infested mountaintop below.

The severely damaged aircraft was unable to return for Roberts, and performed a controlled crash landing a few miles from the mountaintop.

The remaining joint special operations team members, fully aware of Roberts' precarious situation, began planning a rescue attempt that would see them returning to the top of Takur Ghar.

As the team returned to Roberts’ last-known position, now on a second MH-47, the entrenched enemy forces engaged the approaching helicopter.

Chapman, upon exiting the helicopter, charged uphill toward enemy positions while under heavy fire from three directions.

As the team approached cover, Chapman received fire from two enemy personnel in a fortified position. He returned fire, charged the enemy position and took out the enemy combatants within.

Chapman can be seen charging uphill toward enemy positions while under heavy fire from three directions (credit: US Dept of defense)
Aerial pictures show Chapman charging uphill toward enemy positions while under heavy fire from three directions.

Almost immediately, the team began taking machine gun fire from another fortified enemy position 12 metres away.

Chapman deliberately moved into the open to engage the new enemy position. As he engaged the enemy, he was hit by a burst of gunfire and became critically injured.

Chapman regained his faculties and continued to fight relentlessly despite his severe wounds.

He sustained a violent engagement with multiple enemy fighters, for over an hour through the arrival of the quick reaction force, before succumbing to his wounds. In the performance of these actions, Chapman is credited with saving the lives of his teammates.

Rodriguez said: "John was always selfless – it didn’t just emerge on Takur Ghar – he had always been selfless and highly competent, and thank God for all those qualities.

"He could have hunkered down in the bunker and waited for the [Quick Reaction Force] and [Combat Search and Rescue] team to come in, but he assessed the situation and selflessly gave his life for them."

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