SOCS Edward Byers was born in Toledo, Ohio in 1979. He grew up in Grand Rapids, Ohio. In 1997, he graduated from Otsego High School where he played varsity soccer. Byers joined the Navy in September 1998, and subsequently attended Boot Camp and Corpsman “A” School in Great Lakes, Illinois.
Byers spent four years as a Hospital Corpsman. In 1998, he was assigned to Great Lakes Naval Hospital. In 1999, he served with 2nd Battalion, 2nd marines in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, where he deployed with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard USS Austin (LPD 4). During deployment he earned his Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist (ESWS) and Fleet Marine Force (FMF) warfare devices.
In 2002, Byers attended Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL (BUD/S) training and graduated with Class 242. After graduation, he attended the Special Operations Combat Medic (SOCM) course. Byers was then assigned to an East Coast SEAL Team.
Byers has 11 overseas deployments with nine combat tours. His personal decorations include the Bronze Star with Valor (five awards), the Purple Heart (two awards), the Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor, the Navy Commendation Medal (three awards, one with Valor), the Combat Action ribbon (two awards), and the Good Conduct Medal (five awards).
Byers was awarded the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama during a White House ceremony February 29, 2016 for his efforts during a hostage rescue while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2012. He is only the 11th living service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery displayed in Afghanistan.
Byers hold a National Paramedics License and also studied Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis at Norwich University, where he will earn a Bachelor of Science in early 2016. Byers is married and has a daughter.