A little under a year after being awarded the Medal of Honor by President Donald Trump for his actions in Afghanistan in 2002, former Navy special operator Britt “Slab” Slabinski has been honored with a unique tribute from gunmaker SIG Sauer in the form of a limited-edition pistol, crafted to commemorate his service and sacrifice.
Slabinski was originally awarded the Navy Cross for his involvement in the Battle of Roberts Ridge in 2002 while serving with a Navy special missions unit where he helmed his SEAL reconnaissance team through an intense prolonged engagement near the peak of Takur Ghar mountain in southeastern Afghanistan.
When a member of the team — Neal “Fifi” Roberts — was flung from their insertion helicopter, Slabinski led a rescue mission in an attempt to recover his lost teammate.
Braving withering fire and sustaining heavy casualties of their own, the team fought onward to an extraction point with Slabinski leading the way.
While accurately engaging Al Qaeda fighters through a hailstorm of bullets, Slabinski also coordinated air support while carrying a wounded teammate through the heavy snow, and administered aid to the other members of his unit.
After a review ordered by former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, his Navy Cross was upgraded to the Medal of Honor, making him one of 13 living service members to have been granted the nation’s highest award for valor in combat in Afghanistan since 2001.
As a small token of their appreciation for Slabinski’s heroism, SIG designed a single priceless pistol with gilded engravings and custom grips and presented it to him in a private ceremony March 25, in recognition of National Medal of Honor Day.
The pistol is one that the now-retired Command Master Chief should be highly familiar with, having served with a similar firearm for the overwhelming majority of his career in the Navy, and the SEAL Teams. Known as the MK25 in Navy parlance, this particular gun bears a number of immediately noticeable features that pay homage to the battle-hardened SEAL’s service.
Like all other Navy MK25s — the SEAL version of the Sig Sauer P226 — in use today, the Medal of Honor MK25 comes with a matte black frame, a subtle nod to its bearer who, first and foremost, is a warfighter.
The slide, however, is polished, glossed and engraved with 24 karat gold.
The top of the slide features a piece of metal recovered from the World Trade Center after the 9/11 attacks, now engraved with an image of the actual Medal of Honor Slabinski received in May 2018, as well as the award’s date of action — March 4th, 2002.
A column of six stars behind the ejection port serve to commemorate the Chief’s unit, Naval Special Warfare Development Group, more popularly known as SEAL Team Six.
On the right side of the slide are both the Chief’s name, as well as the words “For service set forth," the opening words to the Medal of Honor citation. The left face of the slide bears the words No day shall erase you from the memory of time," which are also displayed at the World Trade Center Memorial in New York City.
The grips of the tribute MK25 are machined from American Black Walnut and feature the Red Squadron medallion, a nod to Slabinski’s unit in SEAL Team Six, and a SEAL Trident.
SEALs have used the MK25 since the late 1980s as their go-to sidearm. Little different from the civilian version P226, it has proven itself time and time again in combat zones across the world as a reliable, durable and capable weapon, especially in the hands of the special operators who wield it.
About five years ago, the SEAL community switched from outfitting its teams with the MK25 to the Glock 19.