On June 6, 2007, Hernandez, of the 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, led a joint American-Iraqi patrol on the streets of Baghdad. They were ambushed as soon as they left their security station. Hernandez and two of his Iraqi counterparts were injured. Shot in the leg, Hernandez nevertheless braved continuing hostile fire to rescue his Iraqi comrades and carry them to safety. He received the Silver Star for his actions.