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Medal of Honor - Marine Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter

Kyle Carpenter
The President of the United States, in the name of the Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Lance Corporal William Kyle Carpenter, United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an automatic rifleman with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team One, 1st Marine Division (Forward), 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on 21 November, 2010. Lance Corporal Carpenter was a member of a platoon-sized coalition force comprised of two reinforced Marine rifle squads, partnered with an Afghan National Army squad. The platoon had established Patrol Base Dakota two days earlier in a small village in the Marja District in order to disrupt enemy activity and provide security for the local Afghan population.

Lance Corporal Carpenter and a fellow Marine were manning a rooftop security position on the perimeter of Patrol Base Dakota when the enemy initiated a daylight attack with hand grenades, one of which landed inside their sandbagged position. Without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own safety, Lance Corporal Carpenter moved towards the grenade in an attempt to shield his fellow Marine from the deadly blast. When the grenade detonated, his body absorbed the brunt of the blast, severely wounding him but saving the life of his fellow Marine.

By his undaunted courage, bold fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of almost certain death, Lance Corporal Carpenter reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Date added: November 28, 2014

Afghan War Vet Receives Medal of Honor

Ty Carter
The Medal of Honor citation says that then-Spec. Carter "resupplied ammunition to fighting positions, provided first aid to a battle buddy, killed enemy troops, and valiantly risked his own life to save a fellow soldier who was injured and pinned down by overwhelming enemy fire."

At his own news conference, Carter said he was accepting the honor on behalf of others.

"I am an American soldier, just like thousands who have served, will serve and are continuing to serve this great nation," he said.

Date added: August 27, 2013

Air Force Tech. Sgt. John Chapman

John Chapman
When President Donald Trump posthumously bestowed Air Force Tech. Sgt. John Chapman with the Medal of Honor in a ceremony at the White House Aug. 22, it marked, in the words of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein "the beginning of a year-long celebration of this incredible warrior who inspires us all to be better airmen."

The following day, in a ceremony to mark Chapman’s induction into the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon, Air Force leaders delivered moving tributes to the man who so impressed everyone he touched during his too-short, but well-lived life.

The Aug. 23 remarks by Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth Wright, Goldfein and Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson provide an unparalleled view into the heart and soul of the man who has now passed into Air Force legend.

Date added: September 06, 2018

Silver Star - Marine LCpl Jeffrey Cole

Jeffrey Cole
Lance Cpl. Jeffrey Cole, the Marine Corps newest Silver Star recipient. He received the award Tuesday at Camp Lejeune, N.C., for heroism in Marjah, Afghanistan, on Aug. 17, 2010.

Cole's actions speak for themselves. As a machine gunner with 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, he took an M240B machine gun from a fellow Marine who was wounded, abandoning cover to engage insurgents who were less than 100 meters away. He was eventually shot twice in the arm, leaving him gushing blood from his brachial artery.

Other references:
Dept of Defense Silver Star Recipient List

Watch YouTube interview

Date added: November 16, 2013

Medal of Honor - First Lieutenant Alonzo H. Cushing

Alonzo H. Cushing Cushing
First Lieutenant Alonzo H. Cushing distinguished himself by acts of bravery above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an artillery commander in Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery, Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on July 3rd, 1863 during the American Civil War.

That morning, Confederate forces led by General Robert E. Lee began cannonading First Lieutenant Cushing's position on Cemetery Ridge. Using field glasses, First Lieutenant Cushing directed fire for his own artillery battery. He refused to leave the battlefield after being struck in the shoulder by a shell fragment. As he continued to direct fire, he was struck again -- this time suffering grievous damage to his abdomen.

Still refusing to abandon his command, he boldly stood tall in the face of Major General George E. Picketts charge and continued to direct devastating fire into oncoming forces. As the Confederate forces closed in, First Lieutenant Cushing was struck in the mouth by an enemy bullet and fell dead beside his gun.

His gallant stand and fearless leadership inflicted severe casualties upon Confederate forces and opened wide gaps in their lines, directly impacting the Union force's ability to repel Pickett's charge. First Lieutenant Cushing's extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty at the cost of his own life are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery, Army of the Potomac, and the United States Army.

Watch Video Presentation
Date added: November 28, 2014

Salvatore Giunta - Medal of Honor - Nov, 2010

Salvatore A. Giunta
"Then-Specialist Salvatore A. Giunta distinguished himself by acts of gallantry at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rifle team leader with Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment during combat operations against an armed enemy in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan on October 25, 2007.

When an insurgent force split Specialist Giunta's squad into two groups, he exposed himself to enemy fire to pull a comrade back to cover. Later, while engaging the enemy and attempting to link up with the rest of his squad, Specialist Giunta noticed two insurgents carrying away a fellow soldier. He immediately engaged the enemy, killing one and wounding the other, and provided medical aid to his wounded comrade while the rest of his squad caught up and provided security. His courage and leadership while under extreme enemy fire were integral to his platoon's ability [to] defeat an enemy ambush and recover a fellow paratrooper from enemy hands."

Staff Sgt. Giunta's personification of the Warrior Ethos, his selfless leadership, and his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above the beyond the call of duty" provide tremendous inspiration and exemplify the very best of the American Soldier today.

Date added: November 29, 2010

Ryan Job - Retired Navy SEAL

Ryan Job
"He was filled with enthusiasm about life even though he had given his sight during the fight against terrorism in Iraq.

Ryan was a decorated and revered Navy SEAL. He was wounded while deployed in Iraq with his SEAL Team in 2006. Ryan suffered total sight loss when a sniper's round hit the butt of his machine gun, sending shrapnel through his right eye severing his olfactory nerve and left optic nerve. Ryan underwent what was to be his final major surgery this past week. Complications that we are not totally aware of took his life after the surgery in Phoenix AZ.

After retiring, Ryan summited Mt Rainier in 2008, bagged a magnificent elk in 2008 and returned to help other injured veterans to climb Mt Rainier in 2009. Ryan gave of himself selflessly both in military service and in private life. He is one of those few individuals you meet in life that is irreplaceable."


Date added: August 10, 2010

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Kettles

Charles Kettles
"May 15, 1967, started as a hot Monday morning. Soldiers from the 101st Airborne were battling hundreds of heavily armed North Vietnamese in a rural riverbed. Our men were outnumbered. They needed support fast -- helicopters to get the wounded out and bring more soldiers into the fight. Chuck Kettles was a helo pilot. And just as he’d volunteered for active duty, on this morning he volunteered his Hueys -- even though he knew the danger.

"Around 9 a.m., his company of Hueys approached the landing zone and looked down. They should have seen a stand of green trees; instead, they saw a solid wall of green enemy tracers coming right at them. None of them had ever seen fire that intense. Soldiers in the helos were hit and killed before they could even leap off. But under withering fire, Chuck landed his chopper and kept it there, exposed, so the wounded could get on and so that he could fly them back to base."
Date added: July 18, 2016

USN Diver gets Honorary Frogman NEC

BMCM Corny Leyden
Corny worked for many years in the R.D.T. & E. section of NSWG in Little Creek. He was one of the most knowledgeable people who had ever darkened the doorway of that place when it came to diving science. He never applied to be a Master Diver since it was political, for the most part. However, the Diving Detailer in Washington was going to transfer Corny out of his job and stick him on some diving ship in the fleet. The Admiral couldn't handle that, so he merely gave Corny the NEC of a Frogman, 5321, and he became the first, to my knowledge, man to ever be granted that status. Corny was, without question, the sharpest tool in the shed when it came to diving knowledge.
Date added: June 20, 2010

Bronze Star with "V" Device

Michael McCaffrey

Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC)

OPERATIONS NOTE: Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) is the U.S. Military term used for a highly qualified service member who directs the action of combat aircraft engaged in Close Air Support (CAS) and other Offensive Air Operations, from a forward position close to or actually within and behind enemy lines.

The accompanying article describes the incredible heroism of then-Senior Airman (SRA) McCaffrey and his fellow JTAC on 25 May 2011.

Date added: April 27, 2016

Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer receives Medal of Honor

Dakota Meyer
On Sept. 8, 2009, Marine Cpl. Dakota Meyer, then 21, defied the orders of his superiors while on duty in a remote province in eastern Afghanistan, raced into a "killing zone" and rescued 36 U.S. and Afghan troops.

When President Obama recently called to tell Meyer he would be awarded the Medal of Honor, the military's highest honor, Meyer didn't take the call. Meyer, now 23, was working a new job in construction and asked the president to call him back another time.

Date added: September 15, 2011

Monsoor - SEAL Team 3

Michael Monsoor
Medal of Honor
On March 31, 2008, the United States Department of Defense confirmed that Monsoor would posthumously receive the Medal of Honor from the president of the United States, George W. Bush, for his valiant and selfless actions to save the lives of his SEAL teammates by sacrificing his own, during combat in Ramadi, Iraq on September 29, 2006.

Silver Star:
Received the Silver Star posthumously for previous heroic actions in Iraq on May 9, 2006 when he pulled a wounded teammate to safety while under hostile enemy fire. Monsoor was engaged in a firefight in Ramadi when, according to the military report, "he and another SEAL pulled a team member shot in the leg to safety while bullets pinged off the ground around them."

Other Awards:

Bronze Star
Purple Heart
Combat Action Ribbon

Video of Funeral
Date added: July 05, 2010

Vietnamese Navy Cross

Van Kiet Nguyen
Nguyen Van Kiet was a Petty Officer Third Class in the Republic of Vietnam Navy and is one of only two South Vietnamese, and the only South Vietnamese Navy member, to receive the Navy Cross for actions during the Vietnam War (the other being Tran Van Bay).

Article in Vietnam magazine (pdf)

A book was written about Nguyen's heroism by William Charles Anderson; the book was later adapted into a 1988 movie named Bat*21. Subsequently, Mr. Nguyen emigrated to the U.S., and as of 2008, resides in the state of Washington.

Navy Cross citation

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to

Citation: "For extraordinary heroism while serving with friendly forces engaged in armed conflict against the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong communist aggressors in the Republic of Vietnam. On 13 April 1972, Petty Officer Kiet participated in an unprecedented recovery operation for a downed United States aviator behind enemy lines in Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam. He courageously volunteered to accompany a United States SEAL Advisor Thomas R. Norris (Medal Of Honor) in an extremely hazardous attempt to reach the aviator, who was physically unable to move toward friendly positions. Using a sampan and traveling throughout the night, they silently made their way deep into enemy territory, past numerous major enemy positions, locating the pilot at dawn. Once, after being spotted by a North Vietnamese patrol, he calmly continued to keep the enemy confused as the small party successfully evaded the patrol. Later, they were suddenly taken under heavy machine gun fire. Thinking first of the pilot, he quickly pulled the sampan to safety behind a bank and camouflaged it while air strikes were called on the enemy position. Due to Petty Officer Kiet's coolness under extremely dangerous conditions and his outstanding courage and professionalism, an American aviator was recovered after an eleven-day ordeal behind enemy lines. His self-discipline, personal courage, and dynamic fighting spirit were an inspiration to all; thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and the Naval Service."
Date added: July 15, 2010

Thomas Norris - Medal of Honor

Thomas Norris
Thomas Norris was born on January 14, 1944 in Jacksonville, Florida. He earned an Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology with a specialty in criminology from the University of Maryland. While at the University of Maryland, in 1965 and 1966, he was the Atlantic Coast Conference ACC wrestling champion. 

He joined the Navy with hopes of flying; however, he had problems with his visual acuity and depth perception that disqualified him from becoming a pilot. He then became a Navy SEAL. Norris struggled during BUD/S training, and the instructors seriously discussed washing him out of the course. He graduated from BUD/S Class 45.

In April 1972, Norris and a Navy SEAL team effected the rescue of two downed pilots in enemy territory. For this action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Six months later, in October 1972, Norris sustained a near-fatal head wound in action and was rescued by his fellow Navy SEAL, Michael Thornton. As a result of the head injury, Norris was retired from the Navy. To recover from this injury, he spent three years in the hospital and underwent many major surgeries over a six year period.

Norris received the Medal of Honor from President Gerald R. Ford in a White House ceremony on March 6, 1976.

In 1979, Norris decided to join the FBI and requested a waiver for his disabilities. FBI director William Webster responded, "If you can pass the same test as anybody else applying for this organization, I will waiver your disabilities." In September 1979, Norris passed the test and subsequently served as an FBI agent for 20 years.

Tom Norris lost an eye and part of his skull during the operation in which he was rescued by Michael Thornton. Was an original member of the FBI's HRT as an assault team leader.

Medal of Honor citation

Lieutenant Thomas R. Norris
United States Naval Reserve

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a SEAL Advisor with the Strategic Technical Directorate Assistance Team, Headquarters, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. During the period 10 to 13 April 1972, Lieutenant Norris completed an unprecedented ground rescue of two downed pilots deep within heavily controlled enemy territory in Quang Tri Province . Lieutenant Norris, on the night of 10 April, led a five-man patrol through 2,000 meters of heavily controlled enemy territory, located one of the downed pilots at daybreak, and returned to the Forward Operating Base (FOB). On 11 April, after a devastating mortar and rocket attack on the small FOB, Lieutenant Norris led a three man team on two unsuccessful rescue attempts for the second pilot. On the afternoon of the 12th, a Forward Air Controller located the pilot and notified Lieutenant Norris. Dressed in fishermen disguises and using a sampan, Lieutenant Norris and one Vietnamese traveled throughout that night and found the injured pilot at dawn. Covering the pilot with bamboo and vegetation, they began the return journey, successfully evading a North Vietnamese patrol. Approaching the FOB, they came under heavy machine gun fire. Lieutenant Norris called in an air strike which provided suppression fire and a smoke screen, allowing the rescue party to reach the FOB. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, undaunted courage, and selfless dedication in the face of extreme danger, Lieutenant Norris enhanced the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Date added: July 25, 2010

Sergeant First Class Leroy A. Petry - Medal of Honor

Leroy A. Petry
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: Read Full Citation here

His awards and decorations include the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Expert Infantryman's Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, the Parachutist Badge and Canadian Jump Wings.

He has also been awarded two Bronze Star Medals, a Purple Heart, three Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, Valorous Unit Award, three Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Combat Star, Iraq Campaign Medal with Combat Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with numeral 3, Overseas Service Ribbon and the Army Service Ribbon.

Date added: July 13, 2010

Staff Sergeant Clinton L. Romesha - Medal of Honor

Clinton L. Romesha
At the time of the deadly attack on Combat Outpost (COP) Keating, Kamdesh district, Afghanistan, on Oct. 3, 2009, Staff Sgt. Romesha was a section leader assigned to Bravo Troop, 3-61 Cavalry, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

Romesha's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal (with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal (with 2 Bronze Service Stars), Iraq Campaign Medal (with 3 Bronze Service Stars),Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (with Numeral Two Device), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (with Numeral 5 Device), NATO Medal (with Bronze Service Star), the Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation and the Combat Action Badge.
Date added: February 11, 2013