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Clinton Romesha Next Medal of Honor Recipient

medal-of-honor-all-services

The first seven men to be awarded the Medal of Honor for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan received it posthumously. Clinton Romesha will be the fourth in a row that’s lived to meet the president.

Military Times (“Hero of COP Keating battle to receive MoH“):

A former staff sergeant who helped repel one of the largest, most vicious battles against U.S. forces in Afghanistan will receive the Medal of Honor, the White House announced Friday.

Clinton L. Romesha, 31, will be the fourth living service member to receive the nation’s highest award for valor for actions in Afghanistan or Iraq. Seven other service members have posthumously been awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions in those wars.

Romesha will be awarded Feb. 11 at the White House.

Romesha was a section leader in B Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division during the Oct. 3, 2009, attack on Combat Outpost Keating in eastern Afghanistan.

Eight American soldiers were killed and two dozen others wounded in the battle as the troop-sized element fought against an overwhelming enemy force that launched a brazen attack to overrun the COP.

The attack on COP Keating remains one of the deadliest attacks against coalition forces in Afghanistan and is chronicled in the book “The Outpost” by Jake Tapper.

Several other soldiers at COP Keating that day have been honored for their actions. According to Army Times’ reporting and “The Outpost,” at least nine soldiers — including the platoon leader who ran operations that day and the physician assistant who treated numerous casualties and gave his own blood to keep one of his patients alive — were awarded the Silver Star, the nation’s third highest award for valor.

Interestingly, none are anything like as well known as their counterparts from World War I or World War II. Dakota Meyer is probably as close as it gets, but he’s certainly not as well known as Alvin York or Audie Murphy were in their day. Here’s the list:

Spc. Ross McGinnisSgt. 1st Class Paul SmithNavy Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Monsoor and Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham were honored posthumously for their actions in Iraq.

Staff Sgt. Robert MillerSgt. 1st Class Jared Monti and Navy Lt. Michael Murphy were honored posthumously for their actions in Afghanistan.

Former Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta is the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor from these wars. Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry and Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer also received the Medal of Honor. All three men were honored for their actions in Afghanistan.

Most Americans are barely aware at this point that we’re still fighting these wars. Because, after all, “we” aren’t.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Most Americans are barely aware at this point that we’re still fighting these wars. Because, after all, “we” aren’t.

    If there is any argument for the draft, and I am not making it, but if there is, this would be it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  2. john personna says:

    I support a draft, with 2x service in not combat roles for conscientious objectors, or whatever.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  3. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @john personna: I don’t support a draft, but I think the all-volunteer force–in which I served for 20 years, and which has been a great success–has made it possible for most Americans to avoid the uncomfortable aspects of long wars like Iraq and Afghanistan. Slap a yellow ribbon sticker on your car, bubble on for a minute about “our heroes,” and then go to the mall.

    And G. W. Bush, to his eternal shame, encouraged this mentality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  4. stonetools says:

    Most Americans are barely aware at this point that we’re still fighting these wars. Because, after all, “we” aren’t.

    Indeed , “we” aren’t . The guys who are fighting , and who are re-upping over, and over, are often those in difficult economic circumstances, who are fighting, often with great courage, not for “God and country”, but because the military is the best deal they can get right now. Lots of the folks who cheer them on would never go, and don’t have to go , because they’re well off.
    Anyway, honor, and thanks and glory to the medal winners. You make us proud.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  5. An Interested Party says:

    If there is any argument for the draft, and I am not making it, but if there is, this would be it.

    Or perhaps that is an argument against conducting unnecessary military conflicts, botched occupations, and unrealistic nation-building activities…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  6. Andy says:

    @stonetools:

    The guys who are fighting , and who are re-upping over, and over, are often those in difficult economic circumstances, who are fighting, often with great courage, not for “God and country”, but because the military is the best deal they can get right now. Lots of the folks who cheer them on would never go, and don’t have to go , because they’re well off.

    This is a myth that doesn’t seem to die. Demographically, the military has fewer people from poor backgrounds than the national average. Most careerists stay in because they like it, not because they don’t have other options. And the reality is that most people simply don’t stay in the military – the annual attrition rate varies between 10 and 25% of the force each year, so there’s quite a bit of turnover. That’s not to say the economy has no effect of course – during bad economic times, retention rates go up and during good economic times, retention rates go down. But the swings aren’t massive. Point being is that most people serve because that’s what they want to do, not because they have no other choice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  7. just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Andy: I think your point would be stronger if more of the guys in Afghanistan were career soldiers and not Reservists and National Guardsmen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  8. Mikey says:

    @just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    The fact so many in Afghanistan are from the reserve components is an intentional effect of how the military is structured. There are some vital functions that are only performed by reservists. Why? It was thought that doing so would get the general public more “invested” in wars because they’d see their neighbors Bob and Jane get called up to go overseas. It hasn’t really worked out that way–it’s still “America isn’t at war. The military is at war, America is at the mall”–but that was the intent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0