View Full Version : Army Sergeant to get the Medal of Honor this week

SGT Rock
2013-02-07, 12:02




Hero of COP Keating battle to receive MoH

By Michelle Tan - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Jan 11, 2013 13:06:21 EST
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 the medal 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.
In “The Outpost,” Tapper outlines Romesha’s unwavering courage and determination as the vastly outnumbered American troops and their Latvian partners battled an enemy force numbering more than 300.
Romesha is described as intense, short and wiry.
“The son of a leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church in Cedarville, California … his parents had hoped he would follow his father into the church leadership, and Romesha had in fact gone to seminary for four years during high school — from five till seven every morning — but ultimately it just wasn’t for him. He didn’t even go on a mission, a regular rite for young Mormon men. Romesha was better suited to this kind of mission, with guns and joes under his command.”
At 5:58 a.m. Oct. 3, 2009, the enemy launched its attack from all four sides of the small COP, which was nestled in the bottom of a valley surrounded by towering mountains.
About 50 American, 20 Afghan and two Latvian soldiers were stationed at COP Keating, along with about a dozen Afghan Security Guards. Nearby, the 19 American and 10 Afghan soldiers at Observation Post Fritsche also came under heavy fire.
Firing a recoilless rifle, rocket-propelled grenades, mortars, machine guns and rifles, the enemy quickly wreaked havoc on the two positions.
In two minutes, the first U.S. soldier was killed as the enemy targeted the COP’s mortar pit and pinned down the soldiers at OP Fritsche, preventing them from providing supporting fire to COP Keating.
The Afghan troops and security guards reportedly quickly abandoned their posts, leaving the Americans and Latvians to fight alone.
During the first three hours of the battle, mortars hit the COP and OP every 15 seconds, and in less than an hour, the enemy swarmed the COP, breaching the Afghan army side of the compound. The enemy eventually set fire to the small outpost, destroying almost 70 percent of it.
Romesha and his fellow soldiers immediately fought back — and continued to fight for hours — as heavy enemy fire rained down on them from all directions.
According to the citation accompanying Romesha’s Medal of Honor, the staff sergeant moved under intense enemy fire to reconnoiter the battlefield and seek reinforcements from the barracks before returning to action with the support of an assistant gunner, who is identified in “The Outpost” as Cpl. Justin Gregory.
Romesha “took out an enemy machine gun team and, while engaging a second, the generator he was using for cover was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade, inflicting him with shrapnel wounds,” according to the citation.
Undeterred by his injuries, Romesha continued to fight, and upon the arrival of another soldier to aid him and with the assistant gunner, Romesha again “rushed through the exposed avenue to assemble additional soldiers.”
Romesha then mobilized and led a five-man team and returned to the fight.
“With complete disregard for his own safety, Romesha continually exposed himself to heavy enemy fire as he moved confidently about the battlefield, engaging and destroying multiple enemy targets, including three Taliban fighters who had breached the combat outpost’s perimeter,” according to the citation.
As the enemy attacked the COP with even “greater ferocity, unleashing a barrage of rocket-propelled grenades and recoilless rifle rounds,” Romesha “identified the point of attack and directed air support to destroy over 30 enemy fighters.”
When he learned that other soldiers at a distant battle position were still alive, Romesha and his team provided covering fire, allowing three of their wounded comrades to reach the aid station, according to the citation.
Romesha and his team also moved 100 meters under “withering fire” to recover the bodies of their fallen comrades.
Romesha’s calm — and sense of humor — under fire is described in “The Outpost.”
During the battle, Romesha tries to rally Spc. Zach Koppes, who was pinned down in a Humvee.
As recounted in “The Outpost”:
Romesha ran up to the vehicle under enemy fire.
“This doesn’t look good,” Romesha said. “We’re all going to die.”
He laughed — he had a pretty dark sense of humor, Romesha. “You okay?”
Koppes looked at him. Bullets were ricocheting off the truck right next to him, but the staff sergeant just stood there looking back at Koppes, smiling the whole time.
Holy shit, he’s lost his mind, the specialist thought.
“Yeah, I’m good,” Koppes finally replied. “I still got this sniper behind me.”
“Okay, stay low and hang tight,” Romesha told him.
At that moment, the sniper shot at Romesha, who then ducked behind the Humvee and began playing peekaboo with the enemy, trying to draw him out so he could see exactly where he was firing from. He decided that the Taliban fighter was midway up on the Northface, so he fired the Dragunov [rifle] at the spot.
Then he turned and airily announced to Koppes, “All right, I’m going to head out.”
Romesha’s actions “throughout the day-long battle were critical in suppressing an enemy that had far greater numbers,” according to the citation accompanying his award. “His extraordinary efforts gave Bravo Troop the opportunity to regroup, reorganize and prepare for the counter-attack that allowed the troop to account for its personnel and secure Combat Outpost Keating.”
After the battle, COP Keating, which had been slated for months to close but had remained open because of continual delays, was shut down and destroyed.
Romesha, of Lake City, Calif., is married and has three children. He enlisted in the Army in September 1999 as an M1 armor crewman, and deployed to Kosovo and twice to Iraq before serving in Afghanistan.
Romesha left the Army in April 2011 and currently lives with his family in Minot, N.D., where he works as a field safety specialist for an oil field construction firm.
In addition to the Medal of Honor, Romesha’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Action Badge.

2013-02-07, 12:10
Very cool.

2013-02-07, 15:33
Intense, short, and wiry. Glad he's on our side.

2013-02-07, 18:30
Fuck Yeah!

2013-02-07, 21:17
Wow! Just Wow!

2013-02-07, 21:59
Lot of folks doing great things in this war. Not nearly enough being noticed. I'm glad SSG Romesha is.

ed bell
2013-02-07, 23:45
I'd be honored to meet him...the event sounds like hell on earth...he stayed cool...amazing

2013-02-08, 08:47
Those type of people are very Rare. I too, am glad he's on our side.

2013-02-08, 08:55
Lot of folks doing great things in this war. Not nearly enough being noticed. I'm glad SSG Romesha is.

yes I agree.

john pickett
2013-02-08, 10:12
Remarkable story. Remarkable man.

2013-02-08, 16:41
We need to celebrate our real hero's more in this country.

2013-02-09, 11:11
Agree. Kobe Bryant can kiss my ass.

john pickett
2013-02-09, 16:50
Anybody who volunteers for the armed services in a time of war, placing their body between us and our enemies, is a hero in my book. The entertainers; whether athletes, actors, writers or politicians (Yes I mean you! Mr. Kerry!) should be on their knees giving thanks for true heroes.

2013-02-09, 17:18
Mr. Kerry volunteered during a time of war. Is that what they call a cunundrum

2013-02-09, 18:08
That's just one of the words describing Kerry that starts with a C.

2013-02-09, 18:48
I can think of two words starting with c that pretty well describe him.

2013-02-09, 18:49
Mr. Kerry volunteered during a time of war. Is that what they call a cunundrum

How do you feel about Mr. Kerry? I was back home in college getting letters from him to join with him in betraying my fellow veterans. I witnessed two tours of men serving with honor and then heard him slam us. I wasn't with him in Vietnam but the swift boat guys went to a lot of trouble to expose him. I've never thought much of that pompous, self serving ass.

2013-02-09, 20:18
I think he is a piece of shit. That was my point. To say every swingin dick that joins during wartime is a hero is bullshit.

2013-02-09, 21:03
I think he is a piece of shit. That was my point. To say every swingin dick that joins during wartime is a hero is bullshit.

...and you are right.

john pickett
2013-02-10, 09:57
As I recall the story, Mr. Kerry joined the Navy at a time when the draft was in effect. If he had not joined the Navy after graduating from college, he would have been drafted and sent to (probably) the army. he attended OCS and waas assigned to the Navy Riverine Force (swift boats). Once in country, he suffered several small wounds; none of which were serious enough to warrant treatment higher than his friendly neighborhood Corpsman. In each case, he completed the paperwork for decorations, nominating himself for the Purple Heart Award. When he had been awarded 3 Purple Hearts, he was eligible to be returned stateside as a wounded veteran. After returning to the states, he ran for congress and won a seat; from which he protested the war by famously throwing his medals over the fence surrounding the Whitehouse. Oddly, years later he proudly hung his medals in his congressional office. When a reporter asked him if those were the medals he had thrown, he replied he had thrown medals supplied by someone else. No guarantees this is all accurate, it's simply the way I recall the story.

2013-02-10, 12:34
John Kerry could NOT have gotten his Purple Heart(s) without his Commander's recommendation. Indeed, regulations do not allow combatants to nominate themselves Purple Hearts or award it to themselves. The way they made up shit about his silver star pissed me off. He is a piece of shit but saying he got a silver star by fruadulent means cheapens every silver star awarded. Just a little research would help.....

2013-02-10, 12:59
My medals have my name on the back of them. It would be easy to verify if he still has his original issued medals....just look at the back of them. Not that it matters.

2013-02-11, 13:09
Heh none of mine were engraved, most of my coins were not either. I know though, that is all that matters.

2013-02-11, 16:13
Mine are not engraved

2013-02-11, 16:29
Mine are not engraved

Mine are and I didn't do it. I just checked. The CIB and all of them below the good conduct medal are not engraved. Foreign medals are not engraved. Unit citations are not engraved. The good conduct medal and above all have my name on them.

2013-02-11, 16:31
I never got a good conduct medal. I was a bad boy >))

2013-02-11, 16:38
I never got a good conduct medal. I was a bad boy >))

I even got a "thank you" letter from General Hay. I thought everyone got one. It's not a great letter but some how I got on the "letter" list. Go figure.

2013-02-11, 20:13
So, John Kerry's silver star, bronze star and purple hearts probably had his name on them. I was there from 66-68 and he was there 67-68. I'm guessing that they discontinued putting names on the medals at some point after that?

2013-02-11, 20:17
I would guess.