The Army states, “Staff Sergeant Romesha’s heroic actions throughout the day long battle were critical in suppressing an enemy that had far greater numbers.”
President Obabma announced on Friday that former US Army staff sergeant Clinton Romesha will be awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for combat valor, next month. Romesha is being recognized for his actions in repelling an onslaught of insurgents in Afghanistan in 2009, while he was a section leader with Bravo Troop, 3-61 Cavalry, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, at combat outpost Keating. CNN reports that the assault on the outpost was “one of the deadliest attacks on US troops in Afghanistan.”
Romesha and his fellow soldiers woke to an attack by an estimated 300 insurgents who were occupying the high ground on all four sides of the outpost. According to the citation that accompanies the award,
[He] moved uncovered under intense enemy fire multiple times to muster reinforcements and fire on attackers.
He took out an enemy machine gun team and, while engaging a second, was wounded by shrapnel when a generator he was using for cover was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade.
He fought on undeterred, exposing himself to “heavy enemy fire” while moving “confidently about the battlefield. Romesha engaged and destroyed “multiple enemy targets.” He also directed air support to destroy more than 30 enemy fighters and saved other wounded troops.
The battle, which started early in the morning of October, 3, lasted for at least 12 hours and left 8 American soldiers dead and 22 wounded. Over 100 insurgents were killed as well, and most of the outpost was destroyed. A military investigation later revealed that the outpost was considered an “attractive target” due to the fact that protection improvements had yet to be made and significant intelligence assets had recently been diverted to combat operations elsewhere in the vicinity.
Staff Sergeant Romesha retired from the Army in 2011, and now resides in North Dakota.