Saturday, June 4, 2016

Soldier Saved Hundreds But Did Not Get Medal of Honor?

This Army hero took out suicide bombers and saved hundreds. Why no Medal of Honor?
Army Times
Kyle Jahner
June 3, 2016

“His efforts contained the enemy to the edge of the airfield, and saved the lives of hundreds of soldiers, coalition partners and civilians,” the narrative said.

Sgt. 1st Class Earl D. Plumlee, right, assigned to 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), is presented the Silver Star by Maj. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl, I Corps Deputy Commanding General. (Photo: Spc. Codie Mendenhall/Army)
With a new Army Secretary at the helm, Congressman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., has relaunched his campaign to award the Medal of Honor to a Special Forces soldier whose Afghanistan heroics were once considered for the top award but ultimately downgraded to a Silver Star.

On Aug. 28, 2013, then-Staff Sgt. Earl Plumlee helped to fend off an insurgent attack on Forward Operating Base Ghazni. Plumlee "aggressively advanced" and took out several insurgents, some wearing suicide vests. Plumlee, now a sergeant first class, is credited with saving hundreds of lives.

His nomination for the MoH was endorsed at the time by Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford and Army Gen. Mark Milley, but the Senior Army Decorations Board recommended a downgrade, and the decision was endorsed by then-Army Secretary John McHugh.

“(T)he Silver Star underrepresents SFC Plumlee’s actions," Hunter wrote in a letter to Army Secretary Eric Fanning. "You are in the position to make this right. The Army’s decision to downgrade SFC Plumlee’s nomination for the Medal of Honor is well known in the Special Operations Community — resubmitting his nomination will go a long way to restoring trust and morale among our warfighters at the leading edge of the fight.”
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