President Barack Obama announced Jan. 11 that former Army Staff Sgt. Clinton L. Romesha will receive the Medal of Honor Feb. 11 for his actions in Afghanistan.
Romesha will be the fourth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. He and his family will join the president at the White House for the award.
The staff sergeant helped repel an enemy attack of some 300 fighters who outnumbered the defenders of Combat Outpost Keating in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan. The soldiers awoke Oct. 3, 2009, to find the enemy occupying the high ground surrounding their combat outpost.
Romesha braved intense enemy fire to mobilize a five-man team, according to sources who were there. He reportedly 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. Yet he continued to fight.
He directed air support that destroyed more than 30 Taliban fighters and personally took out several other enemy positions, according to reports. He provided covering fire and helped three of his wounded comrades to reach the aid station. He also braved fire to recover several fallen comrades.
Romesha's efforts enabled Bravo Troop, 3d Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, to regroup and fight off a force that greatly outnumbered them, according to reports. At the time he was a section leader with Bravo Troop, which was part of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, in Afghanistan.
Romesha separated from the Army April 4, 2011. He and his family currently live in Minot, N.D. He is married to Tamara Romesha and they have three children; Dessi, Gwen, and Colin.
Romesha enlisted in the Army in September 1999 as an M1 armor crewman. After completion of training at Fort Knox, Ky., he was assigned as a tank gunner with B Company, 1-63rd Armor, Camp Vilseck, Germany. His tour there included an operational deployment to Kosovo.
After Germany, he was assigned as a gunner/assistant tank commander with A Company, 2-72nd Armor, Camp Casey, Korea. Following Korea, which included a combat tour to Iraq, he was assigned as a section leader with 3-61st Cavalry, Fort Carson, Colo. There he completed the Long Range Reconnaissance Course, Advanced Leader Course, and Air Assault Training.
His military decorations include: the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Iraq Campaign Medal with three Campaign Stars, Bronze Star Medal, three Army Commendation Medals, Purple Heart, five Army Achievement Medals, Valorous Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral 2, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with Numeral 5, NATO Medal with Bronze Service Star, and the Combat Action Badge.