HomeNewsThree Afghanistan and Iraq War Veterans To Receive Medal of Honor

Three Afghanistan and Iraq War Veterans To Receive Medal of Honor

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brandan W. Schulze/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

On Friday (December 10th), The White House announced that President Joe Biden will be awarding the Medal of Honor to three Afghanistan and Iraq War veterans this upcoming Thursday (December 16th). 

According to a press release, the veterans who are receiving the Medal of Honor are Sergeant First Class Alwyn C. Cashe; United States Army, Sergeant First Class Christopher A. Celiz, United States Army; and Master Sergeant Earl D. Plumlee, United States Army. All three military servicemen were selected for their conspicuous gallantry.

The White House also revealed that Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe will be receiving the Medal of Honor posthumously. He served as a Platoon Sergeant with Company A, 1st Battalion; 15th Infantry Regiment; 3d Brigade; 3d Infantry Division in Salah Ad Din Province, Iraq, on October 17, 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

Meanwhile, Sergeant First Class Christopher A. Celiz will also receive the Medal of Honor posthumously. The late veteran did this while serving as the leader of a special operations unit comprised of partnered forces; and members of the 1st Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment, on July 12, 2018 in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan.

Finally, Master Sergeant Earl D. Plumlee will receive the Medal of Honor for his acts on August 28, 2013. He was serving as a Weapons Sergeant, C Company, 4th Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.    

How Do Military Personnel Qualify For The Medal of Honor?

According to the White House, the Medal of Honor is awarded to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who have distinguished themselves “conspicuously” by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their own lives. Meaning they are going above and beyond the call of duty while:

  • Engaging in an action against an enemy of the United States 
  • Engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force 
  • Serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party

The White House further declared, “The meritorious conduct must involve great personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his or her comrades and must have involved risk of life.”

There also must be incontestable proof of the performance of the meritorious conduct. “Each recommendation for the award must be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.”

Earlier this year, President Joe Biden awarded the Medal of Honor to Col. Ralph Pickett Jr. He served in both the Korean and Vietnam War. “To obtain supporting fire, First Lieutenant Puckett mounted the closest tank, exposing himself to the deadly enemy fire,” the White House revealed. “Leaping from the tank, he shouted words of encouragement to his men and began to lead the Rangers in the attack.”