Academic journal article Military Review

Medal of Honor: Afghanistan

Academic journal article Military Review

Medal of Honor: Afghanistan

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Capt. Florent A. Groberg, U.S. Army, retired, was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama during a ceremony held 12 November 2015 at the White House. Groberg received the military's highest award for valor for his actions on 8 August 2012 in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.

On that day, then 1st Lt. Groberg was commanding a personal security detachment designated to protect twenty-eight coalition and Afghan National Army (ANA) personnel, including two brigade commanders, two battalion commanders, a brigade command sergeant major, a battalion command sergeant major, and an ANA battalion commander. Groberg was leading the security formation on foot from Forward Operating Base Fiaz to the provincial governor's compound in Asadabad, Kunar.

As the patrol neared a small bridge, Groberg noticed a man walking backwards toward the patrol. Thinking that the man looked suspicious, Groberg yelled at him, and the man abruptly spun around and approached the patrol. Groberg and his radio telephone operator, Sgt. Andrew J. Mahoney, moved to cut him off. As they pushed the man back away from the patrol, Groberg noticed a bulge under the man's clothing and realized it was an explosive vest. The two soldiers physically drove the man away from the patrol and onto the ground. When the man hit the ground, his vest exploded, sending lethal ball bearings in every direction. The blast threw the two soldiers fifteen feet and left them both with severe injuries.

A second suicide bomber, approaching from a different direction, also detonated his vest, possibly prematurely due to the first explosion. The second blast killed four others: brigade Command Sgt. …

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