Posted in Military History

Who was the greatest American soldier ever?

If you had to sit down with a pencil and paper and come up with who you think is the best soldier in American history, who would you choose?

Before we ask who we would choose, we better think of HOW we would choose, because to call this a hard question would be an epic understatement. How would we even pick what elements factor in? To make things easier, perhaps we could name some of our most famous fighting men and work backwards to the question. General George S. Patton and Gen. “Chesty” Puller probably come to mind for most history buffs; both were legendary leaders and tremendous force multipliers. If there was no Patton leading tanks across Europe or Puller commanding Marines in the Pacific, you could safely make the case that World War II would have been longer and more costly.

But narrowing our hypothetical question down to famous officers is too narrow of a scope. Besides, if you invented a program that mass-produced officers on par with Patton and Puller, but didn’t have spectacular privates and non-commissioned officers to command, that force would be combat ineffective. So what about enlisted soldiers like Audie Murphy, who is perhaps the most-decorated soldier in our history? We have to be careful when considering medals, because the military awards process is flawed and highly subjective; for example, the chain of command can lose paperwork (perhaps intentionally); acts can go unwitnessed, such as if the whole unit is wiped out; the war might be unpopular; the secretive nature of special operations forces or combat taking place in sensitive areas; or any of a number of other factors. Plus sometimes well-connected people, like Naval officer (and U.S. Congressman) Lyndon B. Johnson, are awarded medals that they didn’t earn.

Though the system has its flaws, at least medals are a decent indicator of valor, and that is why we publish citations for valor on this site.

Continue reading “Who was the greatest American soldier ever?”

Posted in Real American Heroes

David Hackworth’s TENTH Silver Star citation

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

ESTABLISHED BY AN ACT OF CONGRESS 9 JULY 1918 (AMENDED BY ACT OF 25 JULY 1963) AND AWARDED BY THE
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

SILVER STAR MEDAL

PRESENTED TO
LIEUTENANT COLONEL DAVID HASKELL HACKWORTH
UNITED STATES ARMY

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Fourth Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in addition to a previously awarded Silver Oak Leaf Cluster lieu of a Tenth Award of the Silver Star to Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) David Haskell Hackworth (ASN: OF-103837), United States Army, for gallantry in action involving close combat with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with gallantry in action involving close combat with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam while serving with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. Lieutenant Colonel Hackworth distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 22 May 1969 while serving as Commanding Officer, 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry, on a reconnaissance in force mission in Dinh Tuong Province. Continue reading “David Hackworth’s TENTH Silver Star citation”

Posted in Real American Heroes

David Hackworth’s NINTH Silver Star citation

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

ESTABLISHED BY AN ACT OF CONGRESS 9 JULY 1918 (AMENDED BY ACT OF 25 JULY 1963) AND AWARDED BY THE
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

SILVER STAR MEDAL

PRESENTED TO
LIEUTENANT COLONEL DAVID HASKELL HACKWORTH
UNITED STATES ARMY

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Third Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in addition to a previously awarded Silver Oak Leaf Cluster lieu of an Ninth Award of the Silver Star to Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) David Haskell Hackworth (ASN: OF-103837), United States Army, for gallantry in action involving close combat with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with gallantry in action involving close combat with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam while serving with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. Lieutenant Colonel Hackworth distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 22 May 1969 while serving as Commanding Officer, 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry, on a reconnaissance in force mission. Continue reading “David Hackworth’s NINTH Silver Star citation”

Posted in Real American Heroes

David Hackworth’s SECOND Distinguished Service Cross citation

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AUTHORIZED BY CONGRESS
HAS AWARDED

THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS

TO

LIEUTENANT COLONEL (INFANTRY) DAVID HASKELL HACKWORTH
UNITED STATES ARMY

FOR
EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM IN ACTION

CITATION:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Service Cross to Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) David Haskell Hackworth (ASN: OF-103837), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Lieutenant Colonel Hackworth distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions during the period of 23 to 25 March 1969 as battalion commander while his unit was engaged with elements of two Viet Cong battalions. Continue reading “David Hackworth’s SECOND Distinguished Service Cross citation”

Posted in Real American Heroes

David Hackworth’s EIGHTH Silver Star citation

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

ESTABLISHED BY AN ACT OF CONGRESS 9 JULY 1918 (AMENDED BY ACT OF 25 JULY 1963) AND AWARDED BY THE
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

SILVER STAR MEDAL

PRESENTED TO
LIEUTENANT COLONEL DAVID HASKELL HACKWORTH
UNITED STATES ARMY

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in addition to a previously awarded Silver Oak Leaf Cluster lieu of an Eighth Award of the Silver Star to Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) David Haskell Hackworth (ASN: OF-103837), United States Army, for gallantry in action involving close combat with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam while serving with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. Lieutenant Colonel Hackworth distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 22 March 1969 while serving as Commanding Officer, 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry, on a reconnaissance mission near Fire Support Base Danger. Continue reading “David Hackworth’s EIGHTH Silver Star citation”