Biden to award Medal of Honor to Korean War veteran alongside South Korean president

Biden to award Medal of Honor to Korean War veteran alongside South Korean president
© Getty Images

President BidenJoe BidenManchin lays down demands for child tax credit: report Abrams targets Black churchgoers during campaign stops for McAuliffe in Virginia Pentagon, State Department square off on Afghanistan accountability MORE will award the Medal of Honor for the first time since taking office to a Korean War veteran during a visit from South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the White House announced Wednesday.

Biden will bestow the highest U.S. military honor on Ralph Puckett Jr. at a ceremony on Friday. Puckett is being recognized for his service in November 1950 in particular.

During an attack on an enemy hill, Puckett's unit came under mortar, machine gun and small arms fire. Puckett mounted the closest tank, exposing himself to enemy fire in the process. He led his unit in the attack, running across an open area to draw enemy fire while others advanced on opposing positions.

ADVERTISEMENT

"During the course of the night, the enemy launched a counterattack which lasted four hours. Over the course of the counterattack, the Rangers were inspired and motivated by the extraordinary leadership and courageous example exhibited by First Lieutenant Puckett," the White House said in a statement.

Puckett was wounded in the ensuing firefight and urged his men to leave him behind and evacuate. They refused and ultimately moved Puckett to safety before calling for artillery fire and taking control of the hill.

Friday's ceremony will be the first time Biden has awarded the Medal of Honor as commander in chief. He will be joined at the the ceremony by Moon, who is the second foreign leader to meet with Biden at the White House this year.