Biden to award Medal of Honor to three soldiers who fought in Iraq, Afghanistan: report
President Biden reportedly plans to award the Medal of Honor to three service members who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, including one who would be the first Black soldier to receive the nation’s highest military honor for either war.
Biden is expected to recognize the men by Dec. 16, The Washington Post reported, citing four current and former officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe, who died in Iraq in 2005, would be the first Black man to fight in Iraq and be awarded the Medal of Honor. Master Sgt. Earl Plumlee, a Special Forces soldier, will also be named, as will Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Celiz, an Army Ranger, the Post reported.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Advocates have pushed for years for a Medal of Honor to be awarded to Cashe, who died after saving his comrades from a burning vehicle that had been struck by a roadside bomb.
Plumlee served in Afghanistan in the 1st Special Forces Group with the U.S. Army. In 2013, Plumlee fought off Taliban soldiers who attacked a base in Ghazni and saved the life of a wounded soldier. He was a candidate for the Medal of Honor in 2016 but was instead given the Silver Star.
Celiz served more than a decade between both conflicts before dying in Afghanistan in 2018. At the time of his death, Celiz was a battalion mortar platoon sergeant who had earned several badges and medals.
The news follows the announcement that the U.S. Army will give the Purple Heart to 39 soldiers who were injured in an Iranian air strike at a military base in January 2020.
The Medal of honor is usually given posthumously to fallen heroes who commit acts of bravery and valor. The president has awarded more than 3,500 servicemen and women with the honor, with more than two dozen medals given to those who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq.