Trump presents Sergeant Major Thomas “Patrick” Payne with his Medal of Honor

| September 12, 2020

SGM Thomas “Patrick” Payne

Poetrooper sent me a reminder that we missed notifying y’all that Sergeant Major Payne has received his Medal of Honor. It was presented to him at the White House yesterday by the president.

I talked about SGM Payne last week in my Valor Friday. At the time, information on the quiet professional was scarce.

Payne and his KIA teammate Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler (awarded with a posthumous Silver Star for his final battle) were assigned to the reclusive Special Operations Command – 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta. Commonly known as “Delta Force” or just “Delta”, this is the US military’s most elite special operations organization. Drawing from the ranks of Army Rangers and Special Forces units, Delta is made up of the best of the best of the best.

Payne is only the third Delta operator to receive the Medal of Honor and he is the first non-posthumous award. During the Battle of Mogadishu, Delta Force snipers Master Sergeant Gary Gordon and Sergeant First Class Randy Shughart volunteered to be dropped off at the crash site of one of the Black Hawk helicopters that was being overrun. Gordon and Shugart extricated the chopper’s crew and set up firing positions, but both ultimately died from enemy fire in defense of the downed crew. They were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Payne had served with Delta since 2007 and with the Ranger Battalions before that. In 2010 he suffered a severe combat injury in Afghanistan, but worked his way back to duty. He’s participated in 17 deployments in his 18 years of service.

Payne’s teammate on his Medal of Honor earning mission was Joshua Wheeler, who didn’t make it back. Wheeler, was 39 years old and had been in the Army for 20 years. He had at least 14 deployments under his belt in that time. In addition to the posthumous Silver Star and Purple Heart, he was posthumously recognized by the Cherokee Nation (of which he was a member) with the Medal of Patriotism. He also had received eleven Bronze Star Medals (four w/ “V” for valor) among many other individual and unit decorations.

Category: Army, Army News, Bravo Zulu, Iraq, Medal of Honor, Valor

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments





Ball’s & heat treated off the Rockwell scale.


Hooah !!!!

5th/77th FA

BZ to SGM Payne and his fellow Warriors. In the finest tradition of true Warrior Behavior…Carry the fight to the enemy and leave no one behind.

NBC actually carried a blurb on this last night during their National News Broadcast. You could see the pride, determination, and dignity in the eyes of both of them as President Trump attached the Medal around CSM Payne’s neck. I read the comment that ol’ Poe left yesterday and what President Trump has said of CSM Payne’s Bravery. And like Roh-Dof, it got me right in the feelz too.

Mason, slight correction needed to the opening of paragraph 4. Should read Payne, not Wheeler. When you correct that, you may edit this paragraph too. Thanks!


Well done Sergeant Major Payne. Damned well done Sir.


Bravo Zulu, Sergeant Major!




Good job, MSG.
Thank you.


Good stuff to read instead of the standard “I hate America” tropes you see everywhere else.

Side note on MSG Wheeler…:ELEVEN Bronze Stars?!?

Eric (the OC Tanker)

Nuts the size of the Great Pyramids and harder than the front slope of a M60A1 tank!