Alwyn Cashe’s Medal of Honor moves slowly forward

| December 7, 2014

Alwyn Cashe

The LA Times, in their own way reports that Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe is still in the running for an award of the Medal of Honor, nearly a decade after he gave his life to save his troops from his burning Bradley. This has been my personal crusade – you know because Cashe and I are just alike – we were Bradley platoon sergeants. We look a lot alike, too – in the eyes. They issue those to us at ANCOC. His hair is a little short than I liked, though. I’d like to think that I would have done the same thing that SFC Cashe did in his circumstances;

Cashe rescued six badly burned soldiers while under enemy small-arms fire. His own uniform caught fire, engulfing him in flames. Even with second- and-third degree burns over three-fourths of his body, Cashe continue to pull soldiers out of a vehicle set ablaze when a roadside bomb ruptured a fuel tank.


Sgt. Gary Mills…was inside the stricken Bradley fighting vehicle that day. He was on fire, his hands so badly burned that he couldn’t open the rear troop door to free himself and other soldiers trapped inside the flaming vehicle.

Someone opened the door from outside, Mills recalls. A powerful hand grabbed him and yanked him to safety. He later learned that the man who had rescued him was Cashe, who seconds later crawled into the vehicle to haul out the platoon’s critically burned medic while on fire himself.

“Sgt. Cashe saved my life,” Mills said. “With all the ammo inside that vehicle, and all those flames, we’d have all been dead in another minute or two.”

Four of the six soldiers rescued later died of their wounds at a hospital. An Afghan interpreter riding in the Bradley died during the bomb attack. Cashe refused to be loaded onto a medical evacuation helicopter until all the other wounded men had been flown.

SFC Cashe succumbed to his injuries a few weeks later, at Fort Sam Houston’s Brooke Army Medical Center surrounded by his family. The Army awarded him a Silver Star, but that doesn’t go far enough, in my opinion and now, that’s the opinion of his leadership apparently. They claim that for nearly ten years some nebulous cloud of war hung over SFC Cashe’s actions that day that is only now lifting.

In the article, the LA Times quotes now-Brigadier General Gary Brito, then SFC Cashe’s battlion commander, as saying that if the events of that day had been clearer, he would have nominated Cashe for the Medal of Honor then.

Brito, who is still on active duty, says he has spent the last seven years locating soldiers and obtaining sworn statements, which he has included in the latest packet he is submitting to the Army.

One statement is from Lt. Gen. William G. Webster, Cashe’s division commander, who wrote: “The pain he suffered must have been unimaginable, and yet he continued to suffer in the name of saving others. I cannot remember a story that is its equal.”

Taluto, who also commanded Cashe, wrote: “In all my years of service I have yet to witness or hear of such an act of bravery.”

The article quotes Cashe’s sister, Kasinal Cashe White;

When Cashe was able to speak, White said, his first words were: “How are my boys?” — his soldiers, she said.

Then he began weeping, she said. He told her: “I couldn’t get to them fast enough.”

So, let’s get to Cashe a little faster, there, Pentagon.

Category: Big Pentagon, Real Soldiers

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Someone above him squash the recommendation, and now hes finally got the rank to fix the issue?


dagby: from the wording above, I’d guess the original recommendation was for either the Silver Star (which SFC Cashe received) or the DSC (next higher).

Given the immediate press of events, I can believe initial accounts of the man’s heroism not being complete. Many of those involved were MEDEVACed out, while the others were pretty busy with combat. Give BG Britto credit: he’s being a big enough man to say “I blew it originally” and doing what he can to make the situation right after the fact.

Frankly, I’m in awe of SFC Cashe’s actions. I like to think I’d have done the same – but I honestly don’t know if I could have. I hope I’m never in a position to find out.

Rest in peace, SFC Cashe. Regardless of the ribbon and formal recognition, you WERE INDEED a true hero – and a damn fine man.




Absolutely the finest example of an NCO. I just don’t know if I would have the courage to have done the same. But every NCO has to look to this example and legacy as their inspiration, if that dreaded moment ever comes.

RIP and BZ Sgt. Cashe!

Kinda old ET1

Rest in peace SFC Cashe, you truly earned it.


We would all like to think that we would behave as honorably, given the opportunity. Fortunately, those of us who would not have never been in the circumstances to prove it either way.

Meanwhile, we can all be proud of this truly heroic American NCO. He comported himself beyond just admirably. We know that his service was worthy and are eternally grateful for men such as him.

Whether the hypocrites in DC recognize it is actually not all that important except as a symbolic gesture. Still, they need to do the right thing here. Soon.


MOH? Hell yeah. And while they’re at it, perhaps an award or something similar named after him akin to SGT Morales or Audey Murphy club. This Soldier needs to be recognized at the highest level and never forgotten. This is the embodiment of the NCO Creed.
Just saying…


Does the Army still tout the 7 Army Values? If so the actions of SFC Cashe more than exemplify every one of them. He should have been awarded the Medal of Honor a long time ago; it’s a disgrace it hasn’t happened yet.


It seems that given SFC Cashe’s battalion- the 1-15 IN- is “Can Do” this will happen with continued pressure and work on his behalf. If there is anything I can do- would like to be able to help.

I was the 3/3 ID Deputy Brigade S3 when SFC Cashe saved his men & passed away- that unit B Company- also lost its commander- my good friend Captain Joel Eric Cahill that fall. It was a tough time all around for the men & women of the Sledgehammer BCT during that deployment. This great NCO deserves the Medal of Honor, and I trust the right decision was made.

I recently served with BG Brito when he was still an O-6 and a corps G3- I know if anyone can get this done- he can.


Absolutely was and Baker Company is to this day known as the “Audie Murphy’s Own”.

Unfortunately- I was a little ham-handed in the wording of my response- by “that unit” I meant 1-15 IN battlaion- not sure what company SFC Cashe was in, but I don’t think it was Baker. Joel Cahill was Baker 6- he died in an IED strike just 2 days before SFC Cashe passed away at BAMC.

Those deaths put a black cloud over our brigade- I’ll never forget it. Thank you for your continued efforts to ensure that SFC Cashe earns our nation’s highest honor.


SFC Cashe was assigned to Co A,1/15 IN.


Just burning myself on a hot pipe, etc., was bad enough. To knowingly go into a burning vehicle so many times, knowing what awaits you…smh.

Yeah. 10 years is about 10 years too long.


Fuckin’ A right, Sparky!

Let’s get this thing moved through RFN!


My Lord! If anyone deserves to receive the Medal of Honor, it’s SFC Cashe.


Sniffle… damn hay fever allergies…

A Proud Infidel®™

SFC Cashe was a Real Man and a Warrior. When I was hooking at his uniform in that pic, I noticed Airborne Wings, an EIB (Expert Infantryman Badge) which is a very hard-earned and coveted badge and a Drill Sergeant’s badge, he was obviously one who never hesitated to work hard to accomplish something in this life!


Damn right! I’m more proud of my EIB than I am of my CIB because it was far harder to earn and was not accomplished until my third try. My CIB was far easier to earn. Truth be told, I don’t really feel like I deserved it since I was never in any real firefight…just a couple of little skirmishes where a few rounds were traded back and forth. To be honest, I am not sure if I’ve ever even hit anyone with rounds fired from my rifle and yet I’ve known far more courageous men who truly earned theirs’ with their lives. It’s kind of a sore subject but none of it was my fault and I did not have the power to change it so I’ve come to accept it


No disrespect to SFC Cashe or his family. I hope the MOH is awarded for his heroic actions.

Army Times said it was an Iraqi interpreter that died that day, not an Afghan. LA Times, you suck.


Fully deserves this honor, and let’s hope the sooner the better.

19D2OR4 - Smitty

I remember reading the citation for his SS a few years back in the Army Times. I remember thinking at the time that it read with more valor than many of the MoHs that had been given out. I felt he was robbed of an honor he more than deserved.

In addition, if I recall correctly, he actually was uninjured in the blast and got out of the Bradley clean. He only suffered his wounds after he got out when he realized his squad was still trapped inside and he made the decision to go in after him. That speaks volumes imho.

He is the epitome of what an NCO and Soldier should strive to be.


Tear jerker
God that ending…


Let me get this straight. He went into an -inferno-, repeatedly enduring agonizing burns, to extract men who were burning to death. Is that substantially the narrative?

Think on that scene for a moment.

Imagine a large walk-in closet filled with fire, fuel, ammunition, and screaming men.

You are safely out of it. They burn and die screaming in agony if you stay out. You burn, scream, and maybe die that way if you go in. You -will- burn.

He went. Repeatedly. Again -after- burning and getting back out. He went -back-.

There are very few ways to die worse than burning. There are very few things that terrify like fire, or hurt like it.

He -knew- he was going to fry. He went -anyway-. Again and again.

Does -anyone- doubt that the described actions qualify as “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity” and was “above and beyond the call of duty”?

My G-d, how can this be all this long and unresolved?

This is the one you walk to the ‘next higher’ and stick under his nose: “Sir, I am not leaving until you approve this or shoot me.” Repeat until complete.


Well said!!

Thinking about his actions………it’s getting dusty in here.

As Sparky says above; it is 10 years too long.


I remember coming across this story a few years back in Stars and Stripes. SFC Cashe was a DS in my company when I did my time at Sand Hill, so I took interest. The way it initially was reported, there was no contact with the enemy when SFC Casche was going back into the Bradley. Since there was no reported contact, he wasn’t “eligible” to be put in for what he deserves.


Given the complete lunacy of some in positions of authority, this sounds like an explanation which would make sense to them, but not to the rest of us normal, sane folks. Like who do they suggest set the device which caused the fire? Or allies? Yeah, the rest of us would suggest that getting a vehicle blown out from under you should count as “contact.”


Many accounts state that the unit was receiving “insurgent small-arms fire” during this action. Obviously I haven’t read the official AAR, but if true, I believe that qualifies as “contact”. If the “contact” rule was true, the he would have received a freaking Soldiers Medal, not a Silver Star.
Someone on another website pointed out also that LBJ got a Silver Star too – for riding in an airplane.
This is a wrong that needs to be righted. If Obama feels that Civil War soldiers are still worthy of receiving the MOH, then so is SFC Cashe.

Combat Historian

I have been following this case for a couple of years, and it is high time that SFC Cashe is posthumously awarded the MOH…


Is this not precisely the type of action which the MoH was designed to recognize?

2/17 Air Cav

It isn’t getting dusty where I am and I don’t suffer allergies. My eyes are full of water because a brave soldier’s first question when he came to in a hospital was, “How are my boys?” Such selflessness, such courage is nearly beyond comprehension. It is rare. It is inspirational. It is well worthy of the Medal of Honor.

God bless Sergeant First Class Alwyne Cashe.


As soon as I read the name Taluto, I know why there was no MOH packet. My unit fell under Task Force Liberty (42d ID) during the last half of our deployment. During that time, almost every award submitted to division was downgraded or denied. We had soldiers wounded in IED explosions whose Purple Heart recommendations were denied by MG Taluto’s G1. There seemed to be a systemic problem in the processing and approval of awards during his tenure in Iraq. MG Taluto’s incompetence in investigating the murder of CPT Esposito and 1LT Allen by Alberto Martinez in 2005, resulted in Martinez being acquitted of murder. Martinez placed a Claymore outside their living quarters and detonated it. MG Taluto was later nominated to be Director of the National Guard Bureau. As a result of his botched investigation, the Senate refused to act on his nomination and he withdrew his name and retired quietly.

SFC Cashe was, and in spirit still is, the epitome of an NCO in the United States Army. I give my full support for his MOH packet and I am confident it will be approved.

CB Senior

Had buddies that were Navy Bee’s Crossed out to the Army for TF Taji same time period. All awards were knocked down, denied, or just plain vanished.
Must have thought that they would have to pay for the awards out of their own pocket.


Taluto. I was the deputy bde S3 while we fell under TF Liberty in 2005-06 & my boss had to be suddenly evac’d for a health issue. Brigade commander made me the brigade S3 for 30+ days b/c he trusted me to hold it together until a more senior major/bn S3 could transition, take R&R, and come up to Bde. When my BCT commander put me in for a Bronze Star-service EOT award, MG Taluto downgraded it to an ARCOM. I always thought that was kind of petty- my commander even wrote on the DA 638 that I had done a fine job as Bde 3despite not being CGSC/ILE-qualified and was a “must” for the BSM, but I guess the CG didn’t see it that way. Oh well.


Sorry folks, I am overcome with tears at this moment and my thoughts to write fail me. God bless Alwyne Cashe and his family. God help the Army to award this right, honorable and highly deserved Medal Of Honor for his memory and sacrifice.


I don’t want this to come off as disrespectful to the award of the Medal Of Honor to Alwyne Cashe.

However, if President Obama who is seemingly always looking for a son he never had should read this through his staff trolls then, “Mr. President, if you had a son and wanted a son, you can look no farther than Sergeant First Class Alwyne Cashe. He is what America is and stands for in its best example. Not a thug but a true patriot and hero. Not a thug who forfeited his life in the commission of a crime but a man who “gave his life”, for his fellow man. Not a thug was a political poll statement for you but a man who in his moments of great sacrifice, gave his life, while he cared not for any political meaning to him, you or anyone.”


Incredibly selfless action.
I am in awe of Cashe’s bravery and dedication to his men.
Every future NCO and Officer must be taught of SFC Cashe’s and other MOH recipients’ heroic actions.
LONG OVERDUE. This must be corrected in an expeditious manner. Like Now !


SFC Cashe’s heroism reminds me of SSgt Henry “Red” Erwin’s heroism. Erwin was a B-29 crewmember who picked up an ignited, malfunctioning phosphorous smoke bomb in his aircraft and threw it out before it could burn its way to the aircraft’s bomb bay. He wasn’t expected to live, so they hustled what was apparently the only Medal of Honor in the Pacific Theater to Guam to be awarded to Erwin while he was alive.

Amazingly enough, he recovered and survived to to the age of 80.

Cashe’s unflinching heroism in saving the lives of his soldiers is just as worthy of recognition with a Medal of Honor as was Erwin’s. I fervently hope that BG Brito’s efforts are successful. SFC Cashe deserves no less.

Mikey C-4/27

Holy Fuck Batman ! RIP PSG…
If not him, who does deserve it?

2/17 Air Cav

Just bumping this up. For my money, this ought to be a thread that reappears daily until the award is approved.

2/17 Air Cav



Concur, AC.