African-American war heroes

| February 15, 2018

The Burn Pit has a post up about some of the African-Americans through our history who were heroes in the time of war. The post is no where near a complete list, but it reminds me of my personal hero; SFC Alwyn Crendall Cashe. He and I were both Bradley Platoon sergeants in the 3rd Infantry Division, I also spent time in the 15th Infantry Regiment. We never met, but I think of him often.

It’s been rumored for years that he might be nominated for Medal of Honor. Here is his Silver Star citation;

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Sergeant First Class Alwyn Crendall Cashe, United States Army, for exceptionally valorous achievement following an improvised explosive device explosion on 17 October 2005, while serving with Company A, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Sergeant First Class Cashe’s disregard for his own safety proved evident when he saved the lives of six fellow soldiers despite his serious injuries. His bravery is in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, Task Force DRAGON, the SLEDGEHAMMER Brigade, Task Force LIBERTY, and the United States Army.NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD:Sergeant First Class Alwyn Crendall Cashe heroically distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous conduct in the face of the enemy of the United States as a Platoon Sergeant in 1st Platoon, Alpha Company (HARDOCK), 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment stationed at Forward Operating Base MACKENZIE, Iraq, on 17 October 2005. On the evening of 17 October 2005, Sergeant First Class Cashe’s heroic actions saved the lives of six of his fellow soldiers. At approximately 1920 hours, 1st Platoon of Alpha Company, 1-15 Infantry departed FOB MACKENZIE to conduct a route clearance in the city of Daliaya, Iraq. Along Route JAIME, the lead Bradley Fighting Vehicle, of which Sergeant First Class Cashe was gunner having just moved from a NMC vehicle, struck a victim detonated pressure-switch IED at grid MC 25357243. The blast ignited the fuel cell on the vehicle causing fuel to spew everywhere. The vehicle came to a stop and immediately erupted in flames. Sergeant First Class Cashe was initially slightly injured and drenched with fuel. Despite his condition, he bravely managed to get out of the gunner’s hatch, crawl down the BFV and assist the driver out of the driver’s hatch. The driver had been burned and Sergeant First Class Cashe extinguished his flames. The following minutes were crucial. Six soldiers and a translator were in the back of the Bradley. Flames had engulfed the entire vehicle from the bottom and were coming out of every portal. The squad leader inside the vehicle managed to open the troop hatch door to help the soldiers escape. Without regard for his personal safety, Sergeant First Class Cashe rushed to the back of the vehicle, reaching into the hot flames and started pulling out his soldiers. The flames gripped his fuel soaked uniform. Flames quickly spread all over his body. Despite the terrible pain, Sergeant First Class Cashe placed the injured soldier on the ground and returned to the burning vehicle to retrieve another burning soldier; all the while, he was still on fire. A crew from a trail Bradley arrived within moments and assisted with CASEVAC. During all this and with severe burns, Sergeant First Class Cashe bravely continued to take control of the chaos. Within minutes, the company First Sergeant was on the scene and began to evacuate the seriously injured soldiers. One of which was Sergeant First Class Cashe. In the end, the national translator was killed in action, and 10 soldiers were injured. Seven of the ten were very seriously injured. Sergeant First Class Cashe stayed a hero through it all. His injuries were the worst as he suffered form 2d and 3d degree burns over 72% of his body. Sergeant First Class Cashe’s heroic actions saved the lives of six of his beloved soldiers. He is truly deserving of this award. His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, Task Force LIBERTY and the United States Army.
Action Date: October 17, 2005

Category: We Remember

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The push for Sgt Cashe to be awarded the MOH is out there.

He is a personal hero of mine too.


“He is a personal hero of mine too.”

Me, three.

SFC Cashe epitomizes everything a great NCO should always strive to be.

Upgrading his Silver Star to The Medal is a no-brainer, IMO.


Yep, sure as hell reads like a MOH citation to me..


It damned well SHOULD BE!


May you continue to rest in peace, SFC Cashe.

Hell of a time for my allergies to act up.


And he has not gotten the Medal for this, Why? My God! This man is a Hero!


“The blast ignited the fuel cell on the vehicle causing fuel to spew everywhere. The vehicle came to a stop and immediately erupted in flames….. His injuries were the worst as he suffered form 2d and 3d degree burns over 72% of his body.

Fuck. Me. Running.

I could read that without super cringing and doing the crossed leg pee pee dance in my chair.

MOH and Sainthood both deserved.





He already GOT his sainthood…..”No greater love hath a man, than to lay down his life for his friends!”….Many might agree with that passage from the Bible but don’t attribute to Jesus, who layed down his life for ALL OF US!


No CMH. WHY? Someone needs to make his happen!

Non Cedo Ferio

I visited his tree at the wreath for Warriors walk event here at Fort Stewart. Back in December I wanted to pay my respects to him as well as two Soldiers I had the honor of knowing . the whole experience was both sad and moving. I encourage all of you if you have the time to visit this sacred place.


Jiminy Cricket!!

Makes me want to banjo all the valor thieves who malappropriate the Silver Star Medal.

RGR 4-78

Rest in Peace, Sergeant First Class Cashe.


Rest In Peace to a fellow “Can Do” Soldier.

HHC, 1/15 IN (S-4 NCO)
Harvey Barracks, Kitzingen


Incredible bravery.


To be half the man Sergeant First Class Alwyn Crendall Cashe is.

And I say “is” because he is still an outstanding and honorable man – death only changed his address, not his nature.




Even just that photo of him screams “Top of the Line, Completely Dedicated NCO.”

I pray the MOH is awarded, as it is deserved!

Combat Historian

This Fallen Warrior has earned the MOH. I hope to see his family receiving it from the POTUS in the White House soon…


Here-Here to SFC Cashe. I hope you will be as highly honored as you bravely gave.


Definitely deserves MOH! Amazing


“No greater love . . . . ”

Rest in peace, SFC Alvin C. Cashe. Whatever decoration, your actions prove you the epitome of a hero.



Even though the incident took place almost 13 years ago, I still have faith in our Military Awards system that SFC Cashe’ SS will be upgraded to the MOH.

We currently still have individuals from Vietnam having their awards upgraded to the MOH. Recent one was Gary Rose. It took 47 years from the time he was awarded the DSC to receive the MOH.


Remember reading this some time ago, probably here. Much deserved reverence for this man, this soldier, this American roll model and hero.

There is no way to ask this without sounding flippant, which I really do not want to be. But, how do they decide if/when an action is worthy of upgrade to MOH? If he had saved the lives of 8 instead of 6? If the translator had not died? Sure, they have to draw the line somewhere, and I do not envy those who must decide.

Peace to the family of this fine American. We are grateful that they shared him with us for a while.


PL 88-77 spells it out. I know it’s due to my Admin background, but it’s clear SFC Cashe meet’s the requirements. Here they are: 3741. Medal of Honor: award
“The President may award, and present in the name of Congress, a medal of honor of appropriate design, with ribbons and appurtenances, to a person who, while a member of the Army, distinguished himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty— “(1) while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
“(2) while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or “(3) while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.” It’s one of the reasons I keep sending letters to my Senators and Congressman every couple of months. Man deserves it.


If anyone in the approval chain thinks the Medal is too much, ask him to hold out his hand and endure fifteen seconds in the flame of a zippo.

Then remind the person that the awarded ran into a burning track while soaked in fuel, -repeatedly- suffering the torment of the -damnned- for those men.

Then flick the zippo on again and say “how about that signature now, sir?”


That he wasn’t submitted for the MoH initially tells me that the awards process is broken. However, we’ve known that for awhile. SFC Cashe will be recognized with what he earned.


That’s an amazing story. BZ SFC Cashe!

The silver star seems too little for that much selflessness, devotion to duty and his troops, and the incredible pain he suffered in doing so. Seems entirely worthy of the MoH or at the very least a service cross.

Reminds me of SSGT Pitsenbarger. His AFC was upgraded later.

The Stranger

And on top of it all, his first question when he awoke in the hospital was “How are my boys?” A Soldier’s Soldier and a man among men.


Don’t mind one bit confessing I choke up everytime I read that line “How are my boys?”

The Stranger

As someone who was in his 40s while serving as a PL, I can tell you that I saw my Soldiers as my kids. While I didn’t let them get anything over on me (you can’t con a con man), they also knew that I had their back. Leaders who always look out for their troops like SFC Cashe are what makes the Army go ’round and serve as that positive example of what a leader should be.




I’d not heard of him before today.

I have now though.


What a man.

The SS write up could be used as the MOH write up with very few changes.

Fire is the great equalizer. My personal experience occurred 22DEC69 in San Diego and involved approximately a few dozen Sailors. If you haven’t seen/treated severe burns, you don’t want to do so. It is a horrible injury.

RIP, Brother. The deserve this nation’s ultimate tribute, the Medal of Honor.

The Other Whitey

I have treated severe burns and suffered minor ones. Getting burned again scares me. Burning to death scares the absolute SHIT out of me.

As I said below, the word “hero” seems inadequate to describe SFC Cashe.


Change ‘the’ to ‘you’. Think I was a little overcome.

jeff monroe

I hope theselowlife pos fake poser are reading this and feel ashamed of the lies they tell-I hope all of you rot in hell cowards.


SFC Cashe deserves it.
Anything less would be….I don’t even have a word bad enough to use.

Meanwhile, our glorious TRADOC commander, GEN Perkins, got a Silver Star as LTC, Battalion Commander for being the first BN to get to Baghdad in 2003.

Officers have to Office.


Yef, out of curiousity.. Is this Soldier who was awarded the Silver Star you?



This actually got me choked up. Man deserves the MoH. He exemplifies the true meaning of leader. Hope your rest has been peaceful warrior.

The Other Whitey

Fire is quite possibly the most horrifying of all the ways a man can die. SFC Cashe, having escaped burns so far, voluntarily went into the fire—not just into the vehicle that was on fire, but into the fire itself—to save his men, knowing that he WOULD be burned, possibly—hell, probably fatally. I only wish I had that kind of courage.

Somehow, the word “hero” seems inadequate.



Burning … it’s my big boogieman, too. I hope the Good Lord never requires me to drink from that cup.

I’ve never been burned badly, but I’ve been told the debriding is absolute hell.


I’m baffled that such heroics would not warrant a Medal of Honor.


Obviously deserving of the MOH.
Godspeed to an example of the finest America has to offer.
Obviously, he was one of the greatest generation.
Men like this are why SV pukes should be taken out and whipped…

A Proud Infidel®™

I’m baffled that he hasn’t already received the MoH.


I am assuming that he was awarded the Silver Star as an interim award, pending the grindingly slow MOH process.

The local commander awards the highest award for which he has authority. This gets an award on the recipient ASAP. Meanwhile, the intended award winds it’s way through the process.

Better a Silver Star now, than -nothing- for years.

Leaving this man undecorated while others ponder and argue would be an obscenity.

So at some point, he may be upgraded to the DSC or MOH. But at least his kin, and others who know his story, have something to show that we honor a man like that.


Unfortunately, SFC Cashe’s Silver Star doesn’t seem to have been an interim award made while awaiting final processing of a DSC or MoH recommendation:

To his credit, the commander who signed off on the original Silver Star recommendation now believes he screwed up, and for several years apparently has been trying to get the Army to recommend to the POTUS an upgrade of SFC Cashe’s award to the MoH. Whether he’ll be successful or not, I don’t know.


Damn…. I was hoping.

2/17 Air Cav

“We never met, but I think of him often.” One either gets that or he doesn’t. A simple but powerful statement.


For some reason, it got dusty in here.


“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

God bless and RIP, SFC Cashe.


Not dusty here at all…this one brought tears to my eyes and choked me up.

This is the kind of person I would my children to have met…

This is the kind of NCO I would have wanted to have for a PSG or a 1SG both as an enlisted man and as an officer.

As many of you as said here many times: Thank God we have men such as this to defend out nation.

mr. sharkman

SFC Cashe is a personal hero of mine as well.

Thanks to SFC Lilyea/This Ain’t Hell for making me aware of the extent of his bravery & heroism.


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Jonn, thanks for posting this information. The word Hero is often thrown out to freely but in the case of SFC Cashe it is both fitting, earned and deserved. I too hope that his Silver Star is upgraded to MOH.


Wow….. He makes Hollywood action heroes look like pussies. A MOH for sure!


I belong to a group that is working to upgrade his Ss to the MOH, as he more than deserves, and deserved it far too long ago. Frustrates a lot of us that it hasn’t happened yet, given the citation and understanding of the actions he did that day. Those who have FB accounts can feel free to join it at the below link. Best regards


Thanks for the info and your efforts. Please keep us posted over here when you need for us to do anything to help the process along. (Not all of us do the social media thing.)


Bumping this again in case anyone missed it. Recommend that everyone go read what SFC Cashe’s sister recently wrote at the facebook link lastbrotherhome posted above. Good news.

If someone will keep us posted on how this fares in the Congressional committees, maybe we could contact our own members of Congress for their support.