Earl Plumlee, of Merritt, Oklahoma, was serving as a Green Beret with C Company, 4th Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom when he entered the action on August 28, 2013, that was to earn him the Medal of Honor.
Enemy forces had detonated a large truck bomb at Forward Operating Base Ghazni, after which nine enemy fighters assaulted the base wearing Afghan National Army uniforms and explosive suicide vests. Master Sergeant Plumlee arrived on the scene with several other Green Berets just after the attack began. He debarked from a truck, maneuvered to provide cover to injured soldiers and the truck’s driver, and engaged the enemy with his pistol. He fired at one attacker, whose vest exploded, alerting the Green Berets that the enemy fighters were intent on a suicide mission.
Plumlee nevertheless continued his action while taking fire from all sides and in intense combat he showed remarkable courage and succeeded in helping to eliminate the enemy force, despite being injured. During the action, Plumlee also rescued and saved the life of a wounded soldier under fire, and then led a group of soldiers in securing the base. He said afterwards: “The strongest emotion I had from that day was the last time we were pushing down and had really gotten organized we were moving as a really aggressive, synced up stack, moving right into the chaos. It was probably the proudest moment of my career, just to be with those guys, at that time, on that day was just awesome.”
Another special forces soldier said of Plumlee when he was presented with the Silver Star two years later: “It was Sgt. Plumlee that was there at that time and place, and it was he who had the opportunity to demonstrate uncommon gallantry.” Told that he had initially been recommended for the Medal of Honor but been turned down, much to the disappointment of men who served alongside him, Plumlee remarked, “I think there are plenty of Medal of Honor recipients out there whose actions surpassed mine.” But the award would come in time.
|Place of Birth||OK|
|Service Branch||U.S. Army|
|Conflict||War on Terror|
|Date Of Action||8-28-2013|
|Location and Details||Forward Operating Base Ghazni, Afghanistan|