Posthumous Medal of Honor

McGinnis to receive Medal of Honor

By Michelle Tan - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Apr 25, 2008 16:54:10 EDT

Spc. Ross McGinnis, who was killed Dec. 4, 2006, in Iraq when he smothered a grenade with his body, will receive the Medal of Honor, sources told Army Times.

McGinnis, 19, is the second soldier to receive the nation’s highest valor award for actions while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith, who was killed April 4, 2003, fighting off insurgents in a fierce firefight south of Baghdad, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor two years after he died.

McGinnis, of 1st Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, is credited with saving the lives of four fellow soldiers.

On Dec. 4, 2006, McGinnis was manning the turret in the last Humvee of a six-vehicle patrol in Adhamiyah in northeast Baghdad when an insurgent threw a grenade from the roof of a nearby building.

“Grenade!” yelled McGinnis, who was manning the vehicle's M2 .50-caliber machine gun.

McGinnis, facing backwards because he was in the rear vehicle, tried to deflect the grenade but it fell into the Humvee and lodged between the radios.

As he stood up to get ready to jump out of the vehicle, as he had been trained to do, McGinnis realized the other four soldiers in the Humvee did not know where the grenade had landed and did not have enough time to escape.

McGinnis, a native of Knox, Pa., threw his back against the radio mount, where the grenade was lodged, and smothered the explosive with his body.

The grenade exploded, hitting McGinnis on his sides and lower back, under his vest. He was killed instantly. The other four men survived.

McGinnis, who was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery, will be honored during a ceremony at the White House. The ceremony is expected to take place sometime in June.

It’s longstanding Army policy not to comment on the status of Medal of Honor nominations. The sources who confirmed the information to Army Times asked to remain anonymous.

When contacted by Army Times, McGinnis’s parents declined to comment.

In addition to McGinnis and Smith, two other service members have received the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq: Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham and Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael Monsoor. Only one Medal of Honor has been awarded for actions in Afghanistan, to Lt. Michael Murphy, a Navy SEAL.

Each of those awards was presented posthumously.
Thaks for psoting this Tomahawk. It was the first I'd heard of it. What an amazing story of courage. It's also good to see that it isn't taking the Army years and years to make the award.
The length of time for an award decision is the immense amount of work. There have to be witness statements and then approvals from the chain of command.

Deepest respect to all those awarded this

Strange how few non 'SF' types get the CMH, or am I only seeing some of those awarded?
Each service has its own awards process. There has been some criticism of the Army that it has been too stingy in the award of lesser decorations. The Marines have awarded more DSC/Navy Cross than the other services.
One criticism that has cropped up recently is that all the Medals of Honor were posthumous.
No disagreements and I know how the Army awards system works. I'm just glad to see this award taking place in a fairly expeditious manner. I read a piece quite a while back that brought into question the small number of DSCs and Silver Stars currently being awarded to Soldiers. With the way the system is now, I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see any living recipients of the Medal of Honor.

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