Medal of Honor: Army Sergeant First-Class Alwyn Cashe

Following years of supportive efforts by family, veterans, and a group of federal legislators, Army Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe will at last be awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously.  SFC Cashe perished in 2005 as a result of fatal injuries suffered in combat.

Traveling on patrol in Iraq with his platoon, their Bradley Fighting Vehicle hit an IED causing it to become very quickly covered in flames.  SFC Cashe managed to pull out the driver, then with total disregard for his own safety, he rushed back to extract six more of his burned fellow soldiers from the vehicle.  As a result of his heroics, SFC Cashe, himself, caught on fire, but he kept on going, saving the lives of his team.  Severe burns covered more than 70% of his body, but he insisted on being evacuated last.  He died in the hospital due to the extent of his injuries.

This hero-leader was first posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his totally selfless, lifesaving actions in combat.  As mentioned earlier, a great number of former comrades, legislators and others worked for a very long time to see that his honor for incredible valor was upgraded to the Medal of Honor.

SFC Cashe becomes the first Black service member to receive the MOH in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.  But clearly, it was his extraordinary valor in combat, not race, that had anything to do with this highest of honors for bravery under fire.  Said Representative Michael Waltz (R-FL), a member of the team working toward this upgrade: “In the foxhole, nobody cares, honestly.  It’s about mission.  It’s about country. It’s about getting the job done. And it’s about taking care of your brothers and sisters to your left and right. That IED didn’t see race or religion or socioeconomic background.”  Rep. Waltz then went on to say: “What the guy did is just legendary. He didn’t just react once, twice, but three times, soaked in fuel oil, catching himself on fire, to save his fellow soldiers.  It’s just the epitome of what the Medal of Honor is all about.”

The top Army command has now signed off on the upgrade, with final approval sitting on the President’s desk, which will surely be approved. Timing of the presentation yet unknown.  Just eight-years old at the time of his father’s death, SFC Cashe’s son plans to enter the Army following college.  SFC Cashe was an exceptional, and heroic, soldier, with a continuing great American patriot family.

(SFC Alwyn Cashe data and quotes via, Kristina Wong, 8-30-20 & 1-4-21).