The Medal of Honor Presented (Posthumously) to 3rd Infantry Division Sergeant First Class Alwyn C. Cashe

On December 16, 2021, President Biden presented America’s top award for combat valor, the Medal of Honor, to the family of Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe.

Born in Oviedo, Florida, Alwyn Cashe joined the United States Army after high school graduation.  Following initial deployments to Korea and Germany, as his training and qualifications progressed, Cashe went on to serve a two-year tour as a drill sergeant at Georgia’s Fort Benning.  In 2003, he deployed, again, this time for the invasion of Iraq, and again in 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

It was on that latter deployment, in October of 2005, serving then as a platoon sergeant with the 3rd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division, while out with his combat team near Samarra, Iraq, that Sgt. Cashe’s Bradley Fighting Vehicle struck an in-ground IED, the subsequent explosion causing the vehicle to be consumed by flames.  Without hesitating, he began pulling his soldiers, one by one, out of the burning Bradley, ensuring that all of them were out before stopping, but at great personal expense.  His uniform soaked with fuel, soon caught on fire, resulting in burns to about 70% of his body.  Cashe was first treated at a field hospital in Iraq, then on to Germany, and finally to the Army’s specialized burn center in San Antonio.  Regrettably, despite the best medical attention possible, his burns proved too extreme, and in November 2005, he passed away.

One of his soldiers, Sergeant Gary Mills, said: “Sgt. Cashe saved my life.  With all the ammo inside that vehicle, and all those flames, we’d all have been dead in another minute or two.” Recalled Air Force Major Mark Rasnake, one of the physicians treating Sgt. Cashe: “I did not realize it at the time, but he is the closest thing to a hero that I will likely ever meet.”

In tribute to Sgt. Cashe’s heroic sacrifice, and knowing that the Medal of Honor would be bestowed in the near future, in 2021, the ceremony and presentation site near the Third Infantry Division Headquarters Building at Fort Stewart, previously known as Marne Garden, was renamed Cashe Garden in the Sergeant’s honor.


(Cashe quotes/background stats via, Caitlin McFall, 12-16-21)