Dec 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden awards Medal of Honor to 3 U.S. soldiers

President Biden speaking at the Medal of Honor ceremony on Thursday.
President Biden speaking at the Medal of Honor ceremony on Thursday. Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday awarded the Medal of Honor to three U.S. soldiers, including Sgt. First Class Alwyn C. Cashe, the first Black recipient of the award for actions since 9/11.

The big picture: Biden also honored Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Celiz and Master Sgt. Earl Plumlee for their "conspicuous gallantry."

  • The medal is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who went "above and beyond the call of duty" in protecting the United States.

Details: Cashe received the medal posthumously for rescuing his teammates from a vehicle engulfed in flames during a 2005 attack in Iraq.

  • Celiz, an Army Ranger, received the award for voluntarily exposing himself to Taliban fire in Afghanistan in 2018 in order to employ a heavy weapon system that would disrupt future attacks on Afghans. He died from his wounds that day.
  • Plumlee, a Green Beret, was honored for his actions in Afghanistan in 2013.
U.S. President Joe Biden awards the Medal of Honor to Army Master Sgt. Earl Plumlee
U.S. President Joe Biden awards the Medal of Honor to Army Master Sgt. Earl Plumlee. Photo: Mandel Negan/AFP via Getty Images

What they're saying: "Each of you know what it is to stare down danger and summon strength in the face of a moment of trial," Biden said during the White House ceremony.

  • "We're grateful for all that you three have done."
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