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Huntsville Vietnam veteran to receive Medal of Honor

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, the U.S. Army announced that retired U.S. Army Captain Gary Michael “Mike” Rose will receive the Medal of Honor from President Donald Trump at a White House ceremony on Oct. 23, 2017, for conspicuous gallantry while serving as a sergeant during the Vietnam War.

“Rose, a resident of Huntsville, Alabama, will receive the Medal of Honor for voluntarily risking his life on multiple occasions during combat operations while serving as a combat medic with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne),” U.S. Army Spokesman Dave Foster said. “From Sept. 11-14, 1970, while his unit was engaged with a numerically superior force deep in enemy-controlled territory, Rose exposed himself to enemy fire numerous times to provide medical aid to his comrades, and used his own body to shield a wounded American from harm.

“Rose will be the 69th living soldier to receive the Medal of Honor for actions in Vietnam, and the 19th combat medic to receive the medal.”

Rose enlisted in the U. S. Army on April 4, 1967. He attended basic training at Fort Ord, California, and Infantry Advanced Individual Training at Fort Gordon, Georgia. After graduating from AIT, he was promoted to private first class and attended the U.S. Army Jump School at Fort Benning, Georgia.

In Oct. 1967, Rose began Special Forces training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. A year later, he graduated as a Special Forces medic and was assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group. In April 1969, Rose was assigned to the 46th Special Forces Company, headquartered in Lopburi, Thailand. In April 1970, Rose was reassigned to the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group, 5th Special Forces Group. In April 1971, Rose attended the Spanish Language School in Washington, then assigned to the 8th Special Forces Group – later designated the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Group – in Panama until Aug. 1973.

Rose will be inducted into the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes on Tuesday, Oct. 24, during a ceremony at the Pentagon auditorium.

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According to the Army Rose, 69, enlisted on April 4, 1967. In Aug. 1973, Rose was selected to attend Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in Field Artillery in Dec. 1973, and attended Field Artillery Officer Basic at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In 1978, Rose attended the Field Artillery Officer Advanced Course followed by various field artillery assignments in Germany, New Mexico, Korea and Fort Sill. He retired from the Army in 1987. He then worked as an instructional designer, writing operator, worked on maintenance manuals, as well as designed training for the manufacturing industry. Rose has been married to his wife, Margaret, since 1971. They have three adult children and two grandchildren. In retirement, Rose has remained involved in charity activities primarily through the Knights of Columbus.

Rose’s military awards include the Distinguished Service Cross, the Bronze Star Medal with one oak leaf cluster and “V” device, the Purple Heart with two oak leaf clusters, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Good Conduct Medal with two knots, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Campaign with star, Presidential Unit Citation (MAC SOG), Vietnam Civic Action Honor Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry Unit Citation – with Palm Combat Medical Badge, Special Forces Tab, U.S. Army Parachute Badge, Thai Army Parachute Badge, Vietnam Parachute Badge, and several service ribbons.

To read more about Rosa and details about the mission in Laos that resulted in his Medal of Honor:

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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