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Captain Gary Rose awarded Medal of Honor

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, President Donald Trump awarded Huntsville veteran Army Captain Gary Michael Rose – retired – with the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The Medal of Honor is the most prestigious military award a service member can receive. Rose was awarded his medal for extraordinary heroism in action while serving as a medic with the secret Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group that conducted classified missions in Vietnam and Laos. Typically, the Medal of Honor must be awarded to a service member within 5 years of the heroic act, but the requirement was waived due to the special circumstances surrounding Rose’s actions.

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, attended the White House ceremony.

“Army Captain Gary Michael Rose is a true hero and I was privileged to be present at the White House today as President Trump recognized his bravery with the Medal of Honor,” Brooks said. “I encourage everyone to research and learn more about Rose’s incredible service to our nation during the secret mission known as ‘Operation Tailwind.’”

“A well deserved honor for this American hero and Alabama resident. Army Captain Gary Michael Rose, a resident of Huntsville, received the Medal of Honor today for his heroism as a medic in Vietnam,” U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Montrose, said. “I encourage everyone to take a minute to read his remarkable story.”

“Rose enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1967 and attended basic training at Fort Ord, California. He later began Special Forces Training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In 1970, Rose was assigned to the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group, 5th Special Forces Group. While serving as a medic with the 5th Special Forces Group, Rose displayed extraordinary heroism in combat and repeatedly put his life on the line to aid his comrades, even after he was seriously wounded. Rose is credited with treating more than 60 wounded soldiers during the mission,” Brooks added.

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“Captain Rose’s mission was classified until the late 1990s, and I was proud to work with my Senate colleagues to insert language into the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act waiving the normal Congressional Medal of Honor requirement that the medal be awarded within five years of the action. Operation Tailwind was kept secret for decades, and I am glad these inspirational heroes and their actions are finally receiving the recognition they deserve,” Brooks concluded.

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 bronze 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. Rose currently resides in Huntsville, Alabama with his wife, Margaret.

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

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