Military Review English Edition March-April 2016 - Page 143

Capt. Florent A. Groberg MEDAL OF HONOR Afghanistan C apt. Florent A. Groberg, U.S. Army, retired, was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama during a ceremony held 12 November 2015 at the White House. Groberg received the military’s highest award for valor for his actions on 8 August 2012 in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. On that day, then 1st Lt. Groberg was commanding a personal security detachment designated to protect twenty-eight coalition and Afghan National Army (ANA) personnel, including two brigade commanders, two battalion commanders, a brigade command sergeant major, a battal(Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army) Sgt. Andrew Mahoney and then 1st Lt. Groberg in Asadabad, Afghanistan, circa August 2012. ion command sergeant major, and an ANA battalion commander. Groberg was leading the that Groberg “had the instincts and the courage to do security formation on foot from Forward Operating what was needed.” Base Fiaz to the provincial governor’s compound in The president also spoke of the four men who were Asadabad, Kunar. killed. “These four men believed in America”, he said. As the patrol neared a small bridge, Groberg noticed a “They dedicated their lives to our country. They died man walking backwards toward the patrol. Thinking that serving it. Their families—loving wives and children, the man looked suspicious, Groberg yelled at him, and the parents and siblings—bear that sacrifice most of all.” man abruptly spun around and approached the patrol. Groberg was inducted into the Pentagon’s Hall of Groberg and his radio telephone operator, Sgt. Andrew J. Heroes the day after the Medal of Honor ceremony. Mahoney, moved to cut him off. As they pushed the man During the induction ceremony, Secretary of Defense back away from the patrol, Groberg noticed a bulge under Ashton Carter praised Groberg and the other members the man’s clothing and realized it was an explosive vest. The of the personal security detachment, citing many of two soldiers physically drove the man away from the patrol them by name for their actions on 8 August 2012. and onto the ground. When the man hit the ground, his Carter said of Groberg, “At the moment of greatest vest exploded, sending lethal ball bearings in every directesting, he made the most selfless and courageous choice tion. The blast threw the two soldiers fifteen feet and left of all: