Vietnam Marine Veteran Could Get Medal Of Honor After Presidential Order

news
Courtesy of Rep. Julia Brownley's office.

Almost exactly 50 years after he fearlessly led Marines through the bloody street fighting in Hue, Marine veteran John Canley is close to receiving the nation’s highest military award for valor.


President Donald Trump signed a law on Monday night that allows him to award Canley the Medal of Honor. The law waives a requirement that service members receive the Medal of Honor within five years of the events that merit the award.

Now that Trump is authorized to present the award to Canley, the president must decide whether the retired sergeant major will receive the Medal of Honor.

Canley has already received the Navy Cross for his actions from Jan. 31 to Feb. 6, 1968, in Hue. A gunnery sergeant at the start of the Tet Offensive, Canley led his Marines after his company commander was seriously wounded, according to his award citation, posted at the Military Times Hall of Valor.

He braved intense enemy fire to save wounded Marines, regrouped his company, and led a counter-attack to break through an enemy stronghold, the citation says. Later, he dropped a satchel charge on the enemy, killing many fighters. Even though he was wounded more than once during the fighting, Canley twice leaped a wall in full view of the enemy to move wounded Marines to cover.

U.S. Rep. Julia Brownley, the California Democrat who wrote the legislation that allows Canley to receive the Medal of Honor, called the retired Marine a “true American hero and a shining example of the kind of gallantry and humility that makes our armed forces the best military in the world.”

Brownley introduced her bill after Defense Secretary James Mattis sent her a letter in December saying that he supported upgrading Canley’s Navy Cross to the Medal of Honor, but Congress needed to waive the five-year limit before further action could be taken.

“Once legislation is enacted authorizing the President of the United States, if he so chooses, to award Sergeant Major Canley the Medal of Honor, I will provide my endorsement to the President,” Mattis wrote.

“The final award authority for the Medal of Honor rests solely with the President,” the defense secretary added. “My favorable determination in no way presumes what the President's decision might be.”

Canley will be Brownley’s guest Tuesday when Trump delivers his State of the Union speech, the congresswoman said in a Monday news release.

“This honor is for all of the Marines with whom I served,” Canley said in the news release. “They are an inspiration to me to this day. I also want to thank Congresswoman Brownley and her staff, especially Laura Sether, for their effort and work to make this happen.”

Want to read more from Task & Purpose? Sign up for our daily newsletter »

Iran's top diplomat threatened an "all-out war" Thursday with the U.S. or Saudi Arabia if either country launches a retaliatory strike over a drone and missile attack on oil reserves that sent energy prices soaring.

Tehran's tough-talking foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, threw the gauntlet down, promising a battle that would go on "to the last American soldier."

Read More Show Less
Task & Purpose photo illustration by Paul Szoldra

After a pair of Army explosive ordnance disposal technicians were indicted on federal charges for attempting to sell weapons and explosives to smugglers headed to Mexico, one of the two men involved has been sentenced after taking a plea deal, according to court documents filed on Wednesday.

Read More Show Less

JALALABAD, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A U.S. drone strike intended to hit an Islamic State (IS) hideout in Afghanistan killed at least 30 civilians resting after a day's labor in the fields, officials said on Thursday.

The attack on Wednesday night also injured 40 people after accidentally targeting farmers and laborers who had just finished collecting pine nuts at mountainous Wazir Tangi in eastern Nangarhar province, three Afghan officials told Reuters.

"The workers had lit a bonfire and were sitting together when a drone targeted them," tribal elder Malik Rahat Gul told Reuters by telephone from Wazir Tangi.

Read More Show Less

Colt, one of the nation's largest and best-known gunmakers, will stop producing AR-15s for the civilian market, the company said this week.

Read More Show Less

The F-35 is built to win wars against China and Russia, but since the United States is not fighting either country at the moment, it's mostly being used to bomb caves and weapons caches — a mission that older and cheaper aircraft can do just as well.

The Marine Corps' F-35B variant flew its first combat mission in September 2018 by dropping two bombs on a weapons cache in Afghanistan. The Air Force's F-35A's combat debut came in April, when two aircraft attacked an ISIS cave and tunnel complex in northeast Iraq.

More recently, F-35s joined F-15s in dropping 80,000 pounds of ordnance on Iraq's Qanus Island, which was "infested" with ISIS fighters, Army Col. Myles Caggins, spokesman for U.S. and coalition forces fighting ISIS, tweeted Sept. 10.

Read More Show Less