Soldiers from 4th Squadron, 9th U.S. Cavalry Regiment "Dark Horse," 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, are escorted by observer controllers from the U.S. Army Operational Test Command after completing field testing of the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) Sept. 24, 2018. (U.S. Army/Maj. Carson Petry)

The Army has awarded a $575 million contract to BAE Systems for the initial production of its replacement for the M113 armored personnel carriers the service has been rocking downrange since the Vietnam War.

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Retired Maj. Gen. John Admire (right) handshakes retired Maj. Edward F. Wright (left) at Portland, Ore., Feb. 1, 2019. Wright was awarded the medal for his actions on Aug. 21, 1967. (U.S. Marine Corps/Andy O. Martinez)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

A retired officer whose leadership helped save soldiers and Marines pinned down by North Vietnamese fighters in 1967 received the third-highest award for valor on Friday for his heroism more than five decades ago.

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Marines drag casualty from street fighting for control of southern bridge, head across street to an ambulance in Hue, Vietnam, Feb. 4, 1968. (Associated Press)

At the end of January in 1968, the Viet Cong launched an offensive that turned the tide of the Vietnam War.

The Tet Offensive began on January 30 as the North Vietnamese occupied the city of Hue. U.S. Marines spent nearly a month fighting a brutal urban battle to retake the city — which was 80% destroyed by the battle's end, according to H.D.S. Greenway, a photographer embedded with the Marines during the war.

An estimated 1,800 Americans lost their lives during the battle.

But in the midst of the chaos, five men who faced harrowing circumstances risked their lives to save those of their comrades — and earned the nation's highest award for courage in combat, the Medal of Honor.

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Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Charles Kettles was awarded the Medal of Honor July 18, 2016, for his actions while serving as a Flight Commander assigned to the 176th Aviation Company (Airmobile) (Light), 14th Combat Aviation Battalion, Americal Division. Then-Maj. Kettles distinguished himself in combat operations near Duc Pho, Republic of Vietnam, on May 15, 1967. (U.S. Army/Spc. Tammy Nooner)

YPSILANTI, MI - When a brigade of U.S. troops was ambushed by the North Vietnamese Army in the Song Tra Cau riverbed on the morning of May 15, 1967, Lt. Charles Kettles volunteered to lead the rescue, and he refused, again and again, to back down when faced with a barrage of gunfire.

His aircraft badly damaged, left spilling fuel, and his gunner was severely injured during the treacherous operation.

But he helicoptered in and out of the battlefield four times, saving the lives of 44 soldiers in a death-defying emergency operation that would become a legendary tale of bravery in the Vietnam War.

Nearly 50 years later, Kettles received the Medal of Honor on July 18, 2016.

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R. Lee Ermey was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.

Best known for his iconic role as the Marine Corps drill instructor Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in the war drama Full Metal Jacket, Ermey died April 15, 2018 at age 74 due to complications from pneumonia, Task & Purpose previously reported.

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Retired Col. Joe Jackson poses with a permanent Medal of Honor display March 24, 2015, at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. The display depicts him and other medal recipients. (U.S. Air Force/Scott M. Ash)

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Medal of Honor recipient Joe M. Jackson, a retired Air Force colonel and veteran of three wars, died Sunday. He was 95.

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society announced Monday that Jackson had died in Washington state.

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