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First Name: Gary

Last Name: Littrell

Birthplace: Henderson, KY, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Los Angeles, CA
Middle Name: Lee

Date of Birth: 26 October 1944

Rank: Command Sergeant Major

Years Served: 1961 - 1983
Gary Lee Littrell

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Gary Lee Littrell
Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Command Sergeant Major Gary Lee Littrell (born October 26, 1944) is a retired United States Army Command Sergeant Major who, while a Sergeant First Class serving as an adviser to Army of the Republic of Vietnam's Ranger units during the Vietnam War, acted with extraordinary courage during a four day siege on his battalion - for which he received the Medal of Honor.

Between April 4 and April 8, 1970, while serving on Advisory Team 21 of I Corps Advisory Group, in Kontum Province, Republic of Vietnam, Sergeant First Class Littrell was a Light Weapons Infantry Advisor with the 23rd Battalion, 2nd Ranger Group. The battalion was under intense mortar attack - all advisors, except Littrell were killed. Unrelentingly, over four days, Littrell kept the battalion inspired, while he directed artillery and air support, distributed ammunition, strengthened faltering defenses, cared for the wounded, and shouted encouragement to the Vietnamese in their own language. For his "sustained extraordinary courage and selflessness", Sfc. Littrell was awarded the Medal of Honor..

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, Advisory Team 21, 11 Corps Advisory Group.

Place and date: Kontum province, Republic of Vietnam, 4-8 April 1970.

Entered service at: Los Angeles, CA. Born: 26 October 1944, Henderson, KY.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sfc. Littrell, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, Advisory Team 21, distinguished himself while serving as a Light Weapons Infantry Advisor with the 23d Battalion, 2d Ranger Group, Republic of Vietnam Army, near Dak Seang. After establishing a defensive perimeter on a hill on April 4, the battalion was subjected to an intense enemy mortar attack which killed the Vietnamese commander, 1 advisor, and seriously wounded all the advisors except Sfc. Littrell. During the ensuing 4 days, Sfc Littrell exhibited near superhuman endurance as he single-handedly bolstered the besieged battalion. Repeatedly abandoning positions of relative safety, he directed artillery and air support by day and marked the unit's location by night, despite the heavy, concentrated enemy fire. His dauntless will instilled in the men of the 23d Battalion a deep desire to resist. Assault after assault was repulsed as the battalion responded to the extraordinary leadership and personal example exhibited by Sfc. Littrell as he continuously moved to those points most seriously threatened by the enemy, redistributed ammunition, strengthened faltering defenses, cared for the wounded and shouted encouragement to the Vietnamese in their own language. When the beleaguered battalion was finally ordered to withdraw, numerous ambushes were encountered. Sfc. Littrell repeatedly prevented widespread disorder by directing air strikes to within 50 meters of their position. Through his indomitable courage and complete disregard for his safety, he averted excessive loss of life and injury to the members of the battalion. The sustained extraordinary courage and selflessness displayed by Sfc. Littrell over an extended period of time were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him and the U.S. Army.

The Medal of Honor was presented to Littrell in a White House ceremony by President Richard Nixon on 15 October 1973.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal with Combat Valor Device (3)
Purple Heart
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star Device

Combat Infantryman Badge
Master Parachutist Badge
Air Assault Badge
Ranger Tab


In 1993, Littrell was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame, which serves to "honor and preserve the contributions of the most extraordinary U.S. Rangers in American history, to identify and highlight individuals as role models for current era Rangers, and to educate the public on the culture of the U.S. Army Rangers."

Honoree ID: 1013   Created by: MHOH




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