LT (jg) Robert Bob Kerrey
Medal of Honor Citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a SEAL team leader during action against enemy aggressor (Viet Cong) forces. Acting in response to reliable intelligence, Lt. (j.g.) Kerrey led his SEAL team on a mission to capture important members of the enemy’s area political cadre known to be located on an island in the bay of Nha Trang. In order to surprise the enemy, he and his team scaled a 350-foot sheer cliff to place themselves above the ledge on which the enemy was located. Splitting his team in 2 elements and coordinating both, Lt. (jg.) Kerrey led his men in the treacherous downward descent to the enemy’s camp. Just as they neared the end of their descent, intense enemy fire was directed at them, and Lt. (jg.) Kerrey received massive injuries from a grenade that exploded at his feet and threw him backward onto the jagged rocks. Although bleeding profusely and suffering great pain, he displayed outstanding courage and presence of mind in immediately directing his element’s fire into the heart of the enemy camp. Utilizing his radio, Lt. (jg.) Kerrey called in the second element’s fire support, which caught the confused Viet Cong in a devastating crossfire. After successfully suppressing the enemy’s fire, and although immobilized by his multiple wounds, he continued to maintain calm, superlative control as he ordered his team to secure and defend an extraction site. Lt. (jg.) Kerrey resolutely directed his men, despite his near unconscious state, until he was eventually evacuated by helicopter. The havoc brought to the enemy by this very successful mission cannot be over-estimated. The enemy soldiers who were captured provided critical intelligence to the allied effort. Lt. (jg.) Kerrey’s courageous and inspiring leadership, valiant fighting spirit, and tenacious devotion to duty in the face of almost overwhelming opposition sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
An ever smiling face coupled with great courage even under distressing situations – such is the personality of LT (jg) Robert Bob Kerrey. Having led numerous combat battles in the notorious Vietnam war, LT (jg) Robert Bob Kerrey has always been a guiding beacon of hope among all aspiring Navy SEALs.
His strategic war plans
It was mainly due to LT (jg) Robert Bob Kerreys ingenuous plans during the Vietnam war that many of the combat battles were successfully won. In fact one of the most memorable was when he and his team members climbed a steep 350 foot cliff just to attack the enemy by surprise! As part of this Navy SEAL mission LT (jg) Robert Bob Kerrey and his team mates climbed the mountain to reach the ledge on which the enemy was situated. Then he divided his team into 2 sections and while supervising them both, LT (jg) Robert Bob Kerrey descended downward into enemy territory. As soon as he and his team reached the foot of the mountain he and his teammates suffered heavy injuries due to severe firing from the enemy. There was even a grenade that was hurled at his foot thus hurling him backwards against the rocks.
The presence of mind
LT (jg) Robert Bob Kerrey displayed tremendous amounts of both courage and presence of mind during this famous Navy SEALs operation. He not only directed his team mates to fire into the heart of the camp of the enemy he also used his radio to call in the second portion of the team for additional fire support. This confused the Vietnamese soldiers who didnt know which team to tackle first. In the crossfire that ensued LT (jg) Robert Bob Kerrey was able to successfully suppress the enemys firing.
The immense courage
LT (jg) Robert Bob Kerrey displayed his calm nature and collectedness in spite of having such severe injuries. His injuries prevented him from moving even an inch and in spite of such excruciating pain he was able to successfully and cool headedly guide his teams to secure as well as defend an extraction site. He was directing his men even when he was on the verge of becoming unconscious. He was eventually rescued by a helicopter after this most taxing Navy SEALs mission. However he lost a leg during this operation.
The critical importance
The reason why LT (jg) Robert Bob Kerrey is so revered in the history of the Vietnam war is because not only did he and his team mates wreak havoc on the Vietnamese enemy soldiers, but many of the captured soldiers provided valuable inputs and secret information to the allied effort. LT (jg) Robert Bob Kerreys unrelenting devotion to the nations honor, his immense courage even under the most taxing situations and his heroic spirit is what inspires Navy SEALs even to this day. LT (jg) Robert Bob Kerrey has even become a US Senator for Nebraska State and currently he has retired from political life. However, there are rumors that he may return.
In later life he became a U.S. Senator for the State of Nebraska and has retired from political life though there have been ruors of a political comeback.
He dated Debra Winger, the actress when they met while she was filiming in Nebraska. Upon being asked about his romantic life he quipped What can I say, she swept me off my foot! referring to the fact that he only had one leg.
Bob Kerrey is the President of the New School, a New York university which he has overseen during a far reaching transformation of the institution over the last 6 years. He is now based in New York.
This Article is written by James Kara Murat