GREEN BERETS Plumlee, Earl D.

Craig Robertson

Staff member
Earl D.
  • UNIT
C Company, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne)
  • RANK
Staff Sergeant
Medal of Honor
Afghanistan 2013
home town Merritt, Oklahoma
10.1998 enlisted Oklahoma Army National Guard
2000 high school graduation
05.2000 - 12.2008 Marine Corps, and Marine Corps Reserve
05.02.2009 enlisted U.S. Army
originally awarded Silver Star, upgraded to Medal of Honor, December 2021
12.2021 currently Senior Weapons Sergeant HQ, 1st Special Forces Group, Fort Lewis, Washington
While deployed to Afghanistan, then-Staff Sergeant Plumlee instantly responded to a complex enemy attack that began with a massive explosion that tore a sixty-foot breach in the base’s perimeter wall. Ten insurgents wearing Afghan National Army uniforms and suicide vests poured through the breach. Staff Sergeant Plumlee and five Special Operations members, intent upon defending the base, mounted two vehicles and raced toward the site of the detonation. The vehicles, now no longer under cover, came under effective enemy fire from the front and right. Using his body to shield the driver from enemy fire, he instinctively reacted, exiting the vehicle while simultaneously drawing his pistol and engaging an insurgent to the vehicle’s right. Without cover and with complete disregard for his own safety, he advanced on the superior enemy force engaging multiple insurgents with only his pistol. Upon reaching cover, he killed two insurgents, one with a well-placed grenade and the other by detonating the insurgent’s suicide vest using precision sniper fire. Again disregarding his own safety, he left cover and advanced alone against the superior enemy force engaging several combatants at close range, including an insurgent whose suicide vest exploded a mere seven meters from his position. Undeterred and resolute, he joined a small group of American and Polish Soldiers, who moved from cover to counter-attack the infiltrators. As the force advanced, he engaged an insurgent to his front left. The wounded insurgent threw a grenade before detonating his suicide vest. Staff Sergeant Plumlee then swung around and engaged another insurgent who charged the group from the rear. The insurgent detonated his suicide vest, mortally wounding a U.S. Soldier. Staff Sergeant Plumlee, with complete disregard for his own safety, ran to the wounded Soldier, carried him to safety, and rendered first aid. He then organized three Polish Soldiers for defense, methodically cleared the area, remained in a security posture, and continued to scan for any remaining threats.


Medal of Honor : (Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Sergeant First Class Earl D. Plumlee, United States Army, for gallantry in action in August 2013, while serving with Operation Detachment Alpha 1434 (ODA-1434), 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan. Sergeant First Class Plumlee distinguished himself when a vehicle-borne IED initiated an attack on Forward Operating Base Ghazni, Afghanistan, followed by the attack of nine insurgents armed with small arms, grenades, rocket-propelled grenades and suicide vests. During the attack, Sergeant First Class Plumlee repeatedly engaged the enemy at close range, was wounded by a detonating suicide vest, risked his life to bring another Soldier to safety and provide first aid, all while continually putting himself in the line of fire in order to prevent the assault from penetrating the perimeter of the FOB. His gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.