Alwyn Cashe

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Alwyn Cashe
Alwyn Cashe portrait.jpg
Birth nameAlwyn Crendall Cashe
Born(1970-07-13)July 13, 1970
Sanford, Florida, U.S.
DiedNovember 8, 2005(2005-11-08) (aged 35)
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
Allegiance United States
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1988–2005
RankSergeant first class
Unit1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division
Battles/warsGulf War
Iraq War
AwardsSilver Star
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart

Alwyn Crendall Cashe (July 13, 1970 – November 8, 2005) of Company A, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, was a United States Army Non-Commissioned Officer posthumously awarded the Silver Star for heroism in Iraq. Cashe's award is controversial, prompting significant subsequent debate and discussion of an upgrade of his award to the Medal of Honor.

Early life[edit]

Alwyn Cashe was born in Sanford, Florida July 13, 1970.[1] He was raised in Oviedo, Florida and attended Oviedo High School, graduating in 1988.

Military career[edit]

Cashe enlisted in the US Army following high school graduation in 1988.[2] An infantryman, he served tours of duty in the 1991 Gulf War and in Iraq following the 2003 invasion prior to his tour with the 3rd Infantry Division.[2]

Silver Star Citation Summary[edit]

Acting as Platoon Sergeant of 1st Platoon of Alpha Company from Forward Operating Base Mackenzie, Sergeant First Class Cashe departed Forward Operating Base (FOB) Mackenzie October 17, 2005 on a route clearance mission in the city of Daliaya, Iraq.[3] Cashe was in the lead Bradley Fighting Vehicle when it struck an Improvised Explosive Device, rupturing the vehicle's fuel cell, covering Cashe in fuel, and causing the vehicle to burst into flames.[3] Cashe, initially slightly injured, exited the vehicle and assisted the vehicle's driver to exit the burning Bradley and extinguish the flames on his clothes.[3] Six soldiers and an interpreter remained in the rear of the vehicle, which was in flames.[3] Cashe moved to the rear of the vehicle and reached into the flames to remove injured soldiers, while his fuel-soaked uniform burned.[3] Cashe dragged rescued soldiers from the burning vehicle, returning multiple times to continue to pull troops from the burning vehicle, all the while afire himself.[3] Cashe rescued 6 soldiers from the flames and denied medical evacuation until others were evacuated.[3] The interpreter was killed in the action, with 10 soldiers wounded, 7 severely.[3]

Cashe was burned over 72% of his body. He succumbed to his injuries November 8, 2005 at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas.[4] He was survived by his wife and children.

Legacy and subsequent Medal of Honor consideration[edit]

On July 19, 2014, a new Army Reserve center in Sanford, Florida was memorialized for Cashe.[5] On May 11, 2019, the Oviedo Post Office was renamed in Cashe's honor.[6]

As of July 23, 2020, Alwyn Cashe's son, Andrew Cashe, graduated US Army One Station Unit Training (OSUT) for Infantry at Fort Benning, Georgia.[7]

Campaign to upgrade Cashe's Silver Star to the Medal of Honor[edit]

Major General Gary Brito, Cashe's battalion commander at the time of the action, did not initially realize the extent of Cashe's injuries and the pain he must have been in when he nominated Cashe for the Silver Star award. Witnesses were evacuated for medical treatment and unavailable for statement. Brito subsequently submitted additional statements to the Army to justify upgrading Cashe's award to the Medal of Honor. Brito continues to support efforts to upgrade Cashe's Silver Star to the Medal of Honor[8]

On October 17, 2019, the 14th anniversary of Cashe's actions, three members of Congress wrote[9] to Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy formally requesting an upgrade of Cashe's award to the Medal of Honor. The letter was authored by retired Navy SEAL Dan Crenshaw, former Special Forces officer Michael Waltz and Stephanie Murphy.[10]

On August 24, 2020 Secretary of Defense, Mark T. Esper, agreed that SFC Cashe's actions merit award of the Medal of Honor.[citation needed]

Cashe letter.jpg

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rep. Murphy Speech at Dedication Ceremony Honoring SFC Alwyn Cashe". U.S. Representative Stephanie Murphy. May 11, 2019. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe| Military Times". thefallen.militarytimes.com. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Alwyn Cashe - Recipient -". valor.militarytimes.com. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  4. ^ "Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe| Military Times". valor.militarytimes.com. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  5. ^ "Army Reserve center dedicated to fallen Florida hero". DVIDS. July 19, 2014. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  6. ^ "Murphy hosts post office dedication for Oviedo war hero". The Seminole Source. May 9, 2019. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  7. ^ Packman, Aaron (June 4, 2020). "SFC Alwyn Cashe's Son - Andrew, is half-way through Basic Combat Training". Military Vanguard. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  8. ^ Zucchino, David (December 7, 2014). "Medal of Honor campaign continues for black sergeant who saved troops". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  9. ^ "Murphy, Crenshaw, Waltz Urge the Defense Department to Award Alwyn Cashe the Medal of Honor". U.S. Representative Stephanie Murphy. October 17, 2019. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  10. ^ Harkins, Gina (October 17, 2019). "Vets in Congress Renew Medal of Honor Plea for Army 'Legend' Alwyn Cashe". Military.com. Retrieved June 10, 2020.