Medal of Honor recipient
December 7, 1929|
La Junta, Colorado
July 25, 1953 (aged 23)|
KIA in Korea
|Place of burial||Fort Bliss National Cemetery|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||c. 1947–1953|
|Unit||2nd Battalion, 7th Marines|
Medal of Honor|
Purple Heart Medal
Combat Action Ribbon
Staff Sergeant Ambrosio Guillen (December 7, 1929 – July 25, 1953) was a United States Marine who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor—the United States' highest military award for valor—for his heroic actions and sacrifice of life on July 25, 1953, two days before the ceasefire, during the Korean War. He was responsible for his infantry platoon's turning an overwhelming enemy attack into a defeat and disorderly retreat.
Guillen enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at the age of 18. He completed recruit training at San Diego, California, and was assigned to the 7th Marine Regiment. Later he was chosen for Sea School, and after graduation, served on the USS Curtiss. Following his tour of sea duty, he was appointed a drill instructor at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego.
He trained two recruit honor platoons and was given a Letter of Appreciation by his Commanding General. In that letter, MajGen John T. Walker stated, "your success in training these two platoons has demonstrated your outstanding ability as a leader." That ability was proven in combat soon after SSgt. Guillen arrived in Korea.
On July 25, 1953, while defending a forward outpost against a large enemy attack, near Songuch-on, Korea, SSgt. Guillen and his platoon were able to defeat the enemy and put them in retreat. After the fighting, he died from being wounded during the battle. For his heroic leadership and sacrifice of life, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. The Medal or Honor awarded to SSgt. Guillen was presented to his parents on his behalf by the Secretary of the Navy Charles S. Thomas, during a special ceremony in his office on August 18, 1954.
Medal of Honor
SSgt. Guillen's Medal of Honor citation reads:
STAFF SERGEANT AMBROSIO GUILLEN
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following
/S/ DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a platoon Sergeant of Company F, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on July 25, 1953. Participating in the defense of an outpost forward of the main line of resistance, Staff Sergeant GUILLEN maneuvered his platoon over unfamiliar terrain in the face of hostile fire and placed his men in fighting positions. With his unit pinned down when the outpost was attacked under cover of darkness by an estimated force of two enemy battalions supported by mortar and artillery fire, he deliberately exposed himself to the heavy barrage and attacks to direct his men in defending their positions and personally supervise the treatment and evacuation of the wounded. Inspired by his leadership, the platoon quickly rallied and engaged the enemy force in fierce hand-to-hand combat. Although critically wounded during the course of the battle, Staff Sergeant Guillen refused medical aid and continued to direct his men throughout the remainder of the engagement until the enemy was defeated and thrown into disorderly retreat. Succumbing to his wounds within a few hours, Staff Sergeant GUILLEN, by his outstanding courage and indomitable fighting spirit, was directly responsible for the success of his platoon in repelling a numerically superior enemy force. His personal valor reflects the highest credit upon himself and enhances the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
After the Korean War truce, his body was escorted to the United States by his brother, who had been serving in the Far East with the United States Army. SSgt. Guillen was buried in Fort Bliss National Cemetery on October 20, 1953, in El Paso, Texas.
- The Ambrosio Guillen Texas State Veterans Home in El Paso is named in his honor.
- Guillen Middle School in the El Paso Independent School District.
- List of Medal of Honor recipients
- List of Korean War Medal of Honor recipients
- List of Hispanic Medal of Honor recipients
- Hispanics in the United States Marine Corps
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.
- "Staff Sergeant Ambrosio Guillen, USMC". Who's Who in Marine Corps History. United States Marine Corps. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
- "Medal of Honor citation". Retrieved September 24, 2010.