Captain Florent Groberg

born

1983

hometown

Bethesda, Maryland

enlistment date

July 2008

Date of Commission

December 2008

unit

Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division

deployments

Operation Enduring Freedom X & XIII, Afghanistan

Retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent "Flo" Groberg was born in Poissy, France, May 8, 1983. Groberg became a naturalized U.S. citizen, Feb. 27, 2001, and graduated from Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Md., in June of the same year.

“The proudest thing I have ever done in my life is to wear this uniform and serve my country.”

Retired Capt. Florent Groberg

Groberg attended the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) and competed in varsity track and cross country. In May 2006, Groberg graduated from UMD with a bachelor's degree in criminology and criminal justice.

Groberg entered the Army in July 2008 and attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga. He received his commission as an infantry officer, Dec. 4, 2008. After completing Infantry Officer Basic Course, Mechanized Leaders Course, U.S. Army Airborne and U.S. Army Ranger Schools, he was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colo., as a platoon leader.

“The proudest thing I have ever done in my life is to wear this uniform and serve my country.”

Retired Capt. Florent Groberg

In November 2009, he deployed to Afghanistan as part of Task Force Lethal, with responsibility for the Pech River Valley in Afghanistan's Kunar Province. Upon returning home in June 2010, he continued serving as a platoon leader until he was reassigned as an infantry company executive officer from October 2010 to November 2011. He was then assigned as the brigade personal security detachment commander for 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. He deployed again to Kunar Province, Afghanistan, in February of 2012, with Task Force Mountain Warrior. He was promoted to captain in July 2012.

Then-U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Florent Groberg conducts a key leader engagement meeting in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, February 2010. (Courtesy of Retired Capt. Florent Groberg)

Then-U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Florent Groberg conducts a key leader engagement meeting in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, February 2010. (Courtesy of Retired Capt. Florent Groberg)

Then-U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Florent Groberg conducting a meeting with local Afghan National Police in Kunar Porvince, Afghanistan in January 2010. (Courtesy of Retired Capt. Florent Groberg)

Then-U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Florent Groberg conducting a meeting with local Afghan National Police in Kunar Porvince, Afghanistan in January 2010. (Courtesy of Retired Capt. Florent Groberg)

Then-U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Florent Groberg conducts engagement meetings in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, with key leaders (left), February 2010, and local Afghan National Police (right), January 2010. (Photos courtesy of Retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg)

As a result of his actions, Groberg sustained the loss of 45 to 50 percent of his left calf muscle with significant nerve damage, a blown eardrum, and a mild traumatic brain injury. Groberg spent his recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center from August 2012 through May 2015. He was medically retired from Company B Warriors, Warrior Transition Battalion, as a captain, July 23, 2015.

Groberg's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three Bronze Service Stars; the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the U.S. Army Parachutists Badge, the U.S. Army Ranger Tab, and the Meritorious Unit Commendation.

Groberg currently resides in the National Capital Region and is a civilian employee of the Department of Defense.

In his own words

Firsthand account of Capt. Groberg's heroic actions

In his own words

Firsthand account of Capt. Groberg's heroic actions

The Battle

August 8, 2012 Asadabad, Afghanistan Provincial Governor's compound

On the morning of Aug. 8, 2012, U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg served as a personal security detachment (PSD) commander for Task Force Mountain Warrior -- responsible for the safety of 28 coalition and Afghan National Army (ANA) personnel, including several principals: two brigade commanders, two battalion commanders, the brigade command sergeant major, a battalion command sergeant major and an ANA battalion commander.

The patrol's escort mission included moving on foot from Forward Operating Base Fiaz to the provincial governor's compound in Asadabad, Kunar, Afghanistan for a weekly security meeting.

As the patrol advanced toward the governor's compound, they reached the choke point along the route, a small bridge spanning a canal feeding the Kunar River. The patrol halted near the bridge as two motorcycles approached from the opposite direction. The motorcyclists began crossing the bridge, but stopped midway before dismounting and retreating in the opposite direction.

A satellite image of Regional Command East, Asadabad District, Kunar Province, Afghanistan from August 2012. The graphic overlay depicts the blast location along the personal security detachment's route of travel from Forward Operating Base Fiaz, to the Kunar provincial governor's compound.

A satellite image of Regional Command East, Asadabad District, Kunar Province, Afghanistan from August 2012. The graphic overlay depicts the blast location along the personal security detachment's route of travel from Forward Operating Base Fiaz, to the Kunar provincial governor's compound.

As the patrol observed the motorcyclists, Groberg also spotted a lone individual near the left side of the formation, walking backwards in the direction of the patrol. The individual did not cause immediate alarm as there were other local civilians in the area.

However, when the individual made an abrupt turn toward the formation, Groberg rushed the suspect and shoved him away from the patrol. Groberg then immediately confirmed the individual was wearing a suicide vest, and with the help of Sgt. Andrew Mahoney, a fellow Soldier with the PSD, grabbed the suicide bomber, physically driving him away from the formation and down to the ground.

U.S. Army Sgt. Andrew Mahoney (left) of Laingsburg, Mich., with then-1st Lt. Florent Groberg serving on a personal security detail with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during a deployment to Regional Command-East, Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of Retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg)

Sgt. Andrew Mahoney and then-1st Lt. Groberg

U.S. Army Sgt. Andrew Mahoney (left) of Laingsburg, Mich., with then-1st Lt. Florent Groberg serving on a personal security detail with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during a deployment to Regional Command-East, Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of Retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg)

From left, then-Sgt. Addison Clark, 1st Lt. Florent Groberg, Pfc. Benjamin Secor, Sgt. 1st Class Brian Brink, Sgt. Andrew Mahoney and Spc. Daniel Balderrama of the brigade command group's personal security detail, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, take some downtime during a deployment to Kunar Province, Afghanistan, 2012. (Courtesy photo)

Soldiers of Task Force Mountain Warrior

From left, then-Sgt. Addison Clark, 1st Lt. Florent Groberg, Pfc. Benjamin Secor, Sgt. 1st Class Brian Brink, Sgt. Andrew Mahoney and Spc. Daniel Balderrama of the brigade command group's personal security detail, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, take some downtime during a deployment to Kunar Province, Afghanistan, 2012. (Courtesy photo)

While on the ground, the bomber's explosive vest detonated. The explosion caused a second suicide bomber, who remained hidden behind a small structure near the road, to detonate his vest prematurely. Most of the blast of the second bomber's suicide vest went straight into a building, adjacent to the patrol.

Groberg's actions disrupted both bombers from detonating as planned, saving the majority of lives he was charged with protecting.

U.S. Army Sgt. Andrew Mahoney (left) of Laingsburg, Mich., with then-1st Lt. Florent Groberg serving on a personal security detail with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during a deployment to Regional Command-East, Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of Retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg)

Sgt. Andrew Mahoney and then-1st Lt. Groberg

U.S. Army Sgt. Andrew Mahoney (left) of Laingsburg, Mich., with then-1st Lt. Florent Groberg serving on a personal security detail with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during a deployment to Regional Command-East, Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of Retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg)

From left, then-Sgt. Addison Clark, 1st Lt. Florent Groberg, Pfc. Benjamin Secor, Sgt. 1st Class Brian Brink, Sgt. Andrew Mahoney and Spc. Daniel Balderrama of the brigade command group's personal security detail, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, take some downtime during a deployment to Kunar Province, Afghanistan, 2012. (Courtesy photo)

Soldiers of Task Force Mountain Warrior

From left, then-Sgt. Addison Clark, 1st Lt. Florent Groberg, Pfc. Benjamin Secor, Sgt. 1st Class Brian Brink, Sgt. Andrew Mahoney and Spc. Daniel Balderrama of the brigade command group's personal security detail, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, take some downtime during a deployment to Kunar Province, Afghanistan, 2012. (Courtesy photo)

“Nothing can be accomplished without teamwork. I wouldn't be here without the incredible acts of my team.”

Retired Capt. Florent Groberg

President Barack Obama hosts the Medal of Honor Ceremony for retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg at the White House in Washington D.C., Nov. 12, 2015. Groberg received the medal for actions during a combat engagement in Kunar province, Afghanistan, Aug. 8, 2012 while he was the commander of a personal security detail for the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, when he and another Soldier, Sgt. Andrew Mahoney, identified and tackled a suicide bomber, saving the lives of the brigade commander and several others. (U.S. Army photo by Eboni L. Everson-Myart)

Show Caption +

President Barack Obama hosts the Medal of Honor Ceremony for retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg at the White House in Washington D.C., Nov. 12, 2015. Groberg received the medal for actions during a combat engagement in Kunar province, Afghanistan, Aug. 8, 2012 while he was the commander of a personal security detail for the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, when he and another Soldier, Sgt. Andrew Mahoney, identified and tackled a suicide bomber, saving the lives of the brigade commander and several others. (U.S. Army photo by Eboni L. Everson-Myart)

President Barack Obama hosts the Medal of Honor Ceremony for retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg at the White House in Washington D.C., Nov. 12, 2015. Groberg received the medal for actions during a combat engagement in Kunar province, Afghanistan, Aug. 8, 2012 while he was the commander of a personal security detail for the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, when he and another Soldier, Sgt. Andrew Mahoney, identified and tackled a suicide bomber, saving the lives of the brigade commander and several others. (U.S. Army photo by Eboni L. Everson-Myart)

Show Caption +

President Barack Obama hosts the Medal of Honor Ceremony for retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg at the White House in Washington D.C., Nov. 12, 2015. Groberg received the medal for actions during a combat engagement in Kunar province, Afghanistan, Aug. 8, 2012 while he was the commander of a personal security detail for the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, when he and another Soldier, Sgt. Andrew Mahoney, identified and tackled a suicide bomber, saving the lives of the brigade commander and several others. (U.S. Army photo by Eboni L. Everson-Myart)

Acting Secretary of the Army Hon. Eric K. Fanning signs retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg's Medal of Honor certificate recognizing his heroism and selfless service to the nation. President Obama presented Groberg with the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony Nov. 12, 2015. Groberg was inducted into the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes in a separate ceremony Nov.13, 2015, at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va. (U.S. Army photo by Mr. John G. Martinez)

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Acting Secretary of the Army Hon. Eric K. Fanning signs retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg's Medal of Honor certificate recognizing his heroism and selfless service to the nation. President Obama presented Groberg with the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony Nov. 12, 2015. Groberg was inducted into the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes in a separate ceremony Nov.13, 2015, at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va. (U.S. Army photo by Mr. John G. Martinez)

Retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg delivers Hall of Heroes remarks during his induction ceremony Nov. 13, 2015, at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va. (U.S. Army photo by Mr. John G. Martinez)

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Retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg delivers Hall of Heroes remarks during his induction ceremony Nov. 13, 2015, at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va. (U.S. Army photo by Mr. John G. Martinez)

Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Acting Army Secretary Eric K. Fanning, Medal of Honor recipient retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent A. Groberg, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey unveil a plaque bearing Groberg's name during his Hall of Heroes Induction Ceremony at the Pentagon, Nov. 13, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Steve Cortez)

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Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Acting Army Secretary Eric K. Fanning, Medal of Honor recipient retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent A. Groberg, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey unveil a plaque bearing Groberg's name during his Hall of Heroes Induction Ceremony at the Pentagon, Nov. 13, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Steve Cortez)

Secretary of Defense Hon. Ash Carter presents the Medal of Honor Flag to retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg during his Hall of Heroes induction ceremony Nov. 13, 2015, at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va. (U.S. Army photo by Mr. John G. Martinez)

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Secretary of Defense Hon. Ash Carter presents the Medal of Honor Flag to retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg during his Hall of Heroes induction ceremony Nov. 13, 2015, at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va. (U.S. Army photo by Mr. John G. Martinez)

“On his very worst day, he managed to summon his very best. That's the nature of courage -- not being unafraid, but confronting fear and danger and performing in a selfless fashion. He showed his guts, he showed his training; how he would put it all on the line for his teammates. That's an American we can all be grateful for.”

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

White House Medal of Honor Ceremony, Nov. 12, 2015

Task Force Mountain Warrior

4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division

4th Infantry Division

4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division

Read Unit History

Task Force Mountain Warrior Personal Security Detachment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, and Strike Brigade Personal Security Detachment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, led a dismounted patrol to attend a weekly scheduled provincial governor's security meeting, when they were struck by two person-borne improvised explosive devices with suicide vests in the Marawara District, Kunar Province of Afghanistan. The professionalism, skill and courage displayed by PSD Soldiers saved lives that day, but unfortunately, 16 Soldiers were injured, and four personnel were killed in the attack, including U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin, U.S. Army Maj. Thomas E. Kennedy, U.S. Air Force Maj. Walter D. Gray and USAID Foreign Service Officer Ragaei Abdelfattah.

4th Infantry Division

4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division

Read Unit History

“We defeated the enemy on that day. We sent a message that no matter how bad you want to hurt us, we're always going to keep standing up and bringing it back twice fold on you. But it was the worst day of my life, because even though we defeated the enemy, I lost four of my brothers.”

Retired Capt. Florent Groberg

Honoring our fallen heroes

U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin

Age: 45

Hometown: Laramie, Wyoming

MOS: Armor Crewman (19K)

U.S. Army Maj. Thomas E. Kennedy

Age: 35

Hometown: West Point, New York

MOS: Field Artillery (13A)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Walter D. Gray

Age: 38

Hometown: Conyers, Georgia

MOS: Air Liaison Officer (3LXX)

Mr. Ragaei Abdelfattah

Age: 43

Hometown: Annapolis, Maryland

Occupation: USAID Foreign Service Officer