Medal of Honor for Staff Sgt. Travis W. Atkins

Friday, March 22, 2019

What is it?

Staff Sgt. Travis W. Atkins is being posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor at a White House Ceremony on Mar. 27, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. ET. Atkins is receiving the nation's highest award of valor for his combat actions on June 1, 2007, while being assigned to 10th Mountain Division, in Abu Samak, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The president will present the award to Atkins' next-of-kin and son, Trevor Oliver.

Staff Sgt. Travis W. Akins is the third U.S. Army Soldier to posthumously receive a Medal of Honor for actions during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Atkins risked his life and went above-and-beyond the call of duty while being engaged in hand-to-hand combat with a suspected insurgent. During his attempt to subdue the insurgent, Atkins realized that the insurgent was wearing a suicide vest under his clothing. He continued to tackle the suicide bomber and selflessly used his own body to shield his Soldiers from the imminent explosion. Atkins' heroic actions, at the cost of his life, saved the lives of three of his teammates.

What are the current and past efforts of the Army?

Atkins was initially awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC), the Army's second-highest award for valor. The DSC upon review has been upgraded to a Medal of Honor award.

The Office of the Chief of Public Affairs creates a Medal of Honor microsite to pay tribute to all recipients, including Staff Sgt. Travis W. Atkins. Visitors to the mobile-friendly multimedia site can access his biography and read an account of Atkins' heroism above-and-beyond the call of duty.

The White House ceremony will be live-streamed from the Staff Sgt. Travis W. Atkins microsite and live-tweeted from the @USArmy Twitter handle. In addition, exclusive content about Atkins will be published on the Army Facebook page.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned?

In addition to the ceremony at the White House, DOD and Army senior leaders will recognize Atkins' and his family during a Hall of Heroes induction ceremony at the Pentagon, scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 28. This ceremony will also be live-streamed from Atkins' Medal of Honor microsite.

Why is this important to the Army?

The Army's greatest assets are the people- the finest men and women the nation has to offer. The Army's commitment to the brave men and women does not stop when they transition from the Army uniform. The Army is proud to recognize Atkins' professionalism, service and sacrifice in full view of a new generation.

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MARCH 2019

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Focus Quote for the Day

When my 4-year-old son Travis tells me his favorite superhero is Captain America and asks me who my favorite superhero is, my reply always has and will be Staff Sgt. Travis W. Atkins.

- Aaron Hall, who was a sergeant and battle buddy of Staff Sgt. Travis W. Atkins in Abu Samak, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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