Tuesday June 7, 2011
What is it?
The Distinguished Service Cross is the nation’s second highest award for valor in combat. It is awarded to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the Army, distinguishes himself or herself by extraordinary heroism not justifying the award of a Medal of Honor, but involving risk of life so extraordinary as to set the individual apart from his or her comrades.
What has the Army done?
On Jan. 26, 2011, the Army announced that it will present Tech. Sgt. Rocky Matayoshi, a WWII veteran from the 442d Regimental Combat Team, with the Distinguished Service Cross.
Of the over 11,200,000 American Soldiers who served in WWII, only approximately 4,000 have received the Distinguished Service Cross.
What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?
Tech. Sgt. Matayoshi distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a platoon sergeant with Company G, 2d Battalion, 442d Regimental Combat Team, during combat operations against an enemy on Mount Belvedere, Italy, on April 7, 1945. Tech Sgt. Matayoshi endured an overabundance of devastating automatic and small arms fire while leading a direct assault on a series of machine gun nests, killing enemy soldiers at as close as a five meter range. His charge secured key terrain, which paved the way for his Battalions’ pursuit of the retreating enemy Soldier, and the eventual penetration of the Gothic Line, a key chain of defense for Hitler.
For these acts, the Undersecretary of the Army, the Honorable Joseph Westphal, will present Tech. Sgt. Matayoshi with the Distinguished Service Cross today at 2 p.m. during a Pentagon Hall of Heroes ceremony.
Why is this important to the Army?
Tech. Sgt. Matayoshi’s selfless leadership, courageous actions, and extraordinary devotion to duty are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Company G, 2d Battalion, 442d Regimental Combat Team, and the U.S. Army.
Tech Sgt. Matayoshi’s unit, the 442d Regimental Combat Team, was an all Japanese-American unit that to this day remains one of the most highly decorated units in U.S. military history. The consistent selfless and courageous service displayed by the 442d Soldiers helped pave the way for future efforts to desegregate our Army, and the evolution of what has now become our Army’s long-standing tradition as a leader in embracing the strengths of our diverse people, and our commitment to being an adaptive, culturally astute force.
Related video: Tech Sgt. Matayoshi receives Distinguished Service Cross
INFORMATION YOU CAN USE
A Culture of Engagement
WHAT'S BEING SAID IN BLOGS
"These are questions we are looking at, but we need to do some hard thinking, because we could not have done what we did in Iraq and do what we’re doing here in Afghanistan without the operational engagement of the Guard … How much of the Guard that involves, and how we situate the Guard and reserve going forward is still a question everybody is looking at.”
- Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, while thanking U.S. Army Soldiers for their service and bidding them farewell at a forward operating base in Afghanistan, June 6, 2011, also gave assurance that the Defense Department is taking a look at the roles of the National Guard and Reserve components
" We’re not there to change values. We’re going to spread outreach, and if that changes women’s minds about what women are worth or what they are capable of, if we do indirectly change the valuation of women, great. But that’s not our purpose. We’re there to support our unit’s mission, which is also to support the government of Afghanistan."
- 1st Lt. Kristen Rouse, platoon leader supporting the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry Regiment’s Female Engagement Team
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