Guest Authors

Colonel (R) Robert L. Howard


24 Feburary 2010

From: Mellinger, Jeffrey J CSM MIL USA

Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Today, at Arlington National Cemetery, we lay to rest COL(R) Robert L. Howard.  The link for the interview is at the end of this email.

Read a bit about Howard at one of these links: The Robert L. Howard Tribute Website, The Congressional Medal of Honor Society Website, The Washington Post- Medal of Honor recipient Col. Robert L. Howard dies at 70.

COL(R) Howard was arguably America's most highly decorated Warrior ever, earning more awards for valor (10) than Audie Murphy, but he was surely America’s most highly living warrior until his death.  The US Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) Biographical Sketch.

Color image from the Robert L. Howard Tribute website.

Wounded 14 times in 54 months of combat duty in Vietnam, Robert Howard was awarded 8 Purple Hearts and was believed to be the most decorated living American.

Colonel Howard served five tours in Vietnam and is the only soldier in our nation's history to be nominated for the Medal of Honor three times for three separate actions within a thirteen-month period. He received a direct appointment from Master Sergeant to 1st Lieutenant in 1969, and was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Richard M. Nixon at the White House in 1971. Colonel Howard is one of America's most decorated soldiers. His other awards for valor include the Distinguished Service Cross - our nation's second highest award, the Silver Star - the third highest award, and eight Purple Hearts. He was the last Vietnam Special Forces Medal of Honor recipient still on active duty when he retired on Sept. 29, 1992.

Interview at the Pritzer Military Library Website.

Please find some time to read, listen and reflect on one of America’s real heroes – Robert L. Howard.  He was once my commander, and always my friend.  I last saw Bob in Iraq.


Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Yon, Afghani · 10 years ago
    America's Best

    Robert Howard was one of the finest warriors this country ever produced.

    He was my commander during Phase I of Special Forces selection.

    Michael Yon
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Greg from USA · 10 years ago
    Thank you, Col. Howard. You are a magnificent hero.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Eddy Williams · 10 years ago
    Thank you for your dedication and sacrifice, Col. Howard.

    Thanks for letting us know about this, Michael.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Roger Davis Sr · 10 years ago
    A salute from the heart to a dearly departed fellow Viet Nam Era veteran. May God bless and reward you for what you sacrificed for the American people.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Steve Kirby · 10 years ago
    His family, past and present, for the giving of their son/husband/father as one of America's true hero's and whose life is one to be emulated for his service to his Country and those of us who continue to live free due to the dedication and perserverance of hero's such as Col. Howard.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tom Reddish · 10 years ago
    Rest in peace and God Bless!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Chris Johnson · 10 years ago
    With all my respect I salute you. Rest in peace brother.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Old Marine · 10 years ago
    Thank you, from a grateful nation!

    Semper Fidelis
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dave Martinelli · 10 years ago
    Thank you for your sacrifice to my family and our nation. You pass silently into history, leaving this world to enjoy your well deserved reward.

    USN A4
  • This commment is unpublished.
    gary bagley · 10 years ago
    rest in peace brother
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John Peery · 10 years ago
    May God bless COL Robert L. Howard and his family for valor and service to this great country.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Honored · 10 years ago
    Col Howard'd deeds are a testament to what a True American is.
    May he rest in peace.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Pete Swartz · 10 years ago
    Col. Howard - An outstanding example of a unselfish patriot.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Fay · 10 years ago
    The world needs heroes. People that inspire us to do our best for God and Country.
    Colonel Howard was such a man! If I were a Hollywood Producer, I would make a movie
    of his life to inspire others. Rest in peace,warrior Howard. Thank you for your many
    sacrifices. Old Marine.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Stephen Blovat · 10 years ago
    A rare breed of men sir, thank you for your spirit and your dedication to soldiers and this country. God bless you.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jean · 10 years ago
    My prayers are with the family and a very heartfelt thank you to this great American Hero.Thank you Michael for bringing this to us so we can let the family know we know and are supporting them with our thoughts and prayers.i KNOW HE IS IN GOD'S LOVING ARMS AND IS AT PEACE WELL DESERVED.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Thomas M. Evans · 10 years ago
    May God Bless Col. Howard and his family for their service to this great country. His sacrifice and life are the stuff of true heroes and role models in this country. Rest in peace Soldier!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jason S · 10 years ago
    Thank you for your service, RIP.
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    Bryan · 10 years ago
    America has been blessed to have so many outstanding individuals serve and protect her. COL Howard appears to have been one of the best of the best. We are so fortunate and thankful for the service and bravery of our military and the exceptional men and women who serve us each day. We will not forget.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Georgia · 10 years ago
    Col Howard visited us out in the middle east last year while I was deployed. What was amazing about him was, we were there to meet one of our country's heros, and Col Howard shook our hands, thanked us for serving our country and asked us if we needed anything. He had sacrificed and served his country, he more than earned his retirement, but instead of resting into a comfortable retirement he traveled throughout the middle east visiting troops, telling us how thankful he was for our service to our country, and how if he could he would fight along side us every step of the way. Not only was he an American Hero, he was also this Nation's finest Patriot. God Bless Col Howard
  • This commment is unpublished.
    egale3 · 10 years ago
    Until the left-wing media and the left-wing politicians controlled the "Korean Conflict" America fought wars only to win. If our military was cut free to go in and "get her done" we would save countless American lives and great costs to our deficit. This man ignored at great cost to himself the stupidity of our armchair media and gave what he could for God, Honor, and Country. It is ashame how far we drifted because of the lack of resolve from LBJ and the liberals both in the media and in congress. When we are at war we need to get our politicians out of the way and let brave men like Robert do what he was trained to do! Thank-you from your country and peace in your eternal rest.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Cav16 · 10 years ago
    What a great American! I am humbled by his service. I will make sure my Grand children know about this true American hero.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tom Cooper · 10 years ago
    Thank you, Col Howard. You were a warrior's warrior.
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    Anthony · 10 years ago
    heroes like COL Howard will never be forgotten. God Bless!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Don Hinton · 10 years ago
    Our thanks for his contribution is not nearly enough after his departing. May we pray and invest ourselves that there be more men cut from his cloth, his teaching, his example - and do all we can in life to encourage and support such men.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Charlie Foxtrot · 10 years ago
    And Colonel, I have no doubts that St. Peter met you at the gates and said "Welcome Home".

    Semper Fidelis
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tom Cox · 10 years ago
    I wrote this back in November, but thought of it when I read the news, above, about another giant fallen.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tom Kaminski · 10 years ago
    Word's cannot express what a great patriot, soldier and roll model you are. You desreve your eternal rest. God Blass you.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    David M · 10 years ago
    'E was all that I 'ad in the way of a friend,
    An' I've 'ad to find one new;
    But I'd give my pay an' stripe for to get the beggar back,
    Which it's just too late to do.

    So it's knock out your pipes an' follow me!
    An' it's finish off your swipes an' follow me!
    Oh, 'ark to the fifes a-crawlin'!
    Follow me -- follow me 'ome!

    Take 'im away! 'E's gone where the best men go.
    Take 'im away! An' the gun-wheels turnin' slow.
    Take 'im away! There's more from the place 'e come.
    Take 'im away, with the limber an' the drum.

    For it's "Three rounds blank" an' follow me,
    An' it's "Thirteen rank" an' follow me;
    Oh, passin' the love o' women,
    Follow me -- follow me 'ome!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Larry Ferguson · 10 years ago
    If our country had just a couple dozen Robert Howards, I believe most all our problems would be solved.

    Rest in Peace, Dear Warrior.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    William Howard · 10 years ago
    I am proud to just bear the name of such a great American Hero! I only hope that somehow we are related by blood, if only a drop, I would be very honored! William Howard
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Terrence Collins · 10 years ago
    De Oppresso Liber Colonel
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    William Howard · 10 years ago
    I only hope that somehow Col. Robert L. Howard and I are related by blood, if it is only one drop I would be greatly honored and proud! William Howard former 113th INTC GP, 5th Army HQ.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ned Lewis · 10 years ago
    It is to men and women such as Colonel Howard, to my father (WWII), my brother (Vietnam) and my son (Gsgt.USMC,active) that we all owe our freedom and the magnificence of these great United States of America.
    Thank you
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Patrick Nisley · 10 years ago
    Fair winds and following seas PATRIOT. God bless and hold you close.
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    Tom Smith · 10 years ago
    It's too bad the 535 slugs in our Senate and House of Representatives don't have even an once of courage and a moral compass as Colonel Howard had. RIP
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Danny McKinney · 10 years ago
    May God Bless his soul and may he spend eternity with God.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Lynch · 10 years ago
    I for one have always regarded those who stand vigilant in the night and defend us day in and day out so we can sleep peacefully at night our heros. It is because of great men like Robert that put their life on the line for their fellow soldiers and us that make me very proud to be an American. Sleep peacefully gentle warrior...I will see you in Valhalla.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Steve Butcher · 10 years ago
    Thanks Bob, for the strength, the memories, the example of being true in the toughest of times. Gary Owen.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Anthony Alfaro · 10 years ago
    Col. Howard
    As a Vietnam vet, with honor and pride, I stand at attention and salute you.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jeff Stanley · 10 years ago
    I imagine because Col. Howard remained anonymous outside of the military community. It's no wonder that our country and culture has lost its way. We recognize celebrities who "play heroes on TV," while the real heroes in our midst remain unknown. Men and women who gave, and who are giving, so much on our behalf don't want to be "stars." But please be so kind as to accept this one civilian's salute. R.I.P., sir.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Frank · 10 years ago
    An exemplary soldier in every way!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Derek Weaver · 10 years ago
    Many years ago in Ranger School CPT Howard was our RI and he was incredible. His grit and determination had a positve impact on all of us. CPT Howard's affected so many during his distinguished career of service to the Nation. Trully a hero
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jim Hogue · 10 years ago
    ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead; We give thee thanks for all those thy servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country. Grant to them thy mercy and the light of thy presence, that the good work which thou hast begun in them may be perfected; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    James G. Edwards · 10 years ago
    I wll lift up Col Howard's famil;y in my prayers. Thank you sir for you dedication far above the call of Duty. You were a true American and a Soldier's Soldier. I salute your memory. I wish I had met you but I did serve with you and that make sme proud. America is safer because of your sacrifice. God Bless!!!!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Thomas Tencza · 10 years ago
    I spent 2.5 years in Nam . Would have liked to have met this man . Fought a long side him maybe (don't know if i could have kept up). He certainly took a beating in a short period of time from his medal awards . No PTSD ? with 14 purple hearts & 5 yr's in Nam . Lord this man has earned his rest . This Great American with little fan fare did his job well . SALUTE
  • This commment is unpublished.
    LTCRet · 10 years ago
    COL Howard was my first Battalion Commander. There were none better. If a person was not taking care of his soldiers may God have mercy on their soles as COL Howard would not. He led from the from the front. Rest in Peace Sir. Rest in Peace
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jeff Mellinger · 10 years ago
    What a man! What a Patriot! Its a sad day for America. Its a happy day for Col. Howard, the war is over and he has gone home.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Kristin · 10 years ago
    I love to hear and read about the stories of heroes. Have any books been written by or about Col. Howard? Our children need to hear about his patriotism, dedication, and the qualities of an American hero. May God continue to bless our troops and our country by remembering this awesome soldier and may we all try to live by his example.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Larry Letzer Sr. · 10 years ago
    Rest in peace brother soldier.

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