Profiles in Courage

Admiral Paul A. Yost Jr, U.S. Coast Guard (1951-1990)

Admiral Paul A. Yost Jr, U.S. Coast Guard (1951-1990)

When Paul A. Yost Jr. assumed the position of Commandant of the United States Coast Guard in 1986, he approached the role with a powerful philosophy: "You have to lead the charge." At the time this was considered as an over-aggressive approach to leading what was viewed as more of a law enforcement agency than a military organization, but Admiral Yost had learned that lesson the hard way - in the jungles of Vietnam. Ever since they discovered a fishing vessel smuggling weapons into Vung Ro Bay...

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CSM Bennie Adkins, U.S. Army (1956-1978) – Medal of Honor Recipient

CSM Bennie Adkins, U.S. Army (1956-1978) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Presented with the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama in 2014, Bennie Adkins distinguished himself as a war hero during three tours of duty between 1963 and 1971, later creating a charitable foundation to help returning veterans to attend further education and settle into civilian life. President Obama said at the time, 'to be honest, in a battle and daring escape that lasted four days, Bennie performed so many acts of bravery we actually don't have time to talk about all of them.'...

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Capt. David McCampbell, U.S. Navy (1933-1964)

Capt. David McCampbell, U.S. Navy (1933-1964)

All available fighter pilots! Man your planes!" boomed the squawk box in Essex' ready room. The ship's radar had detected three large groups of Japanese planes coming in. David McCampbell, the CAG, and the Navy's most famous aviator considered this announcement. Earlier that morning, Admiral Sherman himself had forbidden McCampbell from joining a dawn sortie. Given his responsibilities as Commander of Essex' Air Group and his public prominence as a top ace, McCampbell was too valuable. He...

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Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, U.S. Navy (1994–Present)

Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, U.S. Navy (1994–Present)

As the USS Abraham Lincoln sailed into San Diego Thursday, Aug. 11, with two destroyers in tow and some 6,000 sailors and Marines aboard, it marked the completion of a U.S. military first: Navy Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt has now completed her first mission as the first woman to command a U.S. aircraft carrier. The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier left for a routine deployment to the Indo-Pacific region — generally ranging from the Philippines to the South China Sea — on Jan. 3. Over the next...

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Lt. Russell J. Brown, U.S. Air Force (1948-1955)

Lt. Russell J. Brown, U.S. Air Force (1948-1955)

Jet fighters first made an appearance in the German Luftwaffe during World War II, but the technology had come a long way by the time the Korean War started in 1950. At first, the North Korean air forces were flying Soviet-built propeller-driven fighters, and the United States forces were flying American-made P-51 Mustangs and Vought F4U Corsairs. As the war dragged on, both sides got substantial upgrades.  When the Korean People's Air Force started flying the MiG-15, it was clear that...

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Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone, U.S. Marine Corps (1934-45)

Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone, U.S. Marine Corps (1934-45)

Today's United States Marines have many idols. Unsurprisingly, these are often other Marines, Marines who served in wars past but distinguished themselves and exemplified what it means to call oneself a United States Marine. Few of these idols loom as large as Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone.  Basilone was born to an Italian family in Upstate New York and raised in New Jersey. He was working as a golf caddy when he decided to join the Army in 1934. It was, of course, years before the United...

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Cpl Daniel Dwain Schoonover, U.S. Army (1952-1953)

Cpl Daniel Dwain Schoonover, U.S. Army (1952-1953)

Pork Chop Hill is one of the most infamous battle sites of the Korean War. A communist force met an equal number of United Nations troops twice in the spring and summer of 1953. They fought over a North Korean hill that, in retrospect, had little strategic value. The Importance of Pork Chop Hill Whether the hill was essential to the overall war effort or not, the American and United Nations troops who fought for the position did so with courage and valor, the way they would attack any...

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LtGen Arthur MacArthur Jr., U.S. Army (1861-1909)

LtGen Arthur MacArthur Jr., U.S. Army (1861-1909)

With no less than 620,000 deaths recorded over four years of intense fighting between Confederate and Union forces, the American Civil War remains the bloodiest conflict in American history. Playing host to battles such as Shiloh, Antietam, Stones River, and Gettysburg, the Civil War holds tales of unprecedented violence, ferocious bravery, and unparalleled heroism. Among these many tales is that of Lieutenant General Arthur MacArthur Jr. whose bravery at the most critical moment inspired his...

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MajGen Frank Baldwin, U.S. Army (1861-1906)

MajGen Frank Baldwin, U.S. Army (1861-1906)

Receiving the Medal of Honor for valor in combat puts one in the hallowed company of but a few thousand individuals to ever grace the earth. But by the time you earn two Medals of Honor, you are one of 19 persons to have ever done so. Perhaps it is because the Medal of Honor is quite often awarded posthumously but receiving two and living to talk about it is a rare feat in the world. Frank Baldwin would do just that in the 1800s and live to become a General by World War 1. His first would come...

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Gen Louis H. Wilson, U.S.Marine Corps (1941–1979) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Gen Louis H. Wilson, U.S.Marine Corps (1941–1979) – Medal of Honor Recipient

There have been a few Commandants who had been recipients of the Medal of Honor, but Louis H. Wilson was the last. And given that the entire ranks of the modern Marine Corps are currently devoid of any officers with the nation's highest military honor it could be quite some time before the world would ever see it again. His tenure as the nation's top Marine from 1975 to 1979 would be one of remarkable transitions. The World War II generation had all but faded out, and the Commandant who...

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SFC Ronald Rosser, U.S. Army  (1946-1962) – Medal of Honor Recipient

SFC Ronald Rosser, U.S. Army (1946-1962) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Medal of Honor Recipient Ronald Rosser passed away on Wednesday Aug 26, 2020 in Bumpus Mills, Tenessee at the age of 90 from issues related to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He was awarded the medal for his bravery during the Korean War. Ronald Rosser was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1929. His father was a coal miner. When he turned 17, his mother gave birth to twins. He decided there wasn't enough room for him at home, so he followed his brother into the military in 1946. He served for three years and...

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