Presentation Ceremony at The White House, May 14, 1970. President Nixon's Remarks
Upon Awarding the Medal of Honor to Twelve Members of the Armed Services. Citation for
Charles Calvin Rogers read by Secretary of the Army Thaddeus R. Beal.
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PRESENTATION CEREMONY AT THE WHITE HOUSE
Ladies and gentlemen,
MAY 14, 1970
PRESIDENT NIXON'S REMARKS ON PRESENTING THE MEDAL OF HONOR TO TWELVE MEMBERS OF THE ARMED SERVICES
CITATION FOR CHARLES CALVIN ROGERS READ BY SECRETARY OF THE ARMY THADDEUS R. BEAL
I am very honored to welcome this group here in the East Room of the White House this morning, and
particularly because this is one of those occasions that is one of the really mountaintop
experiences for a President of the United States.
The Medal of Honor has been described many times, and there are no words that can add to the
grandeur of that medal, what it means to those who receive it.
I will simply say today that as we think of this great country of ours—particularly in this
room, where we see the pictures of President Washington and Martha Washington, who, incidentally,
were the only First Family that never lived in this house; it wasn't built until after their
term—as we think of the beginning of this country 190 years ago, we think of it as the land
of the free. We should all be reminded that it could not be the land of the free if it were not
also the home of the brave.
Today we honor the brave men, the men who, far beyond the call of duty, served their country
magnificently in a war very far away, in a war which is one, many times, not understood and not
supported by some in this country.
I simply want to say to those who receive the medal and to those who are your families, that
there are millions of your countrymen who today honor you as I have the privilege of representing
them by presenting this medal to you.
I believe also as I stand here, that as time goes on, millions more of your countrymen will look
back at the experience that you have participated in and they will reach the conclusion that you
served the cause of the land of the free by being brave, brave far beyond the call of duty; so
brave that you received the very highest award that this Nation can provide.
We will now go forward with the ceremony, and I understand, incidentally, that as I present the
awards, we will move to each recipient and after I present the award to them, I am going to turn
around for a family picture with each of them, so if you will all sort of stay in place until we
get the pictures taken.
Secretary Beal of the Army will read the citations.
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has
awarded in the name of The Congress the Medal of Honor to Lieutenant Colonel Charles C. Rogers
United States Army for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life
above and beyond the call of duty.
Lieutenant Colonel Charles C. Rogers, Field Artillery, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry
and intrepidity in action on I November 1968, while serving as Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion,
5th Artillery, 1st Infantry Division during the defense of a forward fire support base in the
Republic of Vietnam. In the early morning hours, the fire support base was subjected to a
concentrated bombardment of heavy, mortar, rocket and rocket propelled grenade fire. Simultaneously
the position was struck by a human wave ground assault, led by sappers who breached the defensive
barriers with bangalore torpedoes and penetrated the defensive perimeter. Colonel Rogers with complete
disregard for his own safety moved through the hail of fragments from bursting enemy rounds to the
embattled area. He aggressively rallied the dazed artillery crewmen to man their howitzers and he
directed their fire on the assaulting enemy. Although knocked to the ground and wounded by an
exploding round, Colonel Rogers sprang to his feet and led a small counterattack force against an
enemy element that had penetrated the howitzer positions. Although painfully wounded a second time
during the assault, Colonel Rogers pressed the attack killing several of the enemy and driving the
remainder from the positions. Refusing medical treatment, Colonel Rogers reestablished and reinforced
the defensive positions. As a second human wave attack was launched against another sector of the
perimeter, Colonel Rogers directed artillery fire on the assaulting enemy and led a second counterattack
against the charging forces. His valorous example rallied the beleaguered defenders to repulse and
defeat the enemy onslaught. Colonel Rogers moved from position to position through the heavy enemy
fire, giving encouragement and direction to his men. At dawn the determined enemy launched a third
assault against the fire base in an attempt to overrun the position. Colonel Rogers moved to the
threatened area and directed lethal fire on the enemy forces. Seeing a howitzer inoperative due
to casualties, Colonel Rogers joined the surviving members of the crew to return the howitzer to
action. While directing the position defense, Colonel Rogers was seriously wounded by fragments from
a heavy mortar round which exploded on the parapet of the gun position. Although too severely wounded
to physically lead the defenders, Colonel Rogers continued to give encouragement and direction to his
men in the defeating and repelling of the enemy attack. Colonel Rogers' dauntless courage and heroism
inspired the defenders of the fire support base to the heights of valor to defeat a determined and
numerically superior enemy force. His relentless spirit of aggressiveness, conspicuous gallantry
and intrepidity in action at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty are in the
highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the
United States Army.
Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. As we conclude this ceremony, I can only say that I hope that
those of us who have the responsibilities in Government here can work as effectively, as courageously
in the cause of a just and lasting peace as you have served this country in war.
At the conclusion of these ceremonies in the East Room we always like to invite our guests to make
this your home, because this belongs to the whole country. Down in the State Dining Room we have
some refreshments that you might enjoy, some coffee, tea, pastries, and so forth.
Mrs. Nixon, unfortunately, today is attending a luncheon at the Congress which traditionally is given
for the First Lady, but my daughter, Julie Eisenhower, will be your hostess, and I know she will
very much enjoy welcoming all of you, and particularly seeing all of these young children who
Again, we are very proud to have you in this house. It will always belong to you, and very especially
belong to you in our hearts.
Thank you very much.