Army Master Sgt. Earl Plumlee
Medal of Honor Recipient
Medal of Honor Profile:
Army Master Sgt. Earl Plumlee was born in Clinton, Oklahoma, and grew up working on his family’s cattle ranch in their oil field instrument company. After graduating from high school in 2000, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He served a deployment in Iraq, where he earned recognition as the Marines Recon Team Leader of the Year. After returning from Iraq, Plumlee decided to join the U.S. Army Special Forces.
On Aug. 28, 2013, he was serving as a weapons sergeant at Forward Operating Base Ghazni in Afghanistan when the complex was attacked and penetrated by ten insurgents with suicide vests.
Plumlee and a group of other soldiers raced to the attack in two vehicles, dodging enemy fire. Using his body to shield his driver from enemy fire, Plumlee exited his vehicle while drawing his pistol and engaging with an insurgent 15 meters away. He then advanced toward the enemy force, engaging the insurgents with only his pistol. Upon reaching cover, he killed two insurgents. Then, under intense enemy fire, he engaged several others at close range. Despite being wounded by a detonating suicide vet, he re-engaged with the enemy and continued the attack. Plumlee then ran to mortally wounded Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis, who had died shielding Polish Army Lt. Karol Cierpica. Plumlee carried Cierpica to safety and rendered first aid.
He received the Medal of Honor in a White House ceremony on Dec. 16, 2021. His other awards and decorations include, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Achievement Medal and two Navy Achievement Medals. He continues to serve in the Army.