Today, Colonel Ralph Puckett, Jr. was awarded the Medal of Honor. Finally.
Nearly 71 years after his daring exploits, the Ranger icon was presented the highest award for valor the nation has. His leadership and bravery in Korea is the stuff of legend. However, Puckett continued to display selflessness, and humility, before the ceremony. He modestly remarked, “Why all the fuss? Can’t they just mail it to me?”
Nevertheless, the 94 year old stood tall and proud as the president hung the medal around his neck. Many felt this story of heroism has long been due for this level of recognition.
On May 19, 2021, the White House stated, “Then-First Lieutenant Ralph Puckett, Jr. distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty, while serving as the Commander, 8th U.S. Army Ranger Company during the period of November 25, and 26, 1950, in Korea.”
Many took to social media to congratulate Puckett. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III tweeting:
“If you don’t yet know the story of Retired @USArmy Col. Ralph Puckett, it’s a remarkable one, and it’s why @POTUS will present him with the nation’s most prestigious military decoration today, the Medal of Honor.”
Congressman Jason Crow(CO-06), a former Ranger, tweeted:
“Colonel Ralph Puckett’s heroism and service inspired me and generations of Army Rangers. What an incredible honor to join President Biden at the Medal of Honor ceremony to recognize a fellow Ranger and American hero. Rangers Lead The Way!”
Puckett continued to be the consummate leader by giving all the credit to his soldiers. Puckett saying, “The people who earned that medal are the Eighth Army Rangers, like Merle Simpson, who did more than I asked and did the best they could.”