Browsed by
Tag: medal of honor

Read Desmond Doss’ official citation

You may be wondering exactly what Desmond Doss did to deserve the Medal of Honour.


Read through the official citation below, and you’ll see that his achievements extend far beyond the unbelievable events portrayed in the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

We think you’ll find it’s on a different level than that of the other citations you can find online. Desmond Doss stood tall day in, day out. Read for yourself.



  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Organization: U.S. Army
  • Company: Medical Detachment
  • Division: 307th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division
  • Born: Lynchburg, Va.
  • Departed: Yes
  • Entered Service At: Lynchburg, Va.
  • G.O. Number: 97
  • Date of Issue: 11/01/1945
  • Place / Date: Near Urasoe Mura, Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, 29 April-21 May 1945


The official citation of Desmond Doss

He was a company aid man when the 1st Battalion assaulted a jagged escarpment 400 feet high. As our troops gained the summit, a heavy concentration of artillery, mortar and machinegun fire crashed into them, inflicting approximately 75 casualties and driving the others back.

Pfc. Doss refused to seek cover and remained in the fire-swept area with the many stricken, carrying them 1 by 1 to the edge of the escarpment and there lowering them on a rope-supported litter down the face of a cliff to friendly hands.

On 2 May, he exposed himself to heavy rifle and mortar fire in rescuing a wounded man 200 yards forward of the lines on the same escarpment; and 2 days later he treated 4 men who had been cut down while assaulting a strongly defended cave, advancing through a shower of grenades to within 8 yards of enemy forces in a cave’s mouth, where he dressed his comrades’ wounds before making 4 separate trips under fire to evacuate them to safety.

On 5 May, he unhesitatingly braved enemy shelling and small arms fire to assist an artillery officer. He applied bandages, moved his patient to a spot that offered protection from small arms fire and, while artillery and mortar shells fell close by, painstakingly administered plasma. Later that day, when an American was severely wounded by fire from a cave, Pfc. Doss crawled to him where he had fallen 25 feet from the enemy position, rendered aid, and carried him 100 yards to safety while continually exposed to enemy fire.

On 21 May, in a night attack on high ground near Shuri, he remained in exposed territory while the rest of his company took cover, fearlessly risking the chance that he would be mistaken for an infiltrating Japanese and giving aid to the injured until he was himself seriously wounded in the legs by the explosion of a grenade. Rather than call another aid man from cover, he cared for his own injuries and waited 5 hours before litter bearers reached him and started carrying him to cover. The trio was caught in an enemy tank attack and Pfc. Doss, seeing a more critically wounded man nearby, crawled off the litter; and directed the bearers to give their first attention to the other man.

Awaiting the litter bearers’ return, he was again struck, this time suffering a compound fracture of 1 arm. With magnificent fortitude he bound a rifle stock to his shattered arm as a splint and then crawled 300 yards over rough terrain to the aid station.

Through his outstanding bravery and unflinching determination in the face of desperately dangerous conditions Pfc. Doss saved the lives of many soldiers. His name became a symbol throughout the 77th Infantry Division for outstanding gallantry far above and beyond the call of duty.


We accessed this official record on the Congressional Medal of Honour Society site.

Image courtesy of Desmond Doss Council.

What is the Congressional Medal of Honor?

Desmond Doss’ actions at Okinawa and beyond earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor – but what exactly does that mean?

By Adele Nash.


The Medal of Honor is the highest military honour given out by the United States of America. It is awarded for personal acts of valour above and beyond the call of duty, and is presented by the President of the United States in the name of the US Congress. Because of this, the medal is often referred to as the Congressional Medal of Honor, but its official name is simply “Medal of Honor.”

Military personnel are the only ones eligible for the Medal of Honor, of which there are three versions — one for the Army, Navy and Air Force. Its history dates back to 1861, with a Navy medal called the “Medal of Valor.” The Army followed this in 1862 with the “Medal of Honor.” There have been more than 3500 Medals of Honor awarded since it was created, and March 25 was designated as “National Medal of Honor Day” in 1990 by the US Congress.

You can learn more about this prestigious military award at Wikipedia.

Lessons on respect from Hacksaw Ridge

Doss stuck to his principles and didn’t back down — even if it meant he was threatened with court martial.

By Adele Nash.


How do you react when someone treats you with disrespect? What about when they’re disrespectful because you’re doing what’s right based on your personal principles? It’s tough, because it seems so unfair. You can easily be tempted to just treat them in the way they’ve treated you rather than turning the other cheek.

Turning the other cheek is an old cliché that actually originates from a Christian principle. In the Bible, Jesus talks about doing that in the book of Matthew. He challenged His followers to not seek revenge, but to go the extra mile for others. Luke 6:31 tells us to do to other what we would like them to do to us.

From the first day of training, the enlisted men who worked with Private Desmond Doss knew he was different — not just because he would go the extra mile to help others. As a devout Seventh-day Adventist, Doss would read the Bible and kneel to pray each night by the side of his bunk. Whether or not he was oblivious to the boots, insults and disrespect thrown his way by his fellow soldiers, he chose to continue to treat his fellow soldiers with respect. In fact, he would often clean their boots and return them to their owners.

Doss also respected God wanting people who follow Him to not kill others, as well as respecting fellow humans. Even when they disrespected Doss, he showed them kindness in return. That doesn’t mean that he was a wimp or a pushover. He stuck to his principles and didn’t back down from them — even if it meant he was threatened with court martial.

Sticking to these principles saw Doss save hundreds of lives in World War II, receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroism in rescuing 75 men following an assault on Hacksaw Ridge, and gain the respect and admiration of his fellow soldiers in the process.

When you watch the documentary The Conscientious Objector, you can see the respect his fellow soldiers hold Doss in. This doesn’t go to his head — he stays humble and never uses it as a chance to hold their poor treatment of him against them. Respect is a two-way street — sometimes it just takes a little longer for traffic to flow smoothly in both directions.