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Then-1st Lt. James "Jimmy" Ryan, left, poses with Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe during their deployment to Forward Operating Base McKenzie in Samarra, Iraq. Ryan served as a platoon leader in Company A, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, where Cashe was his platoon sergeant. (Courtesy photo provided by Maj. James Ryan (Ret.))

Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe, soaked in fuel, on fire, again and again saved his team members

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SERGEANT FIRST CLASS ALWYN C. CASHE

THE BATTLE

October 17, 2005 | Samarra, Iraq

3RD INFANTRY DIVISION

Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while engaging with the enemy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom on Oct. 17, 2005.

Cashe was conducting a nighttime mounted patrol when the Bradley Fighting Vehicle he was in charge of was attacked by enemy small-arms fire. An improvised explosive device disabled the vehicle, causing it to become engulfed in flames.

“Again and again, he continues to go back, soaked in fuel, on fire, with no regard for his own safety to get everybody out.“

Col. Jimmy Hathaway, Cashe’s company commander

After exiting the vehicle, Cashe began to extract the trapped driver from the vehicle. After opening the hatch, Cashe and a fellow Soldier pulled the driver out, extinguished the flames on him and moved him to a position of relative safety. While doing so, Cashe’s fuel-soaked uniform ignited, causing severe burns to his body, but he continued toward the rear of the vehicle to help other Soldiers who were trapped in the troop compartment.

At this time, the enemy noted Cashe’s movements and began to direct fire on his position. When another element of the company engaged the enemy, Cashe seized the opportunity by moving into the open troop door and aiding four of his Soldiers to escape from the burning vehicle. Afterwards, he noticed two other Soldiers had not been accounted for, and he reentered the burning vehicle to retrieve them. Despite the severe second- and third- degree burns covering the majority of his body, Cashe persevered through the pain to encourage his fellow Soldiers and ensured they received needed medical care.

When the medical evacuation helicopters arrived, he selflessly refused to board until all of the other wounded Soldiers were evacuated first. Cashe died from wounds sustained in this action on Nov. 8, 2008, at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. His heroic actions, at the cost of his life, saved the lives of his teammates.

Throughout the entire engagement, Cashe repeatedly placed himself in extreme danger to protect his team and to defeat the enemy. Cashe’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness beyond the call of duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.President Joseph R. Biden Jr. presents the Medal of Honor to Tamara Cashe, the spouse of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe, during a ceremony at the White House in Washington, D.C., Dec. 16, 2021. Sgt. 1st Class Cashe was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for actions of valor during Operation Iraqi Freedom while serving as a platoon sergeant with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, in Salah Ad Din province, Iraq, on Oct. 17, 2005. (U.S. Army photo by Laura Buchta)

President Joseph R. Biden Jr. presents the Medal of Honor to Tamara Cashe, the spouse of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe, during a ceremony at the White House in Washington, D.C., Dec. 16, 2021. Sgt. 1st Class Cashe was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for actions of valor during Operation Iraqi Freedom while serving as a platoon sergeant with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, in Salah Ad Din province, Iraq, on Oct. 17, 2005. (U.S. Army photo by Laura Buchta)Tamara Cashe, the spouse of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe, stands as the citation is read before receiving the Medal of Honor from President Joseph R. Biden Jr. during a ceremony at the White House in Washington, D.C., Dec. 16, 2021. Sgt. 1st Class Cashe was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for actions of valor during Operation Iraqi Freedom while serving as a platoon sergeant with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, in Salah Ad Din province, Iraq, on Oct. 17, 2005. (U.S. Army photo by Laura Buchta)

Tamara Cashe, the spouse of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe, stands as the citation is read before receiving the Medal of Honor from President Joseph R. Biden Jr. during a ceremony at the White House in Washington, D.C., Dec. 16, 2021. Sgt. 1st Class Cashe was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for actions of valor during Operation Iraqi Freedom while serving as a platoon sergeant with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, in Salah Ad Din province, Iraq, on Oct. 17, 2005. (U.S. Army photo by Laura Buchta)Secretary of the U.S. Army Christine E. Wormuth, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Gen. James C. McConville present the Medal of Honor plaque to Tamara Cashe, the spouse of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe, and Kasinal Cashe White, the sister of Sgt. 1st Class Cashe, during a Medal of Honor Induction Ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Dec. 17, 2021. Sgt. 1st Class Cashe was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for actions of valor during Operation Iraqi Freedom while serving as a platoon sergeant with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, in Salah Ad Din province, Iraq, on Oct. 17, 2005. (U.S. Army photo by Laura Buchta)

Secretary of the U.S. Army Christine E. Wormuth, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Gen. James C. McConville present the Medal of Honor plaque to Tamara Cashe, the spouse of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe, and Kasinal Cashe White, the sister of Sgt. 1st Class Cashe, during a Medal of Honor Induction Ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Dec. 17, 2021. Sgt. 1st Class Cashe was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for actions of valor during Operation Iraqi Freedom while serving as a platoon sergeant with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, in Salah Ad Din province, Iraq, on Oct. 17, 2005. (U.S. Army photo by Laura Buchta)Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley present the Medal of Honor flag to Tamara Cashe, the spouse of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe, and Kasinal Cashe White, the sister of Sgt. 1st Class Cashe, during a Medal of Honor Induction Ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Dec. 17, 2021. Sgt. 1st Class Cashe was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for actions of valor during Operation Iraqi Freedom while serving as a platoon sergeant with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, in Salah Ad Din province, Iraq, on Oct. 17, 2005. (U.S. Army photo by Laura Buchta)

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley present the Medal of Honor flag to Tamara Cashe, the spouse of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe, and Kasinal Cashe White, the sister of Sgt. 1st Class Cashe, during a Medal of Honor Induction Ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Dec. 17, 2021. Sgt. 1st Class Cashe was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for actions of valor during Operation Iraqi Freedom while serving as a platoon sergeant with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, in Salah Ad Din province, Iraq, on Oct. 17, 2005. (U.S. Army photo by Laura Buchta)From left, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, Secretary of the U.S. Army Christine E. Wormuth; Tamara Cashe, the spouse of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe; Kasinal Cashe White, the sister of Sgt. 1st Class Cashe; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley; Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Gen. James C. McConville; and Sgt. Maj. of the U.S. Army Michael A. Grinston participate in a Medal of Honor Induction Ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Dec. 17, 2021. Sgt. 1st Class Cashe was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for actions of valor during Operation Iraqi Freedom while serving as a platoon sergeant with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, in Salah Ad Din province, Iraq, on Oct. 17, 2005. (U.S. Army photo by Laura Buchta)

From left, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, Secretary of the U.S. Army Christine E. Wormuth; Tamara Cashe, the spouse of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe; Kasinal Cashe White, the sister of Sgt. 1st Class Cashe; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley; Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Gen. James C. McConville; and Sgt. Maj. of the U.S. Army Michael A. Grinston participate in a Medal of Honor Induction Ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Dec. 17, 2021. Sgt. 1st Class Cashe was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for actions of valor during Operation Iraqi Freedom while serving as a platoon sergeant with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, in Salah Ad Din province, Iraq, on Oct. 17, 2005. (U.S. Army photo by Laura Buchta)U.S. Army Master Sgt. Earl D. Plumlee; Tamara Cashe, spouse of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe; Kasinal Cashe White, sister of Sgt. 1st Class Cashe; and Katherine Celiz, spouse of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher A. Celiz, uncover a Hall of Heroes plaque that will be displayed at the Pentagon during a Medal of Honor Induction Ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Dec. 17, 2021. The ceremony was held in honor of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe, Sgt. 1st Class Christopher A. Celiz and Master Sgt. Earl D. Plumlee. (U.S. Army photo by Laura Buchta)

U.S. Army Master Sgt. Earl D. Plumlee; Tamara Cashe, spouse of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe; Kasinal Cashe White, sister of Sgt. 1st Class Cashe; and Katherine Celiz, spouse of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher A. Celiz, uncover a Hall of Heroes plaque that will be displayed at the Pentagon during a Medal of Honor Induction Ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Dec. 17, 2021. The ceremony was held in honor of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe, Sgt. 1st Class Christopher A. Celiz and Master Sgt. Earl D. Plumlee. (U.S. Army photo by Laura Buchta)

“Alwyn Cashe was a soldier’s soldier — a warrior who literally walked through fire for his troops.”

HOMETOWN Oveido, Florida

ENLISTMENT DATE

July 18, 1989

MILITARY OCCUPATION

Infantryman (11B)

UNIT

Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division

DEPLOYMENTS

Gulf War (1991), Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003 and 2005)

Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe grew up in poverty in Oviedo, Florida, and joined the U.S. Army as a supply specialist shortly after graduating from Oviedo High School. He initially served two years in Korea, followed by nearly three years at Fort Lewis, Washington. In 1993, he became an infantryman and served another yearlong tour in Korea. Cashe served as a squad leader for two years at Fort Hood, Texas, and for two years in Germany. He graduated from Drill Sergeant School in 1998, and served over two years as a drill sergeant at Fort Benning, Georgia. He returned to Europe in February 2001 as an operations noncommissioned officer for the 19th Battlefield Coordination Detachment, then served in Germany for two years as a squad leader in the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment. Finally, in April 2004 Cashe served as a platoon sergeant in the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Cashe deployed in support of the Gulf War in 1991, participated in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and deployed in 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

On October 17, 2005, near Samarra, Iraq, Cashe’s Bradley Fighting Vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. Cashe retrieved six Soldiers and an Iraqi interpreter from the burning vehicle, receiving burns on nearly 72% of his body. Alwyn Cashe died on Nov. 8, 2005, at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Then-1st Lt. James "Jimmy" Ryan, left, poses with Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe during their deployment to Forward Operating Base McKenzie in Samarra, Iraq. Ryan served as a platoon leader in Company A, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, where Cashe was his platoon sergeant. (Courtesy photo provided by Maj. James Ryan (Ret.))

Portrait of then-Staff Sgt. Alwyn C. Cashe

Cashe’s awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal with one silver and two bronze oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with one silver oak leaf cluster, the Army Good Conduct Medal with five knots, the National Defense Service with bronze star device, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Kosovo Campaign Medal, the Armed Forces Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, two NATO Medals, the Drill Sergeant Identification Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Parachutist Badge, the Driver Badge and the Expert Rifle Marksmanship Badge.

Cashe is survived by his spouse, Tamara Cashe; daughters, Lajada and Alexis; and son, Andrew.

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