The President of the United States of America presented the Medal of Honor to Sergeant First Class Jose Rodela, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Detachment B-36, Company A, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces. Sergeant First Class Rodela distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 1 September 1969 while serving as the company commander of a mobile strike force unit on an operation in Phuoc Long Province. When the battalion came under an intense barrage of mortar, rocket, and machine gun fire, Sergeant Rodela, ignoring the withering enemy fire, immediately began placing his men into defensive positions to prevent an enemy assault which might overrun the entire battalion. Repeatedly exposing himself to enemy fire, he began to move from position to position, suppressing fire and assisting wounded men, and was himself wounded in the back and head by rocket shrapnel while recovering a wounded comrade. Alone, Sergeant Rodela assaulted and knocked out the rocket position. Successfully returning to the battalion's perimeter, Sergeant Rodela continued in command of his company, despite his painful wounds, throughout eighteen hours of continuous contact until he was evacuated. Sergeant First Class Rodela's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
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