Sargent, Ruppert L, 1LT Fallen
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Last Unit
1966-1967, 1542, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment/B Company
Service Years
1966 - 1967


First Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
Casualty Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address

Casualty Date
Mar 15, 1967
Hostile, Died
Multiple Fragmentation Wounds
Vietnam, South
Vietnam War/Vietnam Unspecified Operations
Location of Interment
Hampton National Cemetery - Hampton, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
16E 086

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans MemorialMedal of Honor
  2015, Vietnam Veterans Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2015, Medal of Honor - Assoc. Page

 Tributes from Members  
From G. Peterson posted by Short, Diane (TWS Administrator) 485 
OCS Classmate posted by IN Harrison, Walter, MAJ 20
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award


 Unit Assignments
9th Infantry Regiment/4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment
  1966-1967, 1542, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment/B Company
 Basic Combat Training
  1966, Fort Benning, GA (3rd Battalion, 11th Infantry (Officer Candidate School - OCS)), 0
 Combat and Operations History
  1945-1975 Vietnam War
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity


Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company B, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. Place and Date: Hau Nghia Province, Republic of Vietnam, 15 March 1967. Entered service at: Richmond, Va. Born: 6 January 1938, Hampton, Va.


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. While leading a platoon of Company B, 1st Lt. Sargent was investigating a reported Viet Cong meeting house and weapons cache. A tunnel entrance which 1st Lt. Sargent observed was booby trapped. He tried to destroy the booby trap and blow the cover from the tunnel using hand grenades, but this attempt was not successful. He and his demolition man moved in to destroy the booby trap and cover which flushed a Viet Cong soldier from the tunnel, who was immediately killed by the nearby platoon sergeant. 1st Lt. Sargent, the platoon sergeant, and a forward observer moved toward the tunnel entrance. As they approached, another Viet Cong emerged and threw 2 hand grenades that landed in the midst of the group. 1st Lt. Sargent fired 3 shots at the enemy then turned and unhesitatingly threw himself over the 2 grenades. He was mortally wounded, and his 2 companions were lightly wounded when the grenades exploded. By his courageous and selfless act of exceptional heroism, he saved the lives of the platoon sergeant and forward observer and prevented the injury or death of several other nearby comrades. 1st Lt. Sargent's actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military services and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.


In this action Rupert Sargent became the first Black Officer in history to be awarded the Medal of Honor. (In 1997, upgrades of DSCs awarded to Black heroes of WWII resulted in awards to three additional Black Officers from that war.)


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