Pruden, Robert Joseph, SSG

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Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
11F10-Infantry Operations And Intelligence Specialist
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1969-1969, Company G (Ranger), 75th Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade
Service Years
1967 - 1969

Staff Sergeant

One Overseas Service Bar

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSG Trey W. Franklin to remember Pruden, Robert Joseph, SSG.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
St Paul
Last Address
St Paul

Casualty Date
Nov 20, 1969
Hostile, Died
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Quang Ngai (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Fort Snelling National Cemetery - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Wall/Plot Coordinates
16W 102

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord 75th Ranger Regiment

 Unofficial Badges 

Ranger Hall Of Fame

 Military Association Memberships
Legion Of ValorVietnam Veterans Memorial
  1969, Legion Of Valor - Assoc. Page
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Parachutist (Basic)

 Unit Assignments
Infantry Center and School (Staff) Fort Benning, GANoncommissioned Officers Candidate Course, Fort Benning (NCOCC)23rd Infantry Division (Americal)Company G (Ranger), 75th Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade
  1967-1968, Infantry Center and School (Staff) Fort Benning, GA
  1968-1968, Army Ranger School
  1968-1968, Noncommissioned Officers Candidate Course, Fort Benning (NCOCC)
  1969-1969, 23rd Infantry Division (Americal)
  1969-1969, Company G (Ranger), 75th Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Tet 69 Counteroffensive Campaign
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Summer-Fall 1969 Campaign
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

medal of honor image

Medal of Honor

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Pruden, Company G, distinguished himself while serving as a reconnaissance team leader during an ambush mission. The 6-man team was inserted by helicopter into enemy controlled territory to establish an ambush position and to obtain information concerning enemy movements. As the team moved into the preplanned area, S/Sgt. Pruden deployed his men into 2 groups on the opposite sides of a well used trail. As the groups were establishing their defensive positions, 1 member of the team was trapped in the open by the heavy fire from an enemy squad. Realizing that the ambush position had been compromised, S/Sgt. Pruden directed his team to open fire on the enemy force. Immediately, the team came under heavy fire from a second enemy element. S/Sgt. Pruden, with full knowledge of the extreme danger involved, left his concealed position and, firing as he ran, advanced toward the enemy to draw the hostile fire. He was seriously wounded twice but continued his attack until he fell for a third time, in front of the enemy positions. S/Sgt. Pruden's actions resulted in several enemy casualties and withdrawal of the remaining enemy force. Although grievously wounded, he directed his men into defensive positions and called for evacuation helicopters, which safely withdrew the members of the team. S/Sgt. Pruden's outstanding courage, selfless concern for the welfare of his men, and intrepidity in action at the cost of his life were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
Robert Pruden went through the Non-Commissioned Officer Indoctrination Course at Harmony Church, Fort Benning, in Class 2-69, 72nd Company, graduating on 8 October 1968. He then completed Ranger training at Fort Benning and Dahlonega, Georgia, before reporting for duty with G/75th Infantry (Rangers).

Staff Sergeant Robert J. Pruden is inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame for extraordinary courage and gallantry in action as a Ranger qualified leader. Sergeant Pruden is the second U.S. Army Ranger assigned to a U.S. Ranger Company in ground combat to be awarded the Medal of Honor, and the only graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School to be awarded the Medal of Honor while serving in a Ranger Unit. On November 22, 1969, while serving as a Team Leader for Company G, (Ranger) 75th Infantry, Sergeant Pruden was establishing an ambush site when a security team member saw an enemy squad moving through the area. A second enemy force arrived as the first one opened fire on an alienated security team member attempting to rejoin the team. Unable to move without being shot, the security team member continued firing at the enemy. His ambush site compromised, Pruden directed his team's fires, trying to free the trapped Ranger. Sergeant Pruden saw the situation as hopeless when the second enemy force opened fire. Leaving the safety of his position, Pruden ran past his trapped team member, charged directly into the enemy, and fired his weapon to draw fire away from his trapped teammate. Pruden attacked the enemy until he was wounded three times. His efforts caused several enemy casualties, forcing them to withdraw. Sergeant Pruden's gallant actions clearly show that, "Surrender is not a Ranger word."


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