Dakota L. Meyer (MOH)
Dakota L. Meyer is a United States Marine Corps veteran and recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of Ganjgal on September 8, 2009, part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.
Meyer was born June 26, 1988 in Columbia, Kentucky where he grew up and attended school. In 2006, after graduation from Green County High School, he enlisted in the Marine Corps at Marine Corps Recruiting Station Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky and was assigned to recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina. After completing training to be a United States Marine he deployed to Fallujah, Iraq, in 2007 as a Scout Sniper with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment. He gained national attention for his actions in Afghanistan during his second deployment in Kunar Province with Embedded Training Team 2-8.
On September 8, 2009, near the village of Ganjgal, Afghanistan, Meyer learned that three U.S. Marines and a U.S. Navy corpsman were missing after being ambushed by a group of insurgents. He charged into an area known to be inhabited by insurgents and under enemy fire. Meyer eventually found all four dead and stripped of their weapons, body armor, and radios. With the help of some friendly Afghan soldiers, he moved the bodies to a safer area where they could be extracted. During his search, Meyer “personally evacuated 12 friendly wounded, and provided cover for another 24 Marines and soldiers to escape likely death at the hands of a numerically superior and determined foe.”
MEDAL OF HONOR CITATION
The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to
CORPORAL DAKOTA L. MEYER
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the repeated risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a member of Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on 8 September 2009. When the forward element of his combat team began to be hit by intense fire from roughly 50 Taliban insurgents dug-in and concealed on the slopes above Ganjgal village, Corporal Meyer mounted a gun-truck, enlisted a fellow Marine to drive, and raced to attack the ambushers and aid the trapped Marines and Afghan soldiers. During a six hour fire fight, Corporal Meyer single-handedly turned the tide of the battle, saved 36 Marines and soldiers and recovered the bodies of his fallen brothers. Four separate times he fought the kilometer up into the heart of a deadly U-shaped ambush. During the fight he killed at least eight Taliban, personally evacuated 12 friendly wounded, and provided cover for another 24 Marines and soldiers to escape likely death at the hands of a numerically superior and determined foe. On his first foray his lone vehicle drew machine gun, mortar, rocket grenade and small arms fire while he rescued five wounded soldiers. His second attack disrupted the enemy’s ambush and he evacuated four more wounded Marines. Switching to another gun-truck because his was too damaged they again sped in for a third time, and as turret gunner killed several Taliban attackers at point blank range and suppressed enemy fire so 24 Marines and soldiers could break-out. Despite being wounded, he made a fourth attack with three others to search for missing team members. Nearly surrounded and under heavy fire he dismounted the vehicle and searched house to house to recover the bodies of his fallen team members. By his extraordinary heroism, presence of mind amidst chaos and death, and unselfish devotion to his comrades in the face of great danger, Corporal Meyer reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.