View Full Version : Colonel Robert L. Howard (RET) - MOH

Team Sergeant
12-23-2009, 16:36
Colonel Robert L. Howard (RET) - MOH


It is with deep regret and profound sadness that we inform you of the passing of Colonel Robert L. Howard.

Rest in Peace Sir.

12-23-2009, 16:38
Rest In Peace Colonel.

Red Flag 1
12-23-2009, 16:49
Rest In Peace Col Howard!!

May God's grace shine down upon you and your family !!

Thank you for your heroic service to our nation!!

12-23-2009, 16:51
Rest In Peace, Colonel.


12-23-2009, 16:54
Damn....now he's one I'll never forget. Rest in peace Col.

12-23-2009, 17:00
Rest in Peace, Sir

12-23-2009, 17:07

12-23-2009, 17:27
Rest in Peace, Colonel Howard. A grateful nation thanks you.

12-23-2009, 17:38
Rest in peace warrior.


12-23-2009, 17:49
Colonel Howard...Hand Salute to a true warrior!

Go Devil
12-23-2009, 17:52
I regret your passing Mr. Howard.

May you find where you were your finest.

12-23-2009, 17:53
Rest in Peace Sir.

I am certian you were welcomed with open arms by your brothers who went
before you.

wet dog
12-23-2009, 17:57
Rest in peace brother, thanks for being my friend.


The Reaper
12-23-2009, 18:03
RIP, Colonel.

Thank you for your courage and your sacrifice.

You truly set the standard and led the way. We are a better nation because of you and your example.

See you on the far side of the river.


12-23-2009, 18:22
Rest in Peace Colonel and thank you for your service.

Roguish Lawyer
12-23-2009, 18:25
RIP and thank you


12-23-2009, 18:40

RIP Bob!!!


12-23-2009, 18:42
Those guys manning the Big A Camp in the Sky had better get their rucks packed and ready to run!

RIP, Colonel. :(


12-23-2009, 18:44
RIP Sir.

Deadhead 63A1
12-23-2009, 18:44
Farewell, Colonel. Be thou at peace.

12-23-2009, 19:02
May you Rest In Peace Sir.

12-23-2009, 19:55
RIP Colonel. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.

True Believer
12-23-2009, 20:06

12-23-2009, 20:38
Rest in Peace, Warrior ..................:(

Big Teddy

12-23-2009, 21:21
We who know of your story are humbled by your bravery, your example, and your life.

Thank you, Colonel Howard..."you're a great man, you".

Blitzzz (RIP)
12-23-2009, 21:43
Broke a trail few could follow. Thanks for the targets and the guide posts.
Be at peace.

12-23-2009, 22:18
Rest In Peace COL

Ambush Master
12-23-2009, 22:25
Rest in Peace Brother, like I told you last week, we'll be looking for you at the RP just off of that final DZ.


12-23-2009, 23:17
Rest in peace COL Howard.

12-24-2009, 04:15
Rest in Peace Soldier.

wet dog
12-24-2009, 04:43
Bob Howard has slipped into the jounals of the likes of Larry Thorne. I'm going to miss just knowing he was around while I walked this Earth.

12-24-2009, 06:31
Rest In Peace Bob

12-24-2009, 07:11
RIP Sir.

May God Bless you and your family for all your sacrifices.

You will not be forgotten.

12-24-2009, 07:16
For those of you that did not see this, it is a nice piece done by Brian Willams on the Col. It aired last night on NBC Nightly News.


12-24-2009, 07:38
http://www.mysanantonio.com/military/Howard_highly_decorated_Vietnam_veteran_dies_at_70 .html

Rest in peace Colonel. Prayers out to the family.

12-24-2009, 08:01
Rest in peace Sir

12-24-2009, 08:22
Rest in Peace, Colonel


x SF med
12-24-2009, 08:40
Farewell, Sir.
I hope soldiers in heaven have their rucks packed properly, are in the correct uniform and can keep up with you.
Thank you for everything, you will be missed.
De Oppresso Liber.

12-24-2009, 09:40
Rest in Peace Sir. It was an honor to meet you in Iraq in 2006.

A Warrior Passes in Texas
December 24, 2009
Military.com|by Bryant Jordan

Retired Army Col. Robert L. Howard, a Medal of Honor recipient for combat action in Vietnam in 1968 and one of the America's most highly decorated Soldiers, died Dec. 23 in Waco, Texas.
The 70-year-old Howard died in a hospice in Waco, according to a report in the San Antonio Express News today. The paper, quoting a longtime friend of Howard's, retired Sgt. Maj. Benito Guerrero, said Howard had been suffering from pancreatic cancer.
Howard began his Army career as an enlisted man. During one 13-month tour in Vietnam he was nominated for the Medal of Honor three times, but in the first instance the award was downgraded to the Distinguished Service Cross. Several biographies say that downgrade, as well as another -- to the Silver Star -- was to avoid the problem of noting in the Medal of Honor citation specifics of the combat operations, which were covert.
But one nomination did result in the awarding of the MoH. It was presented to him by President Richard Nixon during a White House ceremony in 1971.
Howard was a sergeant first class assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group in December 1968 when his unit came under heavy enemy fire while on a mission to rescue a missing U.S. Soldier. Howard was wounded -- unable to walk -- and his own weapon was destroyed by a grenade blast, according to his Medal of Honor citation, but seeing his platoon leader wounded and exposed to fire Howard crawled forward under fire to pull the lieutenant back. While administering first aid to the lieutenant an enemy round hit one of the officer's ammo pouches and detonated several magazines. Howard continued to drag the officer back to the rest of the platoon, which he rallied for an organized defense. He crawled from position to position, rendering first aid to the wounded and directing fire on the surrounding enemy force that was estimated to include two companies. For more than three hours, according to the citation, his platoon, aided by air support, repulsed enemy attacks until it was possible for helicopters to extract the Soldiers. Howard was the last man to board the aircraft.
Howard was born on July 11, 1939 in Opelika, Ala. He entered the Army in 1956, still only 17, and retired as a colonel in 1992.
He was wounded 14 times during a total of 54 months of combat duty in Vietnam and was awarded eight Purple Hearts, according to his obituary.
Howard is survived by his children, Denicia Howard of Florida; Melissa Gentsch and husband, Asst. Chief of Police Frank Gentsch of Waco; Rosslyn Howard of California; Robert Howard Jr. and wife, Tori, of California; and his grandchildren, Victoria Batey and husband, Luke, of Denton, Texas, Holley Gentsch of Waco; Trey Howard of California; and Isabella Gentsch of Waco.
Howard will be buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, though specific details have yet to be announced.

12-24-2009, 10:03
Truly a very bad day for America.

Most will never know what it takes to defend our freedom and do our duty.

RIP Sir. You will NEVER be forgotten.

Bobby G

12-24-2009, 10:54
I had the pleasure (?) of having then MAJ Howard as commander during Phase I of the Q-course (February, 1982). He led every run, ruck and other assorted PT event. He smoked every one of us and we were 20 years his junior!

Probably the only man, the sight of which, actually struck fear in me. That fear turned into respect. We truly have lost one of a kind. Rest in Peace Colonel. I hope to see you again.

12-24-2009, 10:56
Rest in Peace Sir, Rest in peace.

12-24-2009, 11:13
Rest in everlasting peace, Sir.
Truly a larger-than-life inspiration, exemplary of courage, service, and humility.

Farewell, patriot.

Goggles Pizano
12-24-2009, 11:31
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, Amen.

Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio, contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae coelestis, Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute, in infernum detrude. Amen.
Our grateful nation cannot thank you enough Col. Howard. In pace requiescat Sir. Dominus vobiscum.

12-24-2009, 11:40
Rest in Peace, Sir.

Your legacy will live on , and inspire many to follow you. God Bless You , your family, friends and fellow warriors left behind.

Truly, one of the greatest of Hero's, this country ever produced. Let this great country of ours never forget the likes of Col. Bob Howard. (MOH), and pay tribute to this great Warrior.

12-24-2009, 14:47
RIP :(

12-24-2009, 14:55


Rest in peace, Sir.

12-24-2009, 15:01
Does anyone know if his Service at Arlington will be public or private ?

12-24-2009, 15:28
Rest in Peace Sir :(

Ambush Master
12-24-2009, 15:58
Does anyone know if his Service at Arlington will be public or private ?

As of now, it is unknown. He told me last week that there would be a "Memorial Banquet" at Benning, then an "Open Casket" Ceremony at Bragg. Finally the Service at Arlington. I believe that the Command at Bragg or McDill should be forthcomming with what is to happen!!

wet dog
12-24-2009, 16:14
I hope it's sometime after the 1st of Jan.

12-24-2009, 16:54
Rest in Peace Sir, May God Bless you and Keep you Always. Thank you for your service.

12-24-2009, 19:00
Finally the Service at Arlington.

I will try to go if it is open to the public.

ODA 226
12-24-2009, 19:14
God Bless and Keep You Sir.

12-24-2009, 19:38
Rest in Peace Sir. Thank you for your service and your example of incredible leadership.

12-24-2009, 23:40
R.I.P. Sir.

I can across a presentation that Colonel Howard gave in 2007.


The Colonel's remarks are found in part 2 of the presentation.

tom kelly
12-25-2009, 01:41
Rest in Peace Col. you fought the good fight, and always will.

12-25-2009, 05:32
Rest Easy Sir........Thanks For Your Service........

12-25-2009, 07:23
I remember all us Privates attending the Q-Course being introduced to him. I met several celebrities and sports legends in my time.
But none of that even came close to a Private in the Q-Course meeting Colonel Robert L. Howard-MOH

12-25-2009, 10:51
you will be missed and the world has lost a great soldier, and God Bless him

12-25-2009, 11:47

12-25-2009, 13:11
RIP Sir.

12-26-2009, 09:34
A fine soldier and American - May he find peace with god.

12-26-2009, 13:44
I am humbled. Rest in peace warrior .....

12-26-2009, 13:49
Rest in Peace, amd may the Lord Bless you!

12-26-2009, 15:15
Rest in Peace...

You will be missed by all....

12-26-2009, 17:49

12-26-2009, 18:27
RIP soldier, and; I mean soldier with the utmost respect and all my heart.

12-26-2009, 20:30
You were the best of us all Sir. Rest in Peace.

The Nation is poorer for his passing, but Aye God what a man...

12-27-2009, 03:23
Rest in Peace Colonel. Thank you for your service.


12-27-2009, 10:38
Rest in Peace Colonel Howard.

12-27-2009, 11:56
May God's comfort be on your family, you will be missed. <Salute>

dr. mabuse
12-27-2009, 23:06
What a great loss. They don't make 'em like that anymore. Vaya con Dios.:(

12-28-2009, 10:42
RIP Col. Howard.

12-29-2009, 10:59
I had the honor of meeting COL. Howard in Korea when I was a squad leader in 1-9 IN. He was a no nonsense kind of man that didnt flower things with popular Army-isms. His advice was "Take care of your men, train them to fight and win." COL. Howard is and will continue to be an inspiration to Soldiers.

12-29-2009, 12:05
Rest in peace, COL Howard.

Team Sergeant
12-29-2009, 17:16
Visitation Date:
Wednesday, Thursday, December 30 & 31, 2009
Visitation Time:
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Visitation Location:
OakCrest Funeral Home

Burial Date:
Monday, February 22, 2010
Burial Location:
Arlington National Cemetery

Bill Harsey
12-30-2009, 11:31
I know of Col. Howard through some of the men that served with him in tough places.
Please know that I have never heard these men speak of any others with the degree of respect they reserved for Col. Howard.

Rest in well earned peace Col. Howard.

12-30-2009, 14:51
Rest In Peace Colonel Howard.

You will never be forgotten.

12-30-2009, 15:13
Col Howard........Col Moroney, They just don't make them like this anymore..........:(:(:(:(

Big Teddy

Utah Bob
12-30-2009, 18:36
The men may die, but their legends never will. RIP Sir.:(

12-30-2009, 19:18
Col Howard........Col Moroney, They just don't make them like this anymore..........:(:(:(:(

Big Teddy I have this heavenly picture in my head (yeah, LOTs of room) of Col Howard walkin' in lookin' around. Col Moroney waves and stands up.
COL M sez: "Bout freakin' time, this place sucks."
COL H sez: "Well, let's do something about that."

wet dog
12-30-2009, 21:51
Runner for a day


One Saturday afternoon, I was errand boy for the BN Staff Duty NCO, a job that was often given to a REP 63 18E waiting AIMC to start.

Before the day was over, I poured coffee for LTC James N. Rowe, Maj. Robert Howard, and MSG (RET) Roy Benavidez. The three were sitting in Rowe's office.

The next day, Sunday, Howard rucks out to Camp KcKall, (25 miles) only to do PT with Phase I students. MSG Benavidaz visited the 18D Phase II students for most of the week.

For several days, you could see them at the DFAC, always aproachable.

It's a sweet memory of the QC days.

12-31-2009, 09:10
Rest In Peace, and Thank You.

12-31-2009, 12:19
RIP Warrior

12-31-2009, 15:18
Rest in God's arms where their is no pain, emotions, or fighting.


Not sure if this was all ready posted or not.

02-09-2010, 12:47
A Memorial Service to honor Colonel(Ret.) Howard, will be held on February 19, 2010, at 2:00 p.m., at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Chapel, 3116 Ardennes Street, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. This service will be followed by a reception in the Chapel Annex. Dress is Duty Uniform for attendees and Class A’s for participants.

Colonel Howard retired in November 1992, after serving for over thirty-six years in the military. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division, 101st Airborne Division, 3rd, 5th, and 6th Special Forces (A), MACV SOG, 2nd Ranger Battalion, 7th Corps, 5th US Army, and 18th Airborne Corps. He was a Medal of Honor recipient and also received the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star with V (3rd OLC), and the Purple Heart (7th OLC).

Colonel Howard was wounded fourteen times in fifty-four months of combat duty in Vietnam. He is considered to be one of the most highly decorated Vietnam veterans.

Interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA on February 22, 2010, at 11 a.m.

The family has requested memorials/donations to:

Robert L. Howard Opelika Alumni Scholarship
Kathy Pollard
I.C.O. Opelika High School
1700 Lafayette Parkway
Opelika, AL 36801

Phone: (334) 745-9715
Or email kathy.pollard@opelikahighschool.org or phyllis.peters@opelikahighschool.org

Condolences may be sent to SGT Robert Howard, Jr., 4611 Duncastle Road, Apt 1D, Fayetteville, NC 28314

For further information and assistance, please call USASFC Protocol, Angela Sutton, at (910) 432-2716 or email suttona@soc.mil

02-09-2010, 12:58
RIP Colonel

02-22-2010, 19:02


02-23-2010, 12:32
I took some pictures and I have organized them. It will take about four or five posts to get the ones up that are worth seeing. If one of the moderators wants them somewhere else I can put them in a different thread.

This first series is just to give an idea of the number of people that attended the out door ceremony.

02-23-2010, 12:37
These pictures are of the handling of the casket. There is a Medal of Honor flag involved.

02-23-2010, 12:43
These pictures are of the folding and presentation of the flag. A very serious and special meaning for those of us who served the flag.

02-23-2010, 12:47
These pictures are truly unique.

These are his peers.

02-23-2010, 15:18
These pictures are truly unique.

These are his peers.

Fantastic photographs Bob.
Thank you for sharing..

02-23-2010, 15:21

02-23-2010, 16:40
Bob, thanks for the photos.
There will be a memorial for COL Howard, here in San Antonio, at 10am Saturday in Dodd Field Chapel on Ft Sam Houston.

02-23-2010, 21:23
These pictures are truly unique.

These are his peers.

White roses, for eternal love, virtue, humility. I cannot imagine a better choice.

02-24-2010, 04:30
a fitting farewell. Thanks for the pictures Bob.
Did you get any of the motorcade?

02-24-2010, 07:16
Did you get any of the motorcade?

No. I did not understand everything that was going to happen next so I just followed everyone else. The motorcade to the grave site was very long and I never saw the front.

Here is one other picture that will give you an idea of where the grave is located. From where the picture is taken turn 90 degrees to your right and walk through the trees about 50 yards.

A lot of people on this forum are sensitive about having their picture taken so I only posted the "representative" pictures of the crowd.

There was a large professional video camera that filmed everything and a team of Army photographers but I do not know what they will do with their stuff.

Probably shouldn't say this, but the guy in the Harley Davidson coat in some of the photos really irks me. I do not know why he needs to be standing there because he is right in the field of view of the roped off press area, and why he could not have at least worn a plain coat. I am just not the least bit impressed that he has a Harley coat.

02-24-2010, 07:35
a fitting farewell. Thanks for the pictures Bob.
Did you get any of the motorcade?

I am not 100% sure, but I would guess that the caisson had almost reached the site by the time the full line of vehicles was in motion. We were pretty far to the rear of the procession though.

Bob...I was wondering about the jacket myself.

02-24-2010, 09:35
He may have been a Patriot Guard Rider. I believe I saw a PGR Ride Captain in one of the first pictures.

Rest in peace, Colonel Howard.

02-24-2010, 14:00


02-24-2010, 18:04
Buffalobob, thank you very much for posting the pictures of the service, I feel honored to have been able to see these.

CSM Mellinger wrote a tribute...posted over at Michael Yon's site. There are several live links in the body of the post and a very nice picture of COL Howard.


24 Feburary 2010

From: Mellinger, Jeffrey J CSM MIL USA

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Today, at Arlington National Cemetery, we lay to rest COL(R) Robert L. Howard. The link for the interview is at the end of this email.

Read a bit about Howard at one of these links: The Robert L. Howard Tribute Website, The Congressional Medal of Honor Society Website, The Washington Post- Medal of Honor recipient Col. Robert L. Howard dies at 70.

COL(R) Howard was arguably America's most highly decorated Warrior ever, earning more awards for valor (10) than Audie Murphy, but he was surely America’s most highly living warrior until his death. The US Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) Biographical Sketch.

Color image from the Robert L. Howard Tribute website.

Wounded 14 times in 54 months of combat duty in Vietnam, Robert Howard was awarded 8 Purple Hearts and was believed to be the most decorated living American.

Colonel Howard served five tours in Vietnam and is the only soldier in our nation's history to be nominated for the Medal of Honor three times for three separate actions within a thirteen-month period. He received a direct appointment from Master Sergeant to 1st Lieutenant in 1969, and was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Richard M. Nixon at the White House in 1971. Colonel Howard is one of America's most decorated soldiers. His other awards for valor include the Distinguished Service Cross - our nation's second highest award, the Silver Star - the third highest award, and eight Purple Hearts. He was the last Vietnam Special Forces Medal of Honor recipient still on active duty when he retired on Sept. 29, 1992.

Interview at the Pritzer Military Library Website.

Please find some time to read, listen and reflect on one of America’s real heroes – Robert L. Howard. He was once my commander, and always my friend. I last saw Bob in Iraq.


Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

03-06-2010, 00:06
Been in transition to Korea and haven't had much time to log on and check things out. Wish I had seen those sooner. Amazing!



Team Sergeant
03-06-2010, 15:06
Thanks for the pics. (I see quite a few "Medal of Honor" recipients in those pictures.)


Ambush Master
03-06-2010, 16:17
Thanks for the pics. (I see quite a few "Medal of Honor" recipients in those pictures.)


I think there were about 20 of them there.

03-07-2010, 12:33
Great pics,quite a few MOHs............... What an honor for such an honorable guy.

Big Teddy

08-26-2010, 20:11
October 2010 Muscle & Fitness has Sly Stallone on the front cover. Page 82 talks about Colonel Robert Howard. There's also information on Nick Rowe and Aaron Banks. Very fitting.