Virginia Tech cadets will learn valuable lessons on leadership and bravery when Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Clinton L. Romesha visits campus on Nov. 16.

Romesha, a former U.S. Army staff sergeant, received the Medal of Honor for his actions on Oct. 3, 2009, during a deadly attack on Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan. He is one of only 18 to receive the country’s highest award for valor for heroism displayed while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, according to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.

He will speak at 3:30 p.m., Nov. 16, in Burruss Auditorim, 800 Drillfield Drive, on Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus. The event is free and open to the public and sponsored by the Corps of Cadets’ Rice Center for Leader Development as part of the Cutchins Leadership Lecture Series.

During his motivational talks, Romesha reminds audiences of the power ordinary people have for extraordinary bravery and remains deeply committed to telling the stories of the soldiers who served with him, both living and gone.

Copies of Romesha’s 2016 memoir, “Red Platoon: A True Story of American Valor,” will be available for purchase at the event through the University Bookstores.

“We are extremely lucky to have the opportunity to hear from a true American hero and Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. Romesha. His actions on Oct. 3, 2009, are nothing short of extraordinary,” said Cadet Daniel Steiner, a senior in Army ROTC from Palmyra, Pennsylvania, who is majoring in political science in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

“He is a living example of the Warrior Ethos and embodies some of the characteristics that we at Virginia Tech hold dearly,” Steiner said. “One of the things that makes our Army and our military so great is that we foster an environment that, when in the absence of orders, our lowest levels of leadership are empowered to exercise disciplined initiative. Staff Sgt. Romesha went above and beyond his duty and was willing to sacrifice his own life for his brothers in arms. He is the definition of our school motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve.)"

Romesha enlisted in the Army in 1999. He deployed twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and once to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. At the time of the attack, he was assigned as a section leader for Bravo Troop, 361st Cavalry, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

Romesha took quick and selfless action while under aggressive fire from the Taliban. Despite shrapnel wounds to his neck, shoulders, and arms, he carried out a counterattack that not only eliminated Taliban machine guns, but also allowed wounded soldiers to be taken to an aid station.

In 2013, he was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama. That same year, he was inducted into the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes.

Romesha separated from the Army in 2011. He lives with his family in North Dakota.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Nicole Ward at 540-231-6413 or email during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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