Part 3, NextGen Series: A Leader in All of Us
Medal of Honor recipient Clinton Romesha has taken extraordinary risks for his country and his fellow soldiers, exemplifying the best of the modern military character. Drawing on his lauded service as a sergeant in the War in Afghanistan, Romesha emphasizes how the capacity for leadership and bravery resides within every one of us.
Keynote Speaker: Clinton Romesha, Medal of Honor Recipient and Author of Red Platoon
Clinton Romesha is a former U.S. Army Staff Sergeant noted for his heroic actions during the Battle of Kamdesh, a key moment during the War in Afghanistan. On October 3, 2009, Sergeant Romesha took quick and selfless action while under aggressive fire from the Taliban. Despite taking shrapnel wounds to his neck, shoulders, and arms, he carried out a counterattack that not only eliminated Taliban machine guns, but allowed for wounded soldiers to be taken to an aid station. Throughout the 12-hour battle, Romesha told himself he was merely doing what any solider would have done for his comrades; everyone else, however, saw him as a hero.
Romesha’s valor and humility have been widely celebrated. In 2013 he was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama, making him the fourth living recipient of the honor for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In the same year, he was inducted into the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes. Since receiving these accolades, Romesha has carried his Medal of Honor with him wherever he goes – not out of pride, but as a constant reminder that within every single person lies the same qualities responsible for Romesha’s own heroic actions.
His 2016 memoir, Red Platoon: A True Story of American Valor, was immediately recognized as an instant classic. It is not only admired for providing a clear-eyed account of one of the most crucial battles in recent military history, but also as a powerful account of how one person, committed to doing the right thing, can make a bigger difference than they ever imagined. Romesha revisited the story of the battle that made him a hero in the Netflix original series, Medal of Honor.
As a speaker, Romesha not only reminds audiences of the power of ordinary people have for extraordinary bravery, but remains deeply committed to telling the stories of the soldiers who served with him, both living and gone. Romesha forges a connection between his audience and soldiers around the world, telling the stories of those who remain unrecognized, and who continue to make tough, brave choices in the service of others.