b. 13/07/1970 Sanford, Florida. d. 08/11/2005 San Antonio, Texas.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 17/10/2005 Samarra, Iraq.
Cashe was born in Sanford, Florida, on July 13, 1970. He was raised in Oviedo, Florida, and attended Oviedo High School, graduating in 1988.
Cashe enlisted in the U.S. Army following high school graduation in 1988. As an infantryman, he deployed in support of the 1991 Gulf War. He also deployed to former Yugoslavia, earning the Kosovo Campaign Medal. Prior to his assignment to 3rd Infantry Division, he deployed once again to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom following the 2003 invasion. During his time in service he also served as a drill sergeant.
On the evening of October 17, 2005, Cashe, a member of A Company, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, he managed to save the lives of six of his fellow soldiers after the Bradley fighting vehicle they were riding in struck an improvised explosive device despite suffering second and third-degree burns over 72% of his body. Cashe succumbed to his injuries on November 8, 2005, at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Cashe is interred at Restlawn Cemetery in Sanford, Florida.
Gary Brito, Cashe’s battalion commander at the time of the action, did not initially realize the extent of Cashe’s injuries and the pain he must have been in when he nominated Cashe for the Silver Star award. Witnesses were evacuated for medical treatment and unavailable for statement. Brito subsequently submitted additional statements to the Army to justify upgrading Cashe’s award to the Medal of Honor. Brito continued to support efforts to upgrade Cashe’s Silver Star to the Medal of Honor.
On October 17, 2019, the 14th anniversary of Cashe’s actions, three members of Congress wrote to Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy formally requesting an upgrade of Cashe’s award to the Medal of Honor. The letter was authored by retired Navy SEAL Dan Crenshaw, former Special Forces officer Michael Waltz and Stephanie Murphy.
On August 24, 2020, Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, agreed that Cashe’s actions merited award of the Medal of Honor. On September 22, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill, introduced by Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), which allowed Cashe to finally receive the Medal of Honor. HR 8276 waived a five-year time statute of limitations that expired for normal consideration for Medal of Honor awards by directly authorizing the President to award the medal “for acts of valor during Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
On November 10, 2020, the Senate passed legislation that cleared the way for Cashe to be awarded the Medal of Honor. On December 4, 2020, President Donald Trump signed H.R. 8276, which authorized the President to posthumously award the Medal of Honor to Alwyn C. Cashe. The awarding of Cashe’s Medal of Honor to his family was delayed by the new administration. It was hoped by members of Cashe’s family and several U.S. House Representatives that the award ceremony would take place as fast as possible. Eventually, President Joseph Biden awarded three Medals of Honor, to Cashe’s family, Earl Plumlee and the family of Christopher Celiz, in a ceremony on December 16, 2021 at The White House.
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Sergeant First Class Alwyn Crendall Cashe, United States Army, for exceptionally valorous achievement following an improvised explosive device explosion on 17 October 2005, while serving with Company A, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Sergeant First Class Cashe’s disregard for his own safety proved evident when he saved the lives of six fellow soldiers despite his serious injuries. His bravery is in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, Task Force DRAGON, the SLEDGEHAMMER Brigade, Task Force LIBERTY, and the United States Army. NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: Sergeant First Class Alwyn Crendall Cashe heroically distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous conduct in the face of the enemy of the United States as a Platoon Sergeant in 1st Platoon, Alpha Company (HARDOCK), 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment stationed at Forward Operating Base MACKENZIE, Iraq, on 17 October 2005. On the evening of 17 October 2005, Sergeant First Class Cashe’s heroic actions saved the lives of six of his fellow soldiers. At approximately 1920 hours, 1st Platoon of Alpha Company, 1-15 Infantry departed FOB MACKENZIE to conduct a route clearance in the city of Daliaya, Iraq. Along Route JAIME, the lead Bradley Fighting Vehicle, of which Sergeant First Class Cashe was gunner having just moved from a NMC vehicle, struck a victim detonated pressure-switch IED at grid MC 25357243. The blast ignited the fuel cell on the vehicle causing fuel to spew everywhere. The vehicle came to a stop and immediately erupted in flames. Sergeant First Class Cashe was initially slightly injured and drenched with fuel. Despite his condition, he bravely managed to get out of the gunner’s hatch, crawl down the BFV and assist the driver out of the driver’s hatch. The driver had been burned and Sergeant First Class Cashe extinguished his flames. The following minutes were crucial. Six soldiers and a translator were in the back of the Bradley. Flames had engulfed the entire vehicle from the bottom and were coming out of every portal. The squad leader inside the vehicle managed to open the troop hatch door to help the soldiers escape. Without regard for his personal safety, Sergeant First Class Cashe rushed to the back of the vehicle, reaching into the hot flames and started pulling out his soldiers. The flames gripped his fuel soaked uniform. Flames quickly spread all over his body. Despite the terrible pain, Sergeant First Class Cashe placed the injured soldier on the ground and returned to the burning vehicle to retrieve another burning soldier; all the while, he was still on fire. A crew from a trail Bradley arrived within moments and assisted with CASEVAC. During all this and with severe burns, Sergeant First Class Cashe bravely continued to take control of the chaos. Within minutes, the company First Sergeant was on the scene and began to evacuate the seriously injured soldiers. One of which was Sergeant First Class Cashe. In the end, the national translator was killed in action, and 10 soldiers were injured. Seven of the ten were very seriously injured. Sergeant First Class Cashe stayed a hero through it all. His injuries were the worst as he suffered form 2d and 3d degree burns over 72% of his body. Sergeant First Class Cashe’s heroic actions saved the lives of six of his beloved soldiers. He is truly deserving of this award. His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, Task Force LIBERTY and the United States Army.
BURIAL LOCATION: RESTLAWN CEMETERY, SANFORD, FLORIDA.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: FAMILY.