Ruppert Leon Sargent MOH

b. 06/01/1938 Hampton, Virginia. d. 15/03/1967 Hau Nghia Province, Vietnam.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 15/03/1967 Hau Nghia Province, Vietnam.

Ruppert L Sargent MOH

Lieutenant Ruppert Leon Sargent was born on January 6, 1938, in Hampton, Virginia.  After graduating from Virginia State University, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in January 1959. Lieutenant Ruppert Sargent graduated from Officers Candidate School on October 15, 1965, and in 1967, deployed to Vietnam with the 9th Infantry Regiment for the Vietnam War.

On March 15, 1967, during an investigation of Viet Cong activity and the after the discovery of a tunnel, Lieutenant Ruppert Sargent earned a Congressional Medal of Honor when Viet Cong soldiers lobbed two grenades from the tunnel into the middle of the platoon.  Lieutenant Ruppert Leon Sargent smothered the grenades and protected his team. He rests at the Hampton National Cemetery in Hampton, Virginia. His Medal was presented to his widow at their home in Hampton, Virginia by General Donley P. Bolton.



For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. While leading a platoon of Company B, 1st Lt. Sargent was investigating a reported Viet Cong meetinghouse and weapons cache. A tunnel entrance which 1st Lt. Sargent observed was booby-trapped. He tried to destroy the booby trap and blow the cover from the tunnel using hand grenades, but this attempt was not successful. He and his demolition man moved in to destroy the booby trap and cover which flushed a Viet Cong soldier from the tunnel, who was immediately killed by the nearby platoon sergeant. First Lt. Sargent, the platoon sergeant, and a forward observer moved toward the tunnel entrance. As they approached, another Viet Cong emerged and threw two hand grenades that landed in the midst of the group. First Lt. Sargent fired three shots at the enemy then turned and unhesitatingly threw himself over the two grenades. He was mortally wounded, and his two companions were lightly wounded when the grenades exploded. By his courageous and selfless act of exceptional heroism, he saved the lives of the platoon sergeant and forward observer and prevented the injury or death of several other nearby comrades. First Lt. Sargent’s actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.