Patterico's Pontifications


Medal Of Honor Awarded Today

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:48 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The heroic :

President Trump on Friday awarded the Medal of Honor to Army Sgt. Maj. Thomas Payne for his role in freeing 75 hostages from dozens of ISIS terrorists in Iraq.

Trump regaled his Sept. 11 audience with an account of Payne’s heroism in freeing the Kurdish hostages. The Islamic State group had intended to slaughter the captives and bury them in freshly dug graves.

“After midnight on Oct. 22, Pat boarded a helicopter and departed on a mission to free the hostages from two buildings guarded by dozens of ruthless and bloodthirsty ISIS terrorists,” Trump said.

“As soon as the ramp to his helicopter went down, Pat rushed into a blistering hail of gunfire. Pat and his team swiftly overpowered the enemy, secured the building and freed 38 of the hostages, Then Pat received word that the rest of the assault team was facing harsh resistance.”

After freeing the first group, Payne and his men fought their way into a second building to free 37 other captives.

“He and his team climbed up ladders to the roof and opened up fire on the enemy. Multiple ISIS fighters detonated suicide vests, ripping a portion of the building into pieces,” Trump said.

Payne cut two locks on the second building and freed people as the building burned.

Payne “grabbed a pair of bolt cutters and ran through smoldering flame and smoke. As bullets impacted all around him, Pat succeeded in cutting one of the locks before scorching sweltering heat forced him to leave the building for some air. Pat caught his breath in a few seconds and was back. He ran right back into that raging blaze and sliced the final lock and released the rest of the hostages.”

Trump said Payne defied orders to leave without freeing all of the captives.

“As the building began to collapse, he received orders to evacuate but he refused to do so. He didn’t want to leave anyone behind. Pat ran back into the burning building that was collapsing two more times. He saved multiple hostages and he was the last man to leave,” Trump said.

Twenty ISIS fighters were killed in the operation.

God bless Sgt. Maj. Thomas Payne, and the men and women like him. They exemplify courage, determination, and a strength that I will never know. Payne must have a heart of compassion a mile deep and a mile wide.

Kevin M. points us to the Army’s biography of Payne and a detailed description of his heroism here.


34 Responses to “Medal Of Honor Awarded Today”

  1. Humbled.

    Dana (292df6)

  2. I read about this guy earlier. He really earned it in my opinion.

    Davethulhu (ad4ff1)

  3. The Army’s description:

    As his team attempted to breach the building’s fortified walls and windows, several of the Kurdish forces were wounded by enemy fire. Through the smoke and chaos, Payne looked into the building’s entryway and noticed the main prison door used the same type of lock he had seen in the first building. He knew he would be exposed to enemy fire if he attempted to cut the lock himself, but he also knew the hostages trapped inside the burning building would die if something wasn’t done.

    Payne grabbed a set of bolt cutters and ran into the building to cut the first lock on the door. Smoke poured out of the entryway as Payne received enemy fire. After cutting the first lock, Payne moved back to a safer position to avoid incoming fire and recover from smoke inhalation, but there was still a second lock that needed to be cut. After the Kurdish forces tried unsuccessfully to cut the second lock, Payne again exposed himself to enemy fire and suffocating smoke to cut the lock and reach the hostages.

    Once the second lock was cut, the combined force rushed into the burning building to reach the hostages and eliminate remaining threats. A call came over the radio that the building was beginning to collapse and the mandatory evacuation order was given. The hallways were thick with smoke and they were receiving enemy fire, but there were still hostages inside. Payne knew the team had to move quickly.

    Many of the hostages were disoriented and unsure of what was happening. Payne directed the large group to safety, at one point grabbing a man and pulling him down the hallway, allowing the hostages to move out of the building. Still receiving fire, Payne went back in a second time, finding and dragging a large man out of the building to safety. Finally, after Payne entered and exited the building a third time to make sure everyone was out, he gave the “last man” call so the task force could prepare for extraction.

    The combined force created a human wall so the hostages could be safely moved from the building as they continued to receive enemy fire. But when Payne and others returned fire, the hostages would stop running out of fear and confusion. Payne’s team held their fire and put themselves at risk to shield the hostages and safely get them out of the compound.

    But read the whole thing ™

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  4. I’s say that rather a few lesser medals were earned that day.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  5. Good lord…that’s a noble warrior there.

    whembly (c30c83)

  6. Showtime! Another ratings grabber. He-do-know-hiz-audience.
    Pressers, Michigan rally, Shanksville, more Mideast peace, MoH… a busy POTUS doing POTUS stuff; energetic, alert…. awake!

    And Biden?…

    “Hey Joe, you didn’t have your Wheaties… watch out; there’s someone in your way…”


    DCSCA (797bc0)

  7. True Heroism should be recognized. I’m glad he lived to receive his honors.

    Nic (896fdf)

  8. God Bless this man. He did what he had to do to save lives against all odds. The definition of a hero.

    Just yesterday we had similar heroes in the national guard rescuing people from the inferno when the locals had given up on them and told them to shelter in place or jump in the lake to avoid the inferno.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  9. Good Man. He deserves it!

    Time123 (53ef45)

  10. Thanks, Kevin. I’ve included your link in the post.

    Dana (292df6)

  11. There’s even a comic strip.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  12. I was dissatisfied with Trump’s recounting.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  13. MSG Joshua Wheeler, who died leading the initial assault was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart. Payne was the first living member of Delta Force to be awarded the MoH.

    Ironically, the Kurdish fighters that they were sent to rescue were not there, although 20 Iraqi Forces personnel were.

    Videos from the raid:

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  14. Credit to Trump for picking a proper awardee. He also gets credit for Bahrain normalizing relations with Israel.

    Paul Montagu (ad6b35)

  15. Well-done, Sgt. Major Payne!

    His Army biography notes that he has been deployed 17 times since 2003.

    Here’s his list of the training he’s completed and honors received:

    Payne is a graduate of numerous military schools and courses, including Basic Airborne Course; Ranger Indoctrination Program; Ranger School; Sniper Course; Basic Leader Course; Basic Demolition Course; Advanced Demolition Course; Advanced Land Navigation; Survive, Evasion, Resistance and Escape; Free Fall Parachutist; Advanced Leader Course; Jumpmaster Course; Free Fall Jumpmaster Course; Joint Military Tandem Master Course; Senior Leader Course; Defense Language Institute (French); Special Forces Sniper Course; and Joint Special Operations Senior Enlisted Academy.

    Payne’s awards and decorations include the Medal of Honor; Bronze Star Medal with Bronze “V” device and three Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters; the Purple Heart; Defense Meritorious Service Medal with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters; Meritorious Service Medal with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster; Joint Service Commendation Medal with Bronze “V” device; Army Commendation Medal with Bronze “V” device and one Silver Oak Leaf Cluster; Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation; Joint Meritorious Unit Award; Valorous Unit Award; Meritorious Unit Commendation; Army Good Conduct Medal with Bronze Clasp and five Loops; National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three Bronze Stars; Iraq Campaign Medal with five Bronze Stars; Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal with two Bronze Stars; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral “3”; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; NATO Medal; Ranger Tab; Combat Infantryman Badge; Expert Infantryman Badge; Military Free Fall Jumpmaster Badge and Parachutist Badge.


    Credit to Trump for picking a proper awardee.

    The president doesn’t “pick” suckers and losers Medal of Honor recipients. He decorates them “in the name of Congress”.

    Dave (1bb933)

  16. Noted, Dave. From the wiki:

    The first and most common is nomination and approval through the chain of command of the service member. The second method is nomination by a member of the U.S. Congress, generally at the request of a constituent.

    My guess is that he was nominated by the former. I also learned that it’s called the Medal of Honor; there’s no “Congressional” in the name.

    Paul Montagu (ad6b35)

  17. Having read more about the mission it sounds exactly like the sort of “endless war” thing Trump regularly fulminates against.

    We apparently committed some of the most elite and highly trained operators we have – and lost at least one of them – to rescue 70-odd Iraqi civilians in a facility with no other strategic value.

    From a moral point of view, that only makes it more heroic and admirable, but it hardly comports with the motto “America First”.

    Dave (1bb933)

  18. It was good. The whole thing was good. The awarding of the medal on 9/11 a crowning touch.

    nk (1d9030)

  19. The president doesn’t “pick” suckers and losers Medal of Honor recipients. He decorates them “in the name of Congress”.

    And a showman whois also CIC, knows how to make it an attention grabbing, ratings building, thread-making, TeeVee event; as opposed to sad clips of a clearly frail, aging Plagiarist JoeyBee bending down and nearly falling over placing a wreath in Pennsylvania. Or is it Delaware this week. He’s never sure where ’til he reads what’s written for him in the teleprompter,

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  20. Trump would do well to plagiarize a spelling dictionary.

    nk (1d9030)

  21. @20. Doesn’t have to– speaks a language all his own:



    DCSCA (797bc0)

  22. Trump and his cultists don’t go in for none of that book learnin’.

    Dave (1bb933)

  23. 22.Trump and his cultists don’t go in for none of that book learnin’.

    Especially when 62,984,828 of them beat 65,853,514 and adds up to a win. 😉

    New Math; it’s so simple; so vert simple; that only a child can do it.’ – Tom Lehrer

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  24. That’s actually true. Television is a regression to pre-literacy.

    nk (1d9030)

  25. No medals of honor were awarded to “negroes” during world war one or two (some many years later) I wonder why? The president in 1942 had to order the navy to award the navy cross to doris miller (aircraft carrier recently named after him) When the navy just wanted to pat him on the back and say thank you for your service negro.

    asset (134d96)

  26. 25 – That happens to be the work of hiden bidens democrat party.

    mg (8cbc69)

  27. lmao DCSCA

    mg (8cbc69)

  28. DCSCA – anyone not fond of the Electoral College can go about changing it instead of griping about it.

    Hoi Polloi (dc4124)

  29. #23 that’s hilarious when I see the never Trump cultists on this site show no intellectual curiosity about how the virus works and regularly misuse statistics because they see it only as a club to attack Trump. I know carpenters and electricians who have more math skills than a lot of people on this site. Especially the lawyers.

    1DaveMac (b2b831)

  30. Psst, did you know Trump has been nominated for the Nobel peace prize twice by a Swede and a Norwegian. Don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret.

    1DaveMac (b2b831)

  31. The contempt for blue collar workers on this site comes through loud and clear. The willingness to claim people you disagree with as ignorant and stupid is pathetic.

    1DaveMac (b2b831)

  32. There are two lawyers on this sight I respect. They comment in a professional manner, used reasoned arguments and don’t throw around insults in a casual manner. They are a credit to their profession.

    1DaveMac (b2b831)

  33. Psst, did you know Trump has been nominated for the Nobel peace prize twice by a Swede and a Norwegian. Don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret.

    Did you know that there are a couple of regular commenters on this site who can “nominate” you? If you do not know that, your subsequent commnents about “ignorant and stupid” are … nei ga, nei ga, nei ga, how you say in your country? … ironic.

    These are not the only “nominations” Trump has had. “See heah!”, like they say somewhere: That was in 2018. These so-called “nominations” are the equivalent of me sending a letter to the House of Representatives “nominating” Louis C.K. for Speaker.

    nk (1d9030)

  34. These two nominations weren’t done by Americans. That’s the difference.

    1DaveMac (b2b831)

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