Captain David Alan Christian

Christian David

Captain David Alan Christian

Captain David Alan Christian was commissioned as an Infantry Officer upon graduation from Infantry Officer Candidate School Class 44-67 at Fort Benning, Georgia, 1 August 1967 at 18 years of age. His first duty assignment was as the Intelligence/Combat Operations Officer, Company A, 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. CPT Christian was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism during the Vietnam War.

CITATION: For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Combat Support Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. First Lieutenant Christian distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 29 October 1968 while in charge of the lead element of a reconnaissance-in-force mission ten miles northwest of Quan Loi. During an attempt to flank enemy positions, Lieutenant Christian's nine-man unit came under heavy rocket-propelled grenade, small arms and automatic weapons fire. After firing several light antitank weapons, he led an assault on the hostile strongholds, killing three North Vietnamese and causing others to flee. As he and his comrades advanced they again received intense small arms and machine gun fire and three men were wounded. Lieutenant Christian sent the casualties and the medic to the rear, and then led his troops forward until they became pinned down within ten meters of a bunker. Disregarding his safety, he assaulted the fortification single-handedly and destroyed it with hand grenades. The communists were reinforced by approximately thirty men, forcing the reconnaissance team to take cover behind a berm. Despite the enemy's devastating fire superiority, Lieutenant Christian attacked them with two antitank weapons. He was painfully wounded in the hand, but refused medical care and returned to the berm to direct artillery fire. When friendly reinforcements arrived two hours later, he directed them to cover his left flank while he attempted to evacuate his casualties. Although wounded again by an enemy rocket-propelled grenade, he did not permit himself to be treated until the other injured men had been evacuated. Lieutenant Christian's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.

His subsequent duty assignments include: Unit Officer, Army Post Office, San Francisco; Platoon Leader, Company F, 52nd IN (LRRP/Ranger); Recon Platoon Leader, Company B, 1-26 IN; Platoon Leader, Combat Support Company, 1-26 IN; Platoon Leader, Company D, 58th IN, Republic of Vietnam.

Following medical retirement, CPT Christian continued his civilian education while recovering from his wounds with an undergraduate degree from Villanova University, Russian language immersion at Middlebury College, and culminating in a Juris Doctorate at Rutgers University. He also served as both National Commander and National Adjutant of the Legion of Valor, as well as founding the United Vietnam Veterans Organization.

His military education and training consists of: Infantry AIT, Infantry Officer Candidate School, Airborne School, and the United States Army Special Weapons School.

CPT Christian's military awards and decorations include: Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star (w/OLC), Bronze Star, the Purple Heart (w/2 OLC), Air Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Army Overseas Service Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Medal (w/Palm Ribbon), Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.

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