Captain Marvin J. Roberts

Marvin Roberts

Captain Marvin J. Roberts

Captain Marvin James Roberts was commissioned an Infantry Officer upon graduation from Infantry Officer Candidate School Class RC2-64, 16 August 1964. At the time he was Killed in Action, Captain Roberts was serving as Company Commander of Company B, 1st Battalion, 11th Infantry, 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized). CPT Roberts was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

CITATION: For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, CPT Roberts was wounded while leading his men against the entrenched enemy positions but still managed to call for and adjust artillery and tactical air strikes on the NVA positions. He then moved through the ranks shouting encouragement and giving directions to continue the attack. As his unit neared the crest of the hill, an enemy grenade bounded into the company command group. Immediately and without regard to his own safety, he hurled the grenade back into the aggressor's position, killing the occupant. At that point, hostile machine guns opened fire from a concealed position inflicting casualties upon the exposed forces. Realizing that the machine guns threatened the lives of most of his company, Captain Roberts drew his pistol and charged up a hill through a curtain of fire and hurled a grenade into the position, silencing the enemy weapons. At this point the captain was the only officer remaining in the command group. His assault carried him to the enemy position where he fired his pistol at point blank range and killed the remainder of the machine gun crew. Captain Roberts was again seriously wounded in the assault on the machine gun position. Inspired by his leadership, the men of his unit rushed the crest of the hill and overcame the remaining enemy resistance. Mortally wounded and unable to move, he continued to point out enemy positions to his company and refused to be evacuated until the objective was secured and all other casualties had been treated and evacuated. Captain Roberts extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

His military awards include: Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

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Mary Cilia

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