First Lieutenant Chelse Carl Korte
First Lieutenant Chelse Carl Korte was commissioned as an Infantry Officer upon graduation from Infantry Officer Candidate School Class 2-69 at Fort Benning, Georgia, 25 January 1969. He reported to his first duty assignment as a Training Officer, Fort Lewis, Washington. 1LT Korte was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism during the Vietnam War.
CITATION: Second Lieutenant Korte distinguished himself while serving as a weapons Platoon Leader with Company A, 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry, 1st Infantry Brigade, 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized) during the defense of a night perimeter just south of the Demilitarized Zone. Early that morning, waves of North Vietnamese regulars assaulted Lieutenant Korte's position under cover of rocket-propelled grenade, mortar, and automatic weapons fire. Although hit in the abdomen by an enemy round early in the fighting, Lieutenant Korte refused medical aid and continued to direct the return fire of his men. When the blast of a rocket-propelled grenade threw one of his men outside the perimeter, Lieutenant Korte, though weakened by his own wound, moved through a hail of enemy fire to his fallen comrade and pulled him back within the perimeter. Lieutenant Korte attempted to administer first aid to the wounded soldier, but he lapsed into unconsciousness from exhaustion and loss of blood. When he regained consciousness, Lieutenant Korte ordered the medical aidman treating his wound to attend to the soldier he had just retrieved. He then staggered off to the perimeter and resumed command of his defenses. Sighting two enemy soldiers firing from behind a clump of bushes, Lieutenant Korte summoned a rifleman to his side and gave the soldier two hand grenades. He then stood up in the open to attract the attention of the enemy soldiers. As the two enemy rose to open fire, Lieutenant Korte's companion hurled his grenades and killed both enemy soldiers. Noticing then that machine gunners on the perimeter were low on ammunition, Lieutenant Korte three times crawled over thirty meters under fire to the gun emplacements with re-supplies of ammunition. Despite Lieutenant Korte's determined efforts to hold air the enemy onrush, one side of the perimeter was about to be overrun. Lieutenant Korte then crawled to the other side of the perimeter and ordered reinforcements to the endangered aide. While deploying these troops to defensive positions, Lieutenant Korte collapsed unconscious on the battlefield. Emboldened by Lieutenant Korte's indomitable fighting spirit, his men, though overwhelmingly outnumbered, emerged from their foxholes and charged the enemy attackers. So stunned were the enemy that they broke contact and fled, leaving over a hundred dead and wounded on the battlefield.
His subsequent duty assignments include: Commander, HHC, 5th Army NCO Academy; Commander, 5th Army NCO Academy.
1LT Korte's military awards and decorations include: Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.