17 Sep 2011

Medal of Honor awarded to US marine

6:45 pm on 17 September 2011

A US Marine has received the Medal of Honor for saving 36 lives in Afghanistan in September 2009.

Sergeant Dakota Meyer, 23, and a group of US soldiers were training Afghan military members when the Taliban ambushed the patrol.

Sergeant Meyer is the third living recipient of the medal for service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to the official citation, Sergeant Meyer was a corporal when the Taliban ambushed his patrol in Kunar province, Afghanistan, on 8 September 2009.

As the ambush intensified, Sergeant Meyer defied his commanding officers' orders to jump into an armoured Humvee with a fellow Marine.

Braving an inferno of machine-gun fire, bullets, grenades and mortars he made a total of five trips - one on foot - to evacuate American and Afghan soldiers.

He continued to evacuate soldiers, many of whom were wounded, even after sustaining a shrapnel wound to his arm on the third trip.

The Medal of Honor is America's highest military award.

Staff Sergeant Juan Rodriguez-Chavez, who accompanied Sergeant Meyer on some of the trips, is to receive the Navy Cross for his bravery that day.