The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*SARGENT, RUPPERT L.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant,
U.S. Army, Company B, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. Place and
Date: Hau Nghia Province, Republic of Vietnam, 15 March 1967. Entered service at:
Richmond, Va. Born: 6 January 1938, Hampton, Va.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and
beyond the call of duty. While leading a platoon of Company B, 1st Lt. Sargent was
investigating a reported Viet Cong meeting house and weapons cache. A tunnel entrance
which 1st Lt. Sargent observed was booby trapped. He tried to destroy the booby trap and
blow the cover from the tunnel using hand grenades, but this attempt was not successful.
He and his demolition man moved in to destroy the booby trap and cover which flushed a
Viet Cong soldier from the tunnel, who was immediately killed by the nearby platoon
sergeant. 1st Lt. Sargent, the platoon sergeant, and a forward observer moved toward the
tunnel entrance. As they approached, another Viet Cong emerged and threw 2 hand grenades
that landed in the midst of the group. 1st Lt. Sargent fired 3 shots at the enemy then
turned and unhesitatingly threw himself over the 2 grenades. He was mortally wounded, and
his 2 companions were lightly wounded when the grenades exploded. By his courageous and
selfless act of exceptional heroism, he saved the lives of the platoon sergeant and
forward observer and prevented the injury or death of several other nearby comrades. 1st
Lt. Sargent's actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military services
and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.