The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
Rank and organization:
Master Sergeant [then Sergeant First Class], U.S. Army, Detachment B-36, Company A, 5th Special
Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces. Place and date:
Phuoc Long Province, Republic of Vietnam, 1 September 1969. Entered service at:
Corpus Christi, Texas. Born: 15 June 1937, Corpus Christi, Texas.
For acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as the company commander, Detachment B-36, Company A, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces during combat operations against an armed enemy in Phuoc Long Province, Republic of Vietnam on 1 September 1969. That afternoon, Sergeant First Class Rodela’s battalion came under an intense barrage of mortar, rocket, and machine gun fire. Ignoring the withering enemy fire, Sergeant First Class Rodela immediately began placing his men into defensive positions to prevent the enemy from overrunning the entire battalion. Repeatedly exposing himself to enemy fire, Sergeant First Class Rodela moved from position to position, providing suppressing fire and assisting wounded, and was himself wounded in the back and head by a B-40 rocket while recovering a wounded comrade. Alone, Sergeant First Class Rodela assaulted and knocked out the B-40 rocket position before successfully returning to the battalion’s perimeter. Sergeant First Class Rodela’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.