The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
THACKER, BRIAN MILES
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant,
U.S. Army, Battery A, 1st Battalion, 92d Artillery. Place and date: Kontum
Province, Republic of Vietnam, 31 March 1971. Entered service at: Salt Lake City,
Utah. Born: 25 April 1945, Columbus, Ohio.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and
beyond the call of duty. 1st Lt. Thacker, Field Artillery, Battery A, distinguished
himself while serving as the team leader of an Integrated Observation System collocated
with elements of 2 Army of the Republic of Vietnam units at Fire Base 6. A numerically
superior North Vietnamese Army force launched a well-planned, dawn attack on the small,
isolated, hilltop fire base. Employing rockets, grenades, flame-throwers, and automatic
weapons, the enemy forces penetrated the perimeter defenses and engaged the defenders in
hand-to-hand combat. Throughout the morning and early afternoon, 1st Lt. Thacker rallied
and encouraged the U.S. and Republic of Vietnam soldiers in heroic efforts to repulse the
enemy. He occupied a dangerously exposed observation position for a period of 4 hours
while directing friendly air strikes and artillery fire against the assaulting enemy
forces. His personal bravery and inspired leadership enabled the outnumbered friendly
forces to inflict a maximum of casualties on the attacking enemy forces and prevented the
base from being overrun. By late afternoon, the situation had become untenable. 1st Lt.
Thacker organized and directed the withdrawal of the remaining friendly forces. With
complete disregard for his personal safety, he remained inside the perimeter alone to
provide covering fire with his M-16 rifle until all other friendly forces had escaped from
the besieged fire base. Then, in an act of supreme courage, he called for friendly
artillery fire on his own position to allow his comrades more time to withdraw safely from
the area and, at the same time, inflict even greater casualties on the enemy forces.
Although wounded and unable to escape from the area himself, he successfully eluded the
enemy forces for 8 days until friendly forces regained control of the fire base. The
extraordinary courage and selflessness displayed by 1st Lt. Thacker were an inspiration to
his comrades and are in the highest traditions of the military service.