Clinton Romesha, of Minot, N.D., will be only the fourth living person to be so honored for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan, when he receives the medal Feb. 11, the White House said Friday.
Romesha was a staff sergeant and a section leader with Bravo Troop, 3-61 Cavalry, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry division when his outpost in the eastern province of Nuristan was attacked in October 2009.
The award citation says Romesha's "heroic actions throughout the daylong battle were critical in suppressing an enemy that had far greater numbers. His extraordinary efforts gave Bravo Troop the opportunity to regroup, reorganize and prepare for the counterattack that allowed the troop to account for its personnel and secure Combat Outpost Keating."
Romesha and his fellow soldiers were attacked by an estimated 300 enemy fighters firing rocket-propelled grenades, anti-aircraft guns and mortars.
While wounded, he destroyed "multiple enemy targets," the citation says, and directed air support to destroy more than 30 enemy fighters and saved wounded soldiers.
The attack was considered one of the deadliest on U.S. troops in Afghanistan, CNN reported. The assault, and Romesha's actions, were chronicled in the book "The Outpost" by Jake Tapper.