American Valor
Stories of Valor
History of the Medal
About the Broadcast
For Teachers
Drew DixDrew Dix

Born: December 14, 1944
West Point, New York

War: Vietnam

Rank: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, U.S. Senior Advisor Group, IV Corps, Military Assistance Command.

Location of action: Chau Doc Province, Republic of Vietnam

Date of action: January 31 and February 1, 1968

Medal received from: President Lyndon Johnson, January 16, 1969

Official Citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Staff Sergeant Dix distinguished himself by exceptional heroism while serving as a unit adviser. Two heavily armed Viet Cong battalions attacked the providence capital city of Chau Phu, resulting in the complete breakdown and fragmentation of the defenses of the city. Staff Sergeant Dix, with patrol of Vietnamese soldiers, was recalled to assist in the defense of Chau Phu. Learning that a nurse was trapped in a house near the center of the city, Staff Sergeant Dix organized a relief force, successfully rescued the nurse and returned her to the safety of the Tactical Operations center.

Being informed of other trapped civilians within the city, Staff Sergeant Dix voluntarily led another force to rescue eight civilian employees located in a building which was under heavy mortar and small arms fire. Staff Sergeant Dix then returned to the center of the city. Upon approaching a building he was subjected to intense automatic and machine gun fire from an unknown number of Viet Cong. He personally assaulted the building, killing six Viet Cong and rescuing two Filipinos.

The following day Staff Sergeant Dix, still on his own volition, assembled a 20-man force and, though under intense enemy fire, cleared the Viet Cong out of the hotel, theater and other adjacent buildings within the city. During this portion of the attack, Republic of Vietnam Army soldiers, inspired by the heroism and success of Staff Sergeant Dix, rallied and commenced firing upon the Viet Cong. Staff Sergeant Dix captured 20 prisoners, including a high-ranking Viet Cong official. He then attacked enemy troops who had entered the residence of the Deputy Province Chief and was successful in rescuing the official’s wife and children.

Staff Sergeant Dix’s personal heroic actions resulted in 14 confirmed Viet Cong killed in action and possibly 25 more, the capture of 20 prisoners and 15 weapons, and the rescue of 14 United States and free-world civilians. The heroism of Staff Sergeant Dix was in the highest tradition and reflects great credit upon the U.S. Army.

Drew Dix is the first enlisted man in Special Forces to have been awarded the Medal of Honor. He received a direct commission to first lieutenant and retired with the rank of major after serving twenty years in the army--many of those in unconventional warfare assignments

Following retirement from the Army, Dix continued to work in support of government-sponsored programs, and he owned and operated an air service in the Alaskan interior. He has worked as a consultant in both the private and public sectors in the areas of security and special operations.

In September 2002, as Alaska’s deputy commissioner for homeland security, he was chosen to head the state’s Task Force on Homeland Security.

Of Note:
His 2000 autobiography, “The Rescue of River City,” is the story of Dix’s medal-winning experience as a counter-terrorism expert in the Army.

Further information:

Read an except from Drew Dix's interview.

©2003 GWETA