Written by Sgt. Justin Moell
5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Public Affairs Office
Fort Campbell, KY – Awarded for personal acts of valor, above and beyond the call of duty, the highest award a Soldier can earn during combat is the Medal of Honor.
Retired U.S. Army Maj. Drew D. Dix, native of Pueblo, CO, was awarded the Medal of Honor from President Lyndon B. Johnson on January 19th, 1969, for repeatedly leading a 20-man force of local fighters in to Chau Phu, Vietnam, multiple times, driving out the Viet Cong resulting in 14 confirmed Viet Cong Killed in action and a potential 25 more, the rescue of 14 United States and free world civilians, and capturing 20 enemy combatants, including a high ranking Viet Cong official, during the early days of the Tet Offensive.
Not only a Medal of Honor recipient, he is the first enlisted Special Forces Soldier (serving as a Staff Sergeant in the 5th Special Forces Group) to receive that award.
In recognition of his exemplary time spent serving with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), also known as “Legion,” the 5th SFG(Airborne) dedicated the Special Operations Complex of their 4th Battalion, in his name during a ceremony July 11th, 2014.
“The dedication, sacrifice and professionalism of men like Drew Dix, created the foundation of this regiment that is only further cemented by this building dedication, the warrior it honors and the inspiration it provides to the professionals currently serving in its storied ranks.” said Lt. Col. Joseph Lock, commander of the 4th Bn., 5th SFG(A). “This building dedication today will provide an enduring, tangible reminder of the warriors who have built this regiment, and serve as an example of what we should strive to be.”
Dix is the epitome of what every Soldier should strive to be. Aside from receiving the Medal of Honor, his actions led to a direct commission to 1st Lieutenant, where he became a commander of Company A, 2nd BN, 502nd Infantry Regiment, in the 101st Airborne Division.
“The 101st Airborne Division has a spot right here [in my heart], cause I commanded some of the finest draftees in the 101st: A Company, 2nd Bn., 502nd Infantry Regiment,” said Dix. “We’ve got a fine military, a military with history, and a military that believes in doing the right thing. For whatever reason, the men and women (of the Army) raise their hand to do this kind of work, and that’s what we need.”
Having a storied career that is a legacy to most Soldiers, Dix’s gratitude was still evident as he and Lock unveiled the plaque dedicating the building in his name.
“This is a tremendous honor for me,” said Dix. “I’m proud to be a part of this group.”
The ceremony took place outside, in front of the building being dedicated, among Soldiers of the 4th Bn., Family, friends and Legion command; all bearing witness to what a model Green Beret can be.
The connection back to the early days of Legion, gave Dix a moment to reflect on his own time as a Special Forces Soldier.
“My association with the 5th Special Forces (Group) came at an early age back in 1967,” said Dix. “A lot of conventional troops, back in my day didn’t like us because we were called ‘special.’ We’re not special because we want to be treated special, we are special because we know special things and we do special things for each other.”
Dix showed he was special by earning the trust of the locals to not only accomplish his mission, but to better their lives.
“Dix was successful, not only because of exceptional bravery, heroism, and audacity in the face of overwhelming odds, but because he was able to win the hearts and minds of an indigenous force,” said Lock. “He treated them like brothers, or inspired by his heroism they willingly risked their lives to defeat a far numerically superior enemy force.”