By Direction

of the

President of the United States


Distinguished Service Cross

Is Awarded 


Richard M. Speer



Rank and Organization:   First Lieutenant Infantry, Company D, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)

Date and Place:  22 April 1970,  Republic of Vietnam

Reason:  For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam:  First Lieutenant Speer distinguished himself while leading a platoon during combat operations in Phuoc Long Province.  Following a brief engagement with an enemy element, Lieutenant Speer led his platoon in pursuit of the fleeing enemy in order to maintain contact with them.  After a short chase, the lieutenant noticed several enemy soldiers lying in ambush on the trail ahead.  He immediately placed devastating fire on the enemy while his platoon took cover.  Constantly exposing himself to the enemy return fire, lieutenant Speer moved among his men, shouting encouragement and directing their fire.  When his radio operator was wounded by the intensified enemy fire, he administered aid to him.  Lieutenant Speer then directed artillery fire within meters of his position causing the enemy to flee with heavy casualties.  Throughout the battle, he maintained complete control of the tactical situation until he was mortally wounded by enemy fire.  First Lieutenant Speer's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.



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