H.R. 3304: To Authorize and Request the President to Award the Medal of Honor to Bennie G. Adkins and Donald P. Sloat of the United States Army for Acts of Valor During the Vietnam Conflict and to Authorize the Award of the Medal of Honor to Certain Other Veterans

H.R. 3304

To Authorize and Request the President to Award the Medal of Honor to Bennie G. Adkins and Donald P. Sloat of the United States Army for Acts of Valor During the Vietnam Conflict and to Authorize the Award of the Medal of Honor to Certain Other Veterans

Date
October 28, 2013 (113th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Monday, October 28, 2013, the House will consider H.R. 3304, a bill to Authorize and Request the President to Award the Medal of Honor to Bennie G. Adkins and Donald P. Sloat of the United States Army for Acts of Valor During the Vietnam Conflict and to Authorize the Award of the Medal of Honor to Certain Other Veterans Who Were Previously Recommended for Award of the Medal of Honor,under a suspension of the rules.  The bill was introduced on October 22, 2013 by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) and referred to the Committee on Armed Services.

Bill Summary

H.R. 3304 authorizes and requests the President to award the Medal of Honor to Bennie G. Adkins and Donald P. Sloat of the United States Army for acts of valor during the Vietnam Conflict.  Moreover, this legislation authorizes the award of the Medal of Honor to certain other veterans who were previously recommended for the award.  

Background

Sergeant First Class (E7) Bennie G. Adkins served with the Special Forces for more than 13 years with the 7th, 3rd, 6th, and 5th Special Forces Groups (Airborne).  According to the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) biography on Mr. Adkins:

“While in Special Forces, he deployed to the Republic of Vietnam with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) for three non-consecutive tours. While serving with ODA-102 at A Shau in 1966, his camp was attacked by a large Viet Cong force. SFC Adkins rushed through intense hostile fire and manned a mortar position. Although he was wounded, he ran through exploding mortar rounds and dragged several of his comrades to safety. When the mortar barrage subsided, SFC Adkins carried his wounded comrades to the camp dispensary, while still receiving sporadic sniper fire. During the evacuation of a seriously wounded American, he maneuvered outside the camp walls to draw fire and successfully covered the rescue. During the early morning hours of 10 March 1966, a Viet Cong regiment launched its main attack. Within two hours, Adkins was the only man firing a mortar weapon and although wounded with most of his team killed or wounded, he fought off the waves of attacking Viet Cong. Adkins and the small group of remaining soldiers were ordered to evacuate the camp. Although they were running low on ammunition, they fought their way out of the camp and evaded the Viet Cong for two days until they were rescued. Adkins was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his heroic actions.”[1]

Specialist Four Donald P. Sloat (SP4) was killed serving for the United States Army 3r in the Vietnam Conflict on January, 17, 1970.  Mr. Sloat gave his life to save other soldiers in his platoon by catching a grenade that was on a tip wire set off by another soldier.[2]

After completing the review of Jewish and Hispanic American veterans going back to World War II to correct an injustice to deserving members of our military who risked their lives for our country but whose actions were overlooked due to their ethnicity and religion, the Department of Defense discovered seven individuals who did not meet the exact criteria of the congressionally mandated review, but nevertheless were deserving of the Medal of Honor.

Cost

A formal CBO estimate is not currently available.  Informal guidance indicates a $1 million increase in mandatory spending over 10 years.  The Budget Committee has agreed to waive CUTGO/PAYGO requirements on this legislation.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.