I guess it is better Late than Never!

President Trump presents the Medal of Honor to U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Thomas Patrick Payne | September 11, 2020

It only took the Army 5 FUCKING Years to get off its ass. In order to FINALLY give this Stud his well earned MOH! What a Disgrace is all that I can say! That and Well Done Sgt Major, I am so proud of you! Grumpy

Here is some more Info about THIS GREAT AMERICAN!

Thomas Payne (soldier)

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Thomas Payne
Sgt. Maj. Thomas "Patrick" Payne.jpg

Payne in 2019
Born April 2, 1984 (age 36)
South Carolina
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 2002–present
Rank Sergeant Major
Unit 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta (Delta Force)
1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
Battles/wars War in Afghanistan
Iraq War
International military intervention against ISIL
Awards Medal of Honor
Bronze Star Medal (4)
Purple Heart
Alma mater Norwich University (BS)
Spouse(s) Alison Payne
Children 3

Thomas Patrick Payne (born 2 April 1984) is a United States Army Delta Force sergeant major and instructor. He was born and raised in South Carolina and after graduating high school there he joined the army in 2002. He was a rifleman and sniper before becoming a special operations team member. He has been deployed 17 times including to Iraq and Afghanistan, where he sustained a serious grenade injury in 2010 that nearly ended his career. In 2015, he participated in a hostage rescue mission in an area of northern Iraq controlled by the Islamic State for which he was awarded the United States Medal of Honor for heroism in 2020.

Personal life[edit]

Payne was born on 2 April 1984 and grew up in Batesburg-Leesville and Lugoff, South Carolina, graduating from high school in 2002.[1] His father is a police officer, and he has two brothers, one of whom also serves in the Army and the other in the United States Air Force.[2]

Payne graduated from Norwich University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science degree in strategic studies and defense analysis. He is stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he lives with his wife and three children. His wife, Alison, is a nurse who served at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Long Island, where she helped care for patients during the COVID-19 outbreak between April and May 2020.[1] They met at Lake Murray while he was recovering from his wounds in South Carolina from a grenade blast in Afghanistan in 2010.[2]

Army career[edit]

After high school, Payne enlisted in the United States Army as an Infantryman 11B on 25 July 2002 and completed the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 2002 and the Ranger Indoctrination Program (now known as the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program) in early 2003.[2][1]

Payne was then assigned as a rifleman to Company A, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, where he also served as a sniper and sniper team leader until November 2007, the year he completed a specialized selection course for assignment to the United States Army Special Operations Command‘s 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Since then, he has served within USASOC as a special operations team member, assistant team sergeant, team sergeant and instructor.[1]

In 2010, then-Sergeant First Class Payne was wounded in Afghanistan from a grenade blast. Payne overcame the near career-ending injury and, in 2012, Payne and his teammate, Master Sergeant Kevin Foutz, won the Best Ranger Competition – a gruelling contest that places extreme demands on buddy teams’ physical, mental, technical and tactical skills as Rangers – at Fort Benning.[2][1]

Throughout his career, Payne has deployed 17 times in support of Operation Enduring FreedomOperation Iraqi FreedomOperation New DawnOperation Inherent Resolve, and Operation Resolute Support, and to the United States Africa Command area of responsibility.[2][1]

Payne is a graduate of numerous military schools and courses, including Basic Airborne CourseRanger Indoctrination ProgramRanger SchoolSniper CourseBasic Leader Course; Basic Demolition Course; Advanced Demolition Course; Advanced Land Navigation; Survive, Evasion, Resistance and EscapeFree Fall ParachutistAdvanced Leader CourseJumpmaster Course; Free Fall Jumpmaster Course; Joint Military Tandem Master Course; Senior Leader Course; Defense Language Institute (French); Special Forces Sniper Course; and Joint Special Operations Senior Enlisted Academy.[1]

Medal of Honor[edit]

Medal of Honor ceremony

Payne was awarded the Medal of Honor on 11 September 2020 for his actions on 22 October 2015 during a hostage rescue at an Islamic State prison compound in the north of the town of Hawija, Kirkuk Province, Iraq, in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.[2][3] The joint operation, conducted with the Kurdish CTG (Counter Terrorism Group), resulted in the rescue of 70 Iraqi prisoners with one American casualty, Delta Force Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler.[1][4] Payne received the Medal of Honor from President Donald Trump during a ceremony at the White House. He is the first living Delta Force member to receive the Medal of Honor, the third Delta Force recipient after Master Sergeant Gary Gordon and Sergeant First Class Randy Shughart who died in the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu, and the first Medal of Honor recipient for Operation Inherent Resolve.[4][5]

Rescue operation[edit]

The task force prioritized the hostage rescue mission to prevent execution of 70 prisoners after learning that new graves had been dug at the complex. The mission, which included Kurdish soldiers, commenced in pre-dawn darkness with the landing of the team in CH-47 Chinook helicopters.[6] The Kurdish troops unsuccessfully tried to blast open the prison wall with explosives which caused the enemy to open fire almost immediately.[7] The Americans entered the complex by climbing over the wall and Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler was killed by ISIS gunfire.[7] Payne and the team suppressed resistance at one prison building, cut the locks on cell doors and freed 37 hostages.[7][6]

An intense firefight was underway in a second building, which had started to burn. Payne and other US soldiers responded to radio calls for assistance and aided Kurdish soldiers who were pinned down at the second building. Amid gunfire, Payne and another soldier climbed a ladder to the roof of the building but could not gain entry. From the roof, they engaged enemy forces on the ground with gunfire and grenades before returning to the ground to seek another entry point after an ISIS fighter detonated a suicide vest to try to collapse the building. Payne and a Kurdish commando entered the burning building and faced intense gunfire from enemy combatants in a back room. Payne cut one door lock but retreated due to the heavy smoke and gunfire. A Kurdish commando tried to cut the second lock but failed. Payne entered the area again and cut the last lock, freeing 30 additional prisoners.[7][4] As the building was collapsing, the order was given to evacuate. Payne stayed to direct everyone out, being the last person to exit [6] after re-entering twice to ensure that no one was left behind.[7] Payne and the team then formed a protective barrier as the hostages ran to the extraction helicopters.[4]

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

A light blue neck ribbon with a gold star shaped medallion hanging from it. The ribbon is similar in shape to a bowtie with 13 white stars in the center of the ribbon.

Attention to orders. The Medal of Honor is awarded to Sergeant First Class Thomas P. Payne, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on October 22, 2015.

His heroism and selfless actions were key to liberating 75 hostages during a contested rescue mission that resulted in 20 enemies killed in action.

Sergeant First Class Payne’s gallantry under fire and uncommon valor are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the United States Special Operations Command, and the United States Army.[8]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Payne has received:[1]

Combat Infantry Badge.svg Combat Infantryman Badge
Expert Infantry Badge.svg Expert Infantryman Badge
Ranger Tab.svg Ranger tab
Image4246.gifUnited States Air Force Parachutist Badge.svg Basic Parachutist Badge with United States Army Special Operations Command background trimming
US Military Master Free Fall Parachutist Badge.jpg Military Freefall Jumpmaster Badge
US Army Expert Marksmanship Qualification Badge-Generic.png Expert Marksmanship Badge with Rifle Component Bar
Wings badge.JPG British Parachutist Badge
1 Ranger Battalion Shoulder Sleeve Insignia.svg 1st Ranger Battalion Combat Service Identification Badge
75th Ranger Regiment Distinctive Unit Insignia.svg 75th Ranger Regiment Distinctive Unit Insignia
Service stripe.jpg 6 Service stripes
ArmyOSB.svg 8 Overseas Service Bars
 Medal of Honor (upgraded from the Distinguished Service Cross)
"V" device, brass.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Bronze Star Medal with “V” device and three oak leaf clusters
Purple Heart ribbon.svg Purple Heart
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Defense Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Bronze oak leaf cluster

Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster

V

Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor device

"V" device, brass.svgSilver oakleaf-3d.svg Army Commendation Medal with Valor device and silver oak leaf cluster
U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Army Presidential Unit Citation with four oak leaf clusters
United States Navy Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg Navy Presidential Unit Citation
 Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Valorous Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters
 Meritorious Unit Commendation
Army Superior Unit Award ribbon.svg Superior Unit Award
Gcl-06.png Army Good Conduct Medal (6 awards)
 National Defense Service Medal
Bronze-service-star-3d-vector.svgBronze-service-star-3d-vector.svgBronze-service-star-3d-vector.svg Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three bronze campaign stars
Silver star

Iraq Campaign Medal with one silver campaign star

Bronze-service-star-3d-vector.svgBronze-service-star-3d-vector.svg Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal with two campaign stars
Bronze star

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal with service star

 Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Award numeral 3.svg NCO Professional Development Ribbon with bronze award numeral 3
 Army Service Ribbon
Award numeral 6.png Army Overseas Service Ribbon with award numeral 6
 NATO Medal for service with ISAF