Armed Forces News

President Joseph Biden presents the Medal of Honor to retired Col. Ralph Puckett Jr. during a ceremony at the White House in Washington, D.C., May 21, 2021. Puckett was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions while serving then as commander of the Eighth Army Ranger Company when his company of 57 Rangers was attacked by Chinese forces at Hill 205 near the Chongchon River, during the Korean Conflict on November 25-26, 1950. (Photo: Spc. XaViera Masline)

Retired Army Col. Ralph Puckett Jr., received the Medal of Honor from President Biden in a May 21 White House ceremony, for heroism he displayed nearly 71 years ago.

The record shows that Puckett headed a cadre of 57 Army Rangers and South Korean soldiers against six battalion-sized attacks, during the fight for Hill 205. The action took place Nov. 25-26, 1950.


Puckett and his troops accomplished their mission while short on food and ammunition, and without cold-weather gear despite freezing temperatures. The awarding of the Medal of Honor for valor in combat came after a decade-long effort to upgrade it.

Puckett had received a Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) for the action earlier. He went on to earn another DSC during the Vietnam War. In total, Puckett received two Silver Stars, two Legions of Merit, two Bronze Stars with V devices for valor, five Purple Hearts, 10 Air Medals, the Army Commendation Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.