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President Joe Biden presented retired Col. Ralph Puckett Jr. with America’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor, on Friday. Puckett was a first lieutenant and the Eighth Army Ranger Company commander who led 51 Rangers and nine South Korean soldiers in a defense against six battalion-sized Chinese assaults on Hill 205 during the Korean War.
“The intelligence briefing indicated that there were 25,000 Chinese troops in the area,” Biden said at the ceremony. “[Puckett] believed in the fundamentals. It was how he trained his men, and how he had hand picked them, chosen from the ranks of cooks, clerks, and mechanics to [become] the first Ranger company since World War II.”
Throughout the attack, Puckett was injured three times.