The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*PRUDEN, ROBERT J.
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant,
U.S. Army, 75th Infantry, Americal Division. Place and Date: Quang Ngai Province,
Republic of Vietnam, 29 November 1969. Entered service at: Minneapolis, Minn. Born:
9 September 1949, St. Paul, Minn.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and
beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Pruden, Company G, distinguished himself while serving as
a reconnaissance team leader during an ambush mission. The 6-man team was inserted by
helicopter into enemy controlled territory to establish an ambush position and to obtain
information concerning enemy movements. As the team moved into the preplanned area, S/Sgt.
Pruden deployed his men into 2 groups on the opposite sides of a well used trail. As the
groups were establishing their defensive positions, 1 member of the team was trapped in
the open by the heavy fire from an enemy squad. Realizing that the ambush position had
been compromised, S/Sgt. Pruden directed his team to open fire on the enemy force.
Immediately, the team came under heavy fire from a second enemy element. S/Sgt. Pruden,
with full knowledge of the extreme danger involved, left his concealed position and,
firing as he ran, advanced toward the enemy to draw the hostile fire. He was seriously
wounded twice but continued his attack until he fell for a third time, in front of the
enemy positions. S/Sgt. Pruden's actions resulted in several enemy casualties and
withdrawal of the remaining enemy force. Although grievously wounded, he directed his men
into defensive positions and called for evacuation helicopters, which safely withdrew the
members of the team. S/Sgt. Pruden's outstanding courage, selfless concern for the welfare
of his men, and intrepidity in action 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 U.S. Army.