The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the
SILVER STAR MEDAL posthumously to
SSgt ROBERT OTIS WARD
United States Marine Corps
For service as set forth in the following
"The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Staff Sergeant Robert Otis Ward, United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company B, 1st Battalion, 26th Marines, 3d Marine Division (Rein), FMF, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on 7 June 1967. While serving as a Platoon Sergeant with the Second Platoon, Company B, Staff Sergeant Ward was participating with his platoon in a two-platoon search and clear operation west of Khe Sanh. The entire sweeping unit was taken under heavy and accurate mortar fire by North Vietnamese regular forces. This mortar fire immediately caused heavy casualties among the members of the sweeping force. While mortar rounds continued falling upon the patrol's position, the patrol was assaulted by a North Vietnamese platoon from well-concealed positions. Staff Sergeant Ward, exercising exemplary presence of mind, led the squad of his platoon with which he was moving as Platoon Sergeant into a protective position from which he was able return fire and throw grenades upon the advancing enemy and to provide covering fire protecting the command group of the patrol. The squad under his direction repeatedly drove enemy soldiers from positions into which they had moved to deliver small arms fire and grenades upon the Company Commander and his radioman. With his Platoon Commander wounded, and the remainder of his platoon killed, wounded, or separated from his position, Staff Sergeant Ward unhesitatingly and without regard for his own safety led the squad under his direction in a fierce counterattack which destroyed the initiative of the enemy assault and regained dominating terrain. With the Company Gunnery Sergeant seriously wounded and unable to perform his duties, Staff Sergeant Ward then supervised the helicopter evacuation of casualties from the site of the action with courage and precision while exposed to heavy enemy automatic weapons fire in the landing zone. The actions of Staff Sergeant Ward contributed directly and substantially to the success of the patrol in containing the enemy assault and toward saving the lives of the seriously wounded Marines who were expeditiously evacuated under his supervision. By his heroic action and devotion to duty in the face of graver personal risk, Staff Sergeant Ward upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."