House Passes Waltz, Crenshaw, Murphy Bill to Posthumously Award Alwyn Cashe Medal of Honor
Washington, September 22, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill from U.S. Reps. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.), Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) and Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) to authorize the President of the United States to posthumously award the Medal of Honor to U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe for actions taken in Iraq on October 17, 2005.
The bill would make a technical change to federal law, which generally requires that the Medal of Honor be awarded within five years of the actions that are the basis for the award, a requirement that Congress regularly waives.
“It’s not every day you read an extraordinary story like Alwyn Cashe’s,” Waltz said. “His bravery in the face of danger has inspired so many already – and this is a significant step forward to properly recognize him for his heroism. I’m incredibly proud to see the House of Representatives come together in favor of this legislation to award him the Medal of Honor. Now we need our colleagues in the Senate to pass our bill.”
“With unanimous passage of our bill by the House today, we are one step closer to ensuring that Alwyn Cashe receives the Medal of Honor he earned,” said Murphy. “I am grateful that so many Americans are learning of and being inspired by SFC Cashe’s heroic actions, which are so extraordinary that they nearly defy description. Now our fight to properly honor this soldier turns to the United States Senate, where I know we will have many allies and we will not stop working until we get this across the finish line.”
“We are one step closer to properly recognizing Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe for his bravery in risking his own life to save his fellow soldiers,” said Crenshaw. “He is deserving of the Medal of Honor, our nation’s highest military award for bravery on the battlefield and we urge that the Senate quickly follow suit and pass our bill to make sure that happens.”
Last month, after a letter from the three Members of Congress urging careful review of SFC Cashe’s case, U.S. Department of Defense Sec. Mark Esper wrote a letter to the Members, indicating he is prepared to recommend to the President that SFC Cashe be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Esper wrote he would make the recommendation, should Congress make a change to a federal law requiring the Medal of Honor is awarded within five years of the actions for the basis of the award.
“After giving the nomination careful consideration, I agree that SFC Cashe’s actions merit award of the Medal of Honor,” wrote Esper. “Before we can take further action with this nomination, Congress must waive this [five-year] time limit. Once legislation is enacted authorizing the President of the United States to award, if he so chooses, the Medal of Honor to SFC Cashe, I will provide my endorsement to the President.”
SFC Cashe was raised in Oviedo, Fla. In 2005, while deployed to Iraq, Cashe saved multiple soldiers after their fighting vehicle hit an improvised explosive device and caught fire. Cashe returned to the burning vehicle again and again to pull his soldiers out of the flames, all while he himself was on fire and exposed to incoming enemy gunfire. He later died as a result of his wounds.
In addition to introducing this standalone bill, Reps. Waltz, Crenshaw and Murphy are working closely with the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to include a waiver for SFC Cashe within the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, which is currently pending in Congress.