Ross A. McGinnis
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|Ross Andrew McGinnis|
|June 14, 1987– December 4, 2006 (aged 19)|
Pfc. Ross A. McGinnis at Fort Benning, Georgia
|Place of birth||Knox, Pennsylvania|
|Place of death||Adhamiyah, Iraq|
|Place of burial||Arlington National Cemetery, Section 60, Site 8544|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||2004 - 2006|
|Unit||Company C, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2nd "Dagger" Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division|
|Awards||Medal of Honor|
Ross Andrew McGinnis (June 14, 1987 – December 4, 2006) was a soldier in the United States Army who was killed in action on December 4, 2006 during the Iraq War when he threw himself on a live grenade thereby saving the lives of at least four other Soldiers. For his action, McGinnis was posthumously promoted to specialist and awarded the Medal of Honor as well as the Silver Star and Purple Heart. His family was presented the Medal of Honor by President George W. Bush on June 2, 2008 at a ceremony at the White House.
Since the beginning of the Iraq War, McGinnis is one of four known United States Servicemen who have thrown themselves on a live grenade; the others being Marine Corporal Jason Dunham, Navy SEAL Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor, and Marine Sergeant Rafael Peralta.McGinnis is the fourth recipient of the Medal of Honor in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Ross McGinnis was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania June 14, 1987, but when he was three his family moved to Knox, Pennsylvania, northeast of Pittsburgh. When he was in kindergarten, his teacher gave him a paper that at the top said "When I grow up, I want to be __________." and he wrote an Army Man, which he later became. He was in the Boy Scouts when he was a boy and an athlete, playing basketball and soccer through the YMCA, and Little League baseball. He attended Clarion County public schools and graduated from Keystone Junior-Senior High School in 2005.
McGinnis had wanted to be a Soldier since kindergarten and joined the Army on June 14, 2004, his 17th birthday when he went to the Army recruiting station and joined through the delayed entry program. This is unique because June 14 is the birthdate of the United States National Flag, and The United States Army.
In August 2006, the regiment was deployed to eastern Baghdad. McGinnis served as a Humvee M2 .50 caliber machine gunner during operations against insurgents in Adhamiyah. On December, 4, while his platoon was on mounted patrol in Adhamiyah, an insurgent was able to throw a grenade into McGinnis' HMMWV. He told the other four men about it, so they could prepare for the blast. Instead of jumping out of the gunning hatch, he threw his back over the grenade, absorbing the bulk of the blast. McGinnis was killed instantly, but the other occupants of the HMMWV were able to survive with only minor injuries.
Honors and awards
Medal of Honor citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:
Private First Class Ross A. McGinnis distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an M2 .50-caliber Machine Gunner, 1st Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, in connection with combat operations against an armed enemy in Adhamiyah, Northeast Baghdad, Iraq, on December 4, 2006.
That afternoon his platoon was conducting combat control operations in an effort to reduce and control sectarian violence in the area. While Private McGinnis was manning the M2 .50-caliber Machine Gun, a fragmentation grenade thrown by an insurgent fell through the gunner's hatch into the vehicle. Reacting quickly, he yelled "grenade," allowing all four members of his crew to prepare for the grenade's blast. Then, rather than leaping from the gunner's hatch to safety, Private McGinnis made the courageous decision to protect his crew. In a selfless act of bravery, in which he was mortally wounded, Private McGinnis covered the live grenade, pinning it between his body and the vehicle and absorbing most of the explosion.Private McGinnis' gallant action directly saved four men from certain serious injury or death. Private First Class McGinnis' extraordinary heroism and selflessness at the cost of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Ross McGinnis: Fallen Hero
A PBS Special Report produced by an Emmy Award winning team chronicles and remembers the life of Ross Andrew McGinnis as told by his parents, friends and the caring people in his hometown of Knox, Clarion County, Pennsylvania.
- List of Medal of Honor recipients
- Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith, USA — first Medal of Honor recipient from Operation Iraqi Freedom.
- Corporal Jason Dunham, USMC — second Medal of Honor recipient from Operation Iraqi Freedom.
- Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, USN — first Medal of Honor recipient from the Operation Enduring Freedom.
- Petty Officer Second Class Michael A. Monsoor, USN — third Medal of Honor recipient from Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Sergeant First Class Jared C. Monti, United States Army— second Medal of Honor recipient from Operation Enduring Freedom
- ^ Tan, Michelle (March 26, 2007). "Medal of Honor nominee McGinnis laid to rest". Army Times. http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/03/army_McGinnis_cemetery_070323w/. Retrieved November 13, 2007.
- ^ "Soldier killed in Iraq to get Medal of Honor". Associated Press. MSNBC. May 23, 2008. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24794042/. Retrieved May 23, 2008.
- ^ Zoroya, Gregg (September 27, 2007). "In Iraq, coping after a hero dies saving you". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-09-19-Grenade_N.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-13.
- ^ Shane, Leo III (May 24, 2008). "19-year-old who died protecting others will be awarded Medal of Honor". Stars and Stripes. http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=55042. Retrieved June 12, 2008.
- ^ "Medal of Honor - SPC Ross A. McGinnis - Profile". United States Army. http://www.army.mil/medalofhonor/mcginnis/profile/. Retrieved 2008-06-12.
- ^ "Medal of Honor - SPC Ross A. McGinnis - Battlescape". United States Army. http://www.army.mil/medalofhonor/mcginnis/battlescape/. Retrieved 2008-06-12.
- ^ Bush, George W. (June 2, 2008). "President Bush Presents Medal of Honor to Private First Class Ross Andrew McGinnis". East Room: Office of the Press Secretary, The White House. http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2008/06/20080602-1.html.
- Medal of Honor: PFC Ross A. McGinnis
- Arlington National Cemetery: Ross McGinnis
- White House Press Release
- Video honoring Ross and his sacrifice and bravery.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Ross A. McGinnis|
- Ross A. McGinnis at Find a Grave Retrieved on 2009-06-24
- Reflections on PFC Ross McGinnis on YouTube.com
- Medal of Honor - PFC Ross McGinnis: Staff Sergeant Ian Newland Interview on YouTube.com