TROY - A Troy University alumnus, retired Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins, received the Medal of Honor from President Obama on Monday, Sept. 15, during a ceremony at the White House.
Troy University leaders said that Adkins, who holds three degrees from TROY, is an outstanding example of courage and dedication.
"It is often said that freedom is not free. Command Sergeant Major Bennie Adkins proved the validity of this statement by demonstrating great courage under fire," said Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. "He is a credit to his nation's military, a credit to Alabama and a credit to Troy University. We are very proud of his heroic and courageous action under devastating circumstances, and we are very proud that he is a Troy University Trojan."
Adkins, a U.S. Army veteran, served three tours in Vietnam. He was recognized for his actions during 38 hours of close-combat fighting against enemy forces on March 9 to 12, 1966. At that time, then-Sergeant First Class Adkins was serving as an Intelligence Sergeant with Detachment A-102, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces at Camp "A Shau", in the Republic of Vietnam.
"Command Sergeant Major Adkins' courage and commitment to excellence have won him our country's highest military honor, and we are immensely proud of this outstanding Troy University alumnus, who exemplifies our strong ties to our armed forces and veterans," said Maj. Gen. Walter D. Givhan, USAF Retired, and TROY's Senior Vice Chancellor for Advancement and Economic Development. "He epitomizes the qualities of a true Trojan Warrior."
Adkins earned his bachelor's degree from then-Troy State University Montgomery, in 1979. He earned his Master's Degree in Education, in 1982, and then, a second Master's Degree in Management, in 1988, all from TSUM.
President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Honor Medal of Honor to retired Army Command Sergeant Major Bennie G. Adkins during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Sept. 15, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
President Barack Obama greets retired Army Command Sgt. Major Bennie Adkins and family in the Oval Office before awarding him the Medal of Honor at a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Sept. 15, 2014. President Obama also awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously to Army Specialist Four Donald Sloat. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Retired Army Command Sgt. Major Bennie Adkins salutes after being presented the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Sept. 15, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)