Medal of Honor





Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company C, 1st Battalion, (Mechanized), 5th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division.


Place and date: Near Ben Cui, Republic of Vietnam, 21 August 1968.


Entered service at: Odessa, Texas


Born: 11 May 1947, Alpine, Texas




For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Young distinguished himself at the cost of his life while serving as a squad leader with Company C. While conducting a reconnaissance mission in the vicinity of Ben Cui, Company C was suddenly engaged by an estimated regimental-size force of the North Vietnamese Army. During the initial volley of fire the point element of the 1st Platoon was pinned down, sustaining several casualties, and the acting platoon leader was killed. S/Sgt. Young unhesitatingly assumed command of the platoon and immediately began to organize and deploy his men into a defensive position in order to repel the attacking force. As a human wave attack advanced on S/Sgt. Young's platoon, he moved from position to position, encouraging and directing fire on the hostile insurgents while exposing himself to the hail of enemy bullets. After receiving orders to withdraw to a better defensive position, he remained behind to provide covering fire for the withdrawal. Observing that a small element of the point squad was unable to extract itself from its position, and completely disregarding his personal safety, S/Sgt. Young began moving toward their position, firing as he maneuvered. When halfway to their position he sustained a critical head injury, yet he continued his mission and ordered the element to withdraw. Remaining with the squad as it fought its way to the rear, he was twice seriously wounded in the arm and leg. Although his leg was badly shattered, S/Sgt. Young refused assistance that would have slowed the retreat of his comrades, and he ordered them to continue their withdrawal while he provided protective covering fire. With indomitable courage and heroic self-sacrifice, he continued his self-assigned mission until the enemy force engulfed his position. By his gallantry at the cost of his life are in the highest traditions of the military service. S/Sgt. Young has reflected great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.



Thanks to Randy Kethcart ( ) for the photo and contemporary newspaper article.

Randy states:

The article and photo were sent to me from classmates I found on his class reunion web page from Permian High School, Odessa, Texas.



--- General / Personal ---

Last name: YOUNG

First name: MARVIN REX

Home of Record (official): ODESSA

State (official): TX

Date of Birth: Sunday, May 11, 1947

Sex: Male

Race: Caucasian

Marital Status: Single


--- Military ---

Branch: Army

Rank: SSG

Serial Number: 18765849

Component: Regular

Posthumous promotion as indicated

Pay grade: E5

MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 11B20


--- Action ---

Start of Tour: Friday, October 20, 1967

Date of Casualty: Wednesday, August 21, 1968

Age at time of loss: 21

Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died

Reason: Gun, small arms fire (Ground casualty)

Country: South VietNam

Province: Tay Ninh

The Wall: Panel 47W - Row 024


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