President Donald Trump will present the Medal of Honor to retired Marine Sgt. Maj. John Canley. Accounts of Canley’s actions during the 1968 Tet Offensive attest that he braved enemy fire continually to save the lives of fellow Marines and sailors despite his own wounds.
Sergeant Major John L. Canley will receive the Medal of Honor for his actions from January 31 to February 6, 1968, while assigned to Company A, First Battalion, First Marines in the Republic of Vietnam. While serving as Company Gunnery Sergeant, he fought off multiple enemy attacks as his company moved along a highway toward Hue City to relieve friendly forces who were surrounded. On several occasions, despite his own wounds, he rushed across fire-swept terrain to carry wounded Marines to safety. When his commanding officer was severely wounded, he took command and led his company into Hue City. While in command of the company for three days, he led attacks against multiple enemy-fortified positions while exposing himself to enemy fire to carry wounded Marines to safety. On February 6, at a hospital compound, he twice scaled a wall in full view of the enemy to aid wounded Marines and carry them to safety. Then-Gunnery Sergeant Canley’s heroic actions saved the lives of his teammates.
The medal ceremony is scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m. ET.