kids encyclopedia robot

Bennie G. Adkins facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Bennie G. Adkins
Bennie G. Adkins Medal of Honor 140915-A-GH914-111 (cropped).jpg
Adkins during his Medal of Honor ceremony on September 15, 2014.
Born (1934-02-01)February 1, 1934
Waurika, Oklahoma, U.S.
Died April 17, 2020(2020-04-17) (aged 86)
Opelika, Alabama, U.S.
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1956–1978
Rank Command Sergeant Major
Unit 5th Special Forces Group
Battles/wars Vietnam War
  • Battle of A Shau
Awards Medal of Honor
Bronze Star Medal (2 with "V" device)
Purple Heart (3)

Bennie Gene Adkins (February 1, 1934 – April 17, 2020) was a United States Army soldier and recipient of the U.S. military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during the Vietnam War. In March 1966 Adkins distinguished himself during a 38-hour close-combat battle against North Vietnamese Army forces during the Battle of A Shau. At the time of the cited action, Adkins was a sergeant first class serving as an Intelligence Sergeant with Detachment A-102, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces.


Adkins was born in Waurika, Oklahoma, and was drafted in 1956. He was assigned to a garrison unit in Germany, with a follow-on assignment to the 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Georgia. After attending Airborne School, he volunteered for Special Forces in 1961, serving with Special Forces for more than 13 years with the 7th, 3rd, 6th and 5th Special Forces Groups (Airborne). During that time he deployed to the Republic of Vietnam three times between 1963 and 1971. In April 1967, Adkins was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions with Detachment A-102 during his second tour in Vietnam. After Vietnam, Adkins was assigned to Fort Huachuca. Graduating in the third class of the Sergeant Major Academy, he returned to the Special Forces at Fort Bragg, then went to Fort Sherman and led training at its Jungle Operations Training Center. Adkins finally retired from the Army in 1978.

After the Army, Adkins earned a bachelor's and two master's degrees from Troy State University. He operated his own accounting company, and taught classes at Southern Union Junior College and Auburn University. On May 12, 2017, Troy University Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr. awarded Adkins an honorary doctorate of laws.

In March 2020, Adkins was hospitalized with COVID-19. He was admitted to the intensive care unit and put on a ventilator after experiencing respiratory failure. He died from complications of the virus on April 17, 2020, at the age of 86. Adkins was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on December 16, 2020.

Medal of Honor award

Medal of Honor ceremony in honor of retired Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie Adkins and Spc. 4 Donald Sloat 140915-A-AJ780-009
CSM Adkins receiving the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama.

From 2002, the U.S. Army reviewed all 6,500 recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross to see if any recipients had actually performed actions worthy of the Medal of Honor; this led to two dozen medal upgrades in March 2014. In 2013, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014, the Senate Armed Service Committee passed a provision removing the time limit for Donald P. Sloat and Adkins. On September 15, 2014, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to Adkins as an upgrade of his 1967 Distinguished Service Cross. During that ceremony, the Medal of Honor was awarded posthumously to Sloat and American Civil War army officer Alonzo Cushing. Adkins was also inducted into the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes.

Awards and decorations


Joseph Dunford and Bennie Adkins 170119-D-PB383-002 (32047590960)
Adkins with Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph F. Dunford in 2017

Adkins received the following awards:

U.S. military decorations
Bluebird-colored ribbon with five white stars in the form of an "M". Medal of Honor (Upgraded from the Distinguished Service Cross)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Width-44 scarlet ribbon with width-4 ultramarine blue stripe at center, surrounded by width-1 white stripes. Width-1 white stripes are at the edges.
Bronze Star Medal with Valor device and bronze Oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Width-44 purple ribbon with width-4 white stripes on the borders
Purple Heart with two Oak Leaf Clusters
Width-44 myrtle green ribbon with width-3 white stripes at the edges and five width-1 stripes down the center; the central white stripes are width-2 apart Army Commendation Medal
Gcl-05.png Army Good Conduct Medal with 5 bronze Good Conduct Loops
U.S. Unit Citation Awards
Army Presidential Unit Citation
Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Meritorious Unit Commendation
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with palm and frame
Civil Action Unit Citation.png Vietnam Civil Actions Medal Unit Citation with palm and frame
U.S. Service (Campaign) Medals and Service and Training Ribbons
Width=44 scarlet ribbon with a central width-4 golden yellow stripe, flanked by pairs of width-1 scarlet, white, Old Glory blue, and white stripes National Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Silver star
Bronze star
Vietnam Service Medal with one silver and one bronze Campaign star
NCO Professional Development Ribbon
Army Service Ribbon
Vietnam Bravery Medal with one brass star
Bronze-service-star-3d-vector.svg Vietnam Gallantry Cross with one bronze star
Vietnam Campaign Medal with "60-" clasp
Other accoutrements
Combat Infantry Badge.svg Combat Infantryman Badge
1 star jump.svg Master Parachutist Badge
with one bronze combat jump star
Einzelbild Special Forces (Special Forces Insignia).svg Special Forces Tab
United States Army Special Forces CSIB.svg United States Army Special Forces
Combat Service Identification Badge
ExpertBadgeRP.jpg Expert Marksmanship Badge with Rifle and Pistol bars
ArmyWepBadge.gif Sharpshooter Marksmanship Badge with Carbine bar
Markesman Weapons Qual Badge.png Marksmanship Badge with Machinegun bar
ViPaBa.jpg Vietnam Master Parachutist Badge
(awarded twice)
SpecialForces Badge.svg United States Army Special Forces
Distinctive Unit Insignia
ArmyOSB.svg 5 Overseas Service Bars
Service stripe.jpg 7 Service stripes

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Bennie G. Adkins para niños

kids search engine
Bennie G. Adkins Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.