President Obama on Nov. 12 awarded the Medal of Honor to retired Army Capt. Florent Groberg for his heroic actions in Afghanistan on Aug. 8, 2012. Groberg was awarded the nation’s highest military honor for tackling a suicide bomber to protect 28 fellow fellow troops in Asadabad, Afghanistan. The explosion set off another bomb that had not yet been detected, said Obama during the White House ceremony. “On his very worst day, he managed to summon his very best,” said the President. “That’s the nature of courage. Not being unafraid, but confronting fear and danger and performing in a selfless fashion.” On the date of the attack, Grobeg was a personal security detachment commander for Task Force Mountain Warrior on a patrol near FOB Fiaz. While on the patrol, Groberg saw a man walking backwards in the direction of the patrol and made an abrupt turn toward the formation. Groberg rushed toward the suspect and saw he was wearing a suicide vest. He shoved the man to the ground, with the bomber landing chest-first. The vest exploded, killing four Americans. The explosion prompted another bomber to detonate his vest. “We honor Flo because his actions prevented an even greater catastrophe,” said Obama. He added, “Had both bombs gone off as planned, who knows how many could have been killed.” Groberg, who is medically retired from the Army and is a civilian employee of the Defense Department, is the 10th living Afghanistan veteran to be awarded the Medal of Honor. (Obama transcript.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.