White House Correspondent
On Wednesday, March 27, 2019, President Donald J. Trump will award the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Travis W. Atkins, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry. To commemorate the selfless service and sacrifice of Staff Sergeant Atkins, his son Trevor Oliver and family will join the President at the White House.
Staff Sergeant Travis W. Atkins will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions of June 1, 2007, in support of IRAQI FREEDOM. While serving in Iraq with Company D, 2d Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2d Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Staff Sergeant Atkins engaged in hand-to hand combat with a suspected insurgent. As he attempted to subdue the man, Staff Sergeant Atkins realized the insurgent was attempting to detonate a bomb strapped to his body. When he noticed the insurgent was about to trigger the suicide vest, Staff Sergeant Atkins tackled him, selflessly using his own body to shield his fellow soldiers from the imminent explosion. Staff Sergeant Atkins’ heroic actions, at the cost of his life, saved the lives of three of his teammates.
On November 9, 2000, Atkins enlisted in the United States Army. He attended basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was assigned to Company A, 3d Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He deployed to Iraq in 2003 and was later honorably discharged as a Sergeant. After attending the University of Montana, he re-enlisted in the Army in 2005 and deployed again to Iraq in August 2006. He was promoted to Staff Sergeant on May 1, 2007. Staff Sergeant Atkins is survived by his son, Trevor Oliver, of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, and his parents, John and Elaine Atkins of Bozeman, Montana.
THE MEDAL OF HONOR:
The Medal of Honor is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their own lives above and beyond the call of duty while:
engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.
The meritorious conduct must involve great personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his or her comrades and must have involved risk of life. There must be incontestable proof of the performance of the meritorious conduct, and each recommendation for the award must be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.