Travis Atkins

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Travis Atkins
Travis W. Atkins (2).jpg
Born(1975-12-09)December 9, 1975
Great Falls, Montana, United States
DiedJune 1, 2007(2007-06-01) (aged 31)
Yusufiyah, Iraq
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service2000–2003
RankStaff Sergeant
Unit2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division
1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division[1]
Battles/warsIraq War 
AwardsMedal of Honor
Bronze Star
Purple Heart
Army Commendation Medal (2)
Army Achievement Medal

Travis William Atkins[1] (December 9, 1975 – June 1, 2007) was a soldier in the United States Army. President Donald Trump awarded him the Medal of Honor posthumously on March 27, 2019.[2][3][4] While serving with the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division in Iraq, he sacrificed his own life to shield three fellow soldiers from an insurgent who was wearing and activated an explosive vest.[5]

Distinguished Service Cross citation[edit]

Atkins was originally awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions. The accompanying citation reads:[6][7]

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Staff Sergeant Travis W. Atkins, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with Company D, 2d Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2d Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, on 1 June 2007. Staff Sergeant Atkins distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry at the cost of his life in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. While conducting route security in the town of Abu Sarnak, Iraq, Staff Sergeant Atkins apprehended and began to search a group of suspected insurgents. However, one insurgent resisted and engaged Staff Sergeant Atkins in hand-to-hand combat. As Staff Sergeant Atkins attempted to subdue the man, he realized the insurgent was attempting to trigger a suicide vest which he wore under his clothing. Despite Staff Sergeant Atkins' efforts, the insurgent finally succeeded in reaching his vest. Staff Sergeant Atkins selflessly tackled the suicide bomber in a bear hug, pinning him to the ground and shielding his Soldiers from the imminent explosion. In this critical and selfless act of valor in which he was mortally wounded, Staff Sergeant Atkins saved the lives of three other Soldiers who were with him and gallantly gave his life for his country. Staff Sergeant Atkins' undaunted courage, warrior spirit and steadfast devotion to duty reflect great credit upon himself, the 2d Brigade Combat Team, and the United States Army.

Medal of Honor award ceremony[edit]

Son Trevor accepted the award on behalf of his father, in the company of Atkins' daughter Jennifer, his wife, and parents. Also in attendance were the Vice-president, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and the Secretary of the Army, as well as five previous living recipients of the award, and numerous distinguished members of the military. Witnesses to the award also included the three men whose lives Atkins saved in his selfless act.

The president said of Atkins, “He did not run. He didn't know what it was to run. He acted in the tradition of the 10th Mountain Division in his 'climb to glory.'”

Awards and decorations[edit]

Combat Infantry Badge.svg Combat Infantryman Badge
US Army 2nd BN-327th Inf Reg Trimming.svgAirAssault.svg Air Assault Badge
US Army Expert Marksmanship Qualification Badge-Generic.png Expert Marksmanship Badge with one weapon clasp
101st Airborne Division CSIB.png 101st Airborne Division Combat Service Identification Badge
327InfRegtDUI.jpg 327th Infantry Regiment Distinctive Unit Insignia
Service stripe.jpg 1 Service stripe
ArmyOSB.svg 1 Overseas Service Bar
Medal of Honor
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
Purple Heart
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Commendation Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Achievement Medal
Army Presidential Unit Citation
Army Meritorious Unit Commendation
Army Good Conduct Medal ribbon.svg Army Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon


In June 2012, the ceremony room at the Military Entrance Processing Station in Butte, Montana was named in honor of Atkins.[8] In January 2013, the Mountain Functional Fitness Facility at Fort Drum in the state of New York was renamed in his honor.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Travis William Atkins". Bozeman Daily Chronicle. 10 June 2007. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  2. ^ "President Donald J. Trump to Award the Medal of Honor". The White House. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Army Staff Sgt. Travis W. Atkins". MilitaryTimes. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  4. ^ Seck, Hope Hodge (12 March 2019). "Medal of Honor for Soldier Killed Taking Out Suicide Bomber in Iraq". News. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  5. ^ a b Pena, Joel (10 January 2013). "Leaders name fitness facility for fallen 10th Mountain Division Soldier". News. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Travis W. Atkins". Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Travis W. Atkins". Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  8. ^ Emeigh, John Grant (2 June 2012). "Recruitment room dedicated to fallen Butte soldier". Montana Standard. Retrieved 18 March 2019.

External links[edit]