First Lieutenant (Infantry), U.S. Army
Company C, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade (Separate),
Date of Action: November 11, 1967


The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Gerald T. Cecil, First Lieutenant (Infantry), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company C, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade (Separate). First Lieutenant Cecil distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 11 November 1967 as a platoon leader of an airborne infantry company conducting a search and destroy mission near Dak To. His platoon was leading the unit's maneuver when it was savagely ambushed by a North Vietnamese Army battalion firing rockets, mortars and automatic weapons. Courageously exposing himself to the intense fusillade, Lieutenant Cecil rallied his troops into a hasty defensive perimeter and directed their fires on the assaulting enemy force. He observed two of his wounded men lying outside the perimeter. Heedless of his safety, he raced through a hail of bullets and carried them from the ambush killing zone to cover. After giving his weapon to a man whose grenade launcher had been destroyed by shrapnel, he picked up an enemy assault rifle and sprayed the advancing ranks, killing three North Vietnamese. When his platoon received the order to withdraw to the company's defensive position, Lieutenant Cecil gallantly remained behind and engaged the hostile force with fierce rifle fire, killing six more enemy soldiers within ten meters of his location. He then rejoined his unit and, although wounded by shrapnel, assisted in placing claymore mines and distributing ammunition. His fearless leadership throughout the seven-hour battle was an inspiration to his men. First Lieutenant Cecil's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself and the U.S. Army.

HQ US Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 1410 (March 29, 1968)





DSC Awardees