An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | July 21, 2023

25th ID Soldier Receives Soldier’s Medal for Saving Woman’s Life

By Sgt. Alvin Conley

A 25th Infantry Division Soldier was recognized for his heroic actions during a Soldier’s Medal Award Ceremony, July 19, 2023.

The ceremony was held to honor U.S. Army Spc. Rene J. Rodriguez, an El Paso, Texas native and combat medic assigned to 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Div., for his acts of heroism on Oct. 20, 2022.

Leaving Schofield Barracks that afternoon, Rodriguez was heading to the North Shore to enjoy the weekend, when he noticed a group of bystanders outside of a coffee shop in Wahiawa, surrounding a woman being violently assaulted. With a bias for action and complete disregard for his own safety, Rodriguez made the split-second decision to intervene. Putting himself between the attacker and the woman, Rodriguez took the brunt of the attack allowing the woman to seek safety in his vehicle. Rodriguez was successfully able to protect the woman and get her to safety until law enforcement and emergency services arrived.

A witness of the events reported Rodriguez’s selfless act to his chain of command. Without contact with the witness, his chain of command would not have known about the incident.

“Without question, Spc. Rodriguez risked his life to save the life of another,” said U.S. Army Col. Robert Shaw, the 3rd IBCT, 25th Inf. Div. commander. “Spc. Rodriguez did what was right, helping a Hawaiian woman he didn’t know. There were others there that day who did not act, but Rene Rodriguez did.”

“This honor is a testament to the bravery and sacrifice displayed by Soldiers who have come before me, as well as those who serve alongside me,” said Rodriguez. “Receiving the Soldier’s Medal is a humbling experience that reminds me of the values we hold dear as Soldiers: courage, selflessness and dedication to the greater good.”

Introduced in July 1926, the Soldier’s Medal is the highest Army individual decoration honor a Soldier can receive for an act of valor in a non-combat event. Over 18,500 Soldiers have received the decoration since its inception.

“There are only 241 Soldiers in the Regular Army who’ve been awarded the Soldier’s Medal – about 1/20th of 1 percent of all Soldiers on Active Duty,” said Shaw. “Spc. Rodriguez, as the citation reads, you are absolutely a great credit to our division and our Army, and we all owe you a debt of gratitude.”

In accepting the medal, Rodriguez thanked his family and leadership for their continued support.

“I am deeply grateful to my family for their love, understanding, and unwavering support throughout my military journey,” said Rodriguez. “I extend my sincere thanks to my mentors and leaders, whose guidance and wisdom have shaped me as a Soldier. I will continue to serve with dedication and uphold the values that this award represents.”

Rodriguez’s Soldier Medal citation reads as follows:

“For heroism involving voluntary risk of life not involving conflict with an armed enemy while serving with the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. On October 20, 2022, in the vicinity of Wahiawa, Hawaii, Specialist Rene J. Rodriguez, with complete disregard for his own safety, swiftly moved to protect a woman enduring a violent assault. Recognizing the woman’s risk of serious injury or death, Specialist Rodriguez, with no regard for himself, moved through a crowd of bystanders observing the assault and intentionally positioned himself between the victim and the attacker. Using his body as a shield, he endured numerous strikes from the assailant while moving the woman into his vehicle in an effort to depart the scene. He continued to protect the woman until law enforcement arrived at the scene. Absent Specialist Rodriguez’s selfless act despite great danger to himself, the victim may have been grievously injured or killed. By his demonstrated heroism and gallantry in risking his life to save another, Specialist Rodriguez’s actions reflect great credit upon himself, the 25th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.”

CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
US Army sustainers provide sealift to Australian armor for Super Garuda Shield
Australian Army M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks and vehicles are unloaded from the United States Army Vessel SSGT Robert T. Kuroda at Tanjung Perak Port in Indonesia during Exercise Super Garuda Shield 2023. At the invitation of Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI), Australia is contributing over 125 personnel from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to Exercise Super Garuda Shield 2023 (SGS23). SGS23 is an TNI and United States Indo Pacific Command led bilateral training activity. It is focused on joint operations with international partners in and around East Java in Indonesia from 31 August to 13 September. Held since 2009, the ADF first participated in 2022, and in 2023 is contributing an Australian Army force element including a Troop of M1A1 Abrams tanks from the 1st Armoured Regiment. The contingent also includes an Infantry Platoon from the 10th/27th Battalion, Royal South Australian Regiment, command and control elements, and a range of armoured vehicles, trucks and recovery vehicles. (Photo by Australian Defence Force Cpl. Dustin Anderson)
Sept. 19, 2023 - With Logistics Support Vessel 7 SSGT Robert Kuroda already in Australia for Talisman Sabre 2023, the conditions were set to transport Australian Defence Force tanks and equipment to Indonesia for Super Garuda Shield...

Statement from Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on the U.S.-Pacific Islands Forum Summit
Sept. 19, 2023 - President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. will host Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) leaders at the White House on September 25, 2023 during the second U.S.-Pacific Island Forum (PIF) Summit taking place September 25-26...

Joint Press Statement for the 23rd Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue
Sept. 18, 2023 - The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) Ministry of National Defense (MND) held the 23rd Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue (KIDD) on September 18, 2023 in Seoul...

Army Reserve Cyber Protection Brigade Supports 2nd Infantry Division During Ulchi Freedom Shield 23 Exercise
The Army Reserve Cyber Protection Brigade (ARCPB) successfully supported the 2nd Infantry Division (2ID) C6 directorate in a critical operational support exercise from August 12 to September 2, 2023, as part of the annual Ulchi Freedom Shield 23 (UFS23) exercise.
Sept. 18, 2023 - The Army Reserve Cyber Protection Brigade (ARCPB) successfully supported the 2nd Infantry Division (2ID) C6 directorate in a critical operational support exercise from August 12 to September 2, 2023, as part of the annual...

5th ANGLICO Marines Conduct the Korean Maritime Exchange Program 23.3 (KMEP)
A U.S. Marine with 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines and Republic of Korea Marines with 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment, 2nd Marine Division participate in a combined patrol during Korean Marine Exercise Program 23.3 at Rodriguez Live-fire Complex, Republic of Korea, March 28, 2023. KMEP is a series of continuous-combined training exercises designed to enhance the ROK-U.S. Alliance, promote stability on the Korean Peninsula, and strengthen combined military capabilities and interoperability. 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines is forward deployed in the Indo-Pacific under 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division as part of the Unit Deployment Program.
Sept. 18, 2023 - From July to August 2023, U.S. Marines with 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (5th ANGLICO), III Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group, participated in the Korean Marine Exchange Program 23.3 (KMEP)...