View Full Version : Senior Sergeant Paul McGeogh, Royal Marines (SBS), CMH/R.I.P.

06-11-2006, 07:44 AM
This fine warrior, recently retired, received the Congressional Medal of Honor from a grateful America for actions taken in November, 2001 at Mazur-i-Sharif during the famous prisoner uprising. His mates and him charged through a storm of fire to secure the life of one of our surviving C.I.A. agents. Further, he remained behind to direct close air strikes to subdue the rebellion over the next three days.

Wish I could offer more from the commendation, however it was awarded anonymously as he was still active w/SBS at the time.

Sgt. McGeogh recently died in a hang-gliding incident while vacationing with his children and wife on Cyprus.

I'd love if one of you would contact the Commandant's office to give them a firm, but quiet alert to this unfortunate incident, that we may be assured of honoring him in the correct manner. I'd think an honor guard from our Marine detachment and a representative from the C.I.A. SHOULD, at minimum, be made available at the funeral services, which will be held this upcoming Thursday in England. To think of the danger this fine warrior has routinely faced, both training and in combat, to meet his demise so senselessly after a well-earned retirement is deeply saddening.

This is just the item to slip through the cracks. Unfortunately, it cannot be corrected if handled poorly. There's only ONE chance to get it right. Enough quiet voices will assure that America takes the final right-and-proper step to honor him. I've e-mailed the White House and the U.S. Defense Attache in London, while also leaving a phone msg. with the P.I.O. office at DoD, but have only modest trust that our bureaucracy will be alerted to this sad event.

Came to me via StrategyPage where I regularly post, as does his brother-in-law.:(

06-11-2006, 02:14 PM
Only one CMOH has been awarded in the GWOT - Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith (http://www.cmohs.org/recipients/paulrsmith.htm). Regardless of assignment - I doubt a CMOH would be awarded anonymously. I ran this against Snopes (Urban Legends), Google News and Google Web Search. Nothing to confirm one way or another.

If it was a Special Legislation CMOH it would have been listed here (http://www.army.mil/medalofhonor/smith/medal/citations28.htm).

This is the offical list of all CMOH recipients (http://www.army.mil/medalofhonor/smith/medal/recipients.html).

If true - I hope Senior Sergeant McGeogh gets all the honors due. Sorry if I seem the pessimist, but there are way too many stories like this flying around the Internet and most times they are urban legends...

06-11-2006, 04:30 PM
I don't know what to believe either. The source is two-fold, The London SUN, which appears most tabloidy dubious, and his brother-in-law, who should know the straight skinny.

I can live w/ being wrong. What I CAN'T accept as easily is being correct and for this to slide. He gets buried on Thursday, and somebody somewhere can say "YES, I was there and this did happen" or put the final kibosh on it.

Trust me, I ran straight to the CMH site, but if active w/ SBS at the time of the award, there's a reasonable and rational chance that it wasn't part of the public record. OSD, CIA, or the POTUS office should know and IMMEDIATELY disclaim or acknowledge for the widow's benefit, if nothing else.

Steve Blair
06-11-2006, 06:06 PM
Saddly, this sounds odd to me as well. While I know the CIA has some medals that they can and do award under conditions of high security (read annonymously), I do not believe that the MoH has EVER been awarded in this manner. Aside from the MoH (obviously) not being a CIA award, I would think that it would take a special act of Congress or other high authority to award it to a member of another country's military. I'm not sure if the CIA awards operate under such restrictions, though.

06-11-2006, 06:37 PM
Was he a Victoria Cross recipient?

06-11-2006, 07:06 PM
...it was awarded anonymously as he was still active w/SBS at the time.
As others have said, that just doesn't sound right. The credibility light started blinking as soon as I saw that.

Was he a Victoria Cross recipient?
There haven't been any VC recipients for ops in Afghanistan; and only one for ops in Iraq - a PVT Johnson Beharry (http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/download.asp?docid=824048).

06-11-2006, 09:11 PM
There was a U.S. Navy SEAL attached to the SBS during the incident under discussion, who was awarded the Navy Cross: CPO Stephen Bass (http://www.homeofheroes.com/valor/02_wot/nc_bass.html)

For extraordinary heroism while serving with the British Special Boat Service during combat operations in Northern Afghanistan on 25 and 26 November 2001. Chief Petty Officer Bass deployed to the area as a member of a Joint American and British Special Forces Rescue Team to locate and recover two missing American citizens, one presumed to be seriously injured or dead, after hard-line Al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners at the Quala-I-Jangi fortress in Mazar-e-Sharif over powered them and gained access to large quantities of arms and ammunition stored at the fortress. Once inside, Chief Petty Officer Bass was engaged continuously by direct small arms fire, indirect mortar fire and rocket propelled grenade fire. He was forced to walk through an active anti-personnel minefield in order to gain entry to the fortress. After establishing the possible location of both American citizens, under heavy fire and without concern for his own personal safety, he made two attempts to rescue the uninjured citizen by crawling toward the fortress interior to reach him. Forced to withdraw due to large volumes of fire falling on his position, he was undeterred. After reporting his efforts to the remaining members of the rescue team, they left and attempted to locate the missing citizen on the outside of the fortress. As darkness began to fall, no attempt was going to be made to locate the other injured American citizen. Chief Petty Officer Bass then took matters into his own hands. Without regard for his own personal safety, he moved forward another 300-400 meters into the heart of the fortress by himself under constant enemy fire in an attempt to locate the injured citizen. Running low on ammunition, he utilized weapons from deceased Afghans to continue his rescue attempt. Upon verifying the condition and location of the American citizen, he withdrew from the fortress. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, Chief Petty Officer Bass reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
No mention of another Navy Cross for the incident either. But this story seems to really be making the internet rounds now, launching from the article in The Sun (http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2006260796,00.html).

03-06-2011, 01:27 PM
...this needs further verification to change from fable to truth. There are a lot of unverified stories, including the [defamatory?] primary one about the British defense secretary Hoon "quashing" McGeogh getting the medal. It seems that no named British citizen ever received the CMOH other than the 'British Unknown Soldier' in 1921, although many named foreign born citizens have including 61 Canadians(1 during Vietnam) and probably a couple fellows born in England.

It is a requirement that you be in the American military(not a citizen)to get it.

I would assume that if sgt McGeogh's brother-in-law and widow BOTH verify that he received the medal, then it could be assumed that McGeogh was contacted to receive it, if not actually had received it. But it would have to be determined that the person you were corresponding with was actually McGeogh's brother-in-law, and his widow would be needed for verification. If they both(or only his widow) say he got it, then I would still suggest that indicates only an attempt to give him the medal happened, due to legal constraints on the medal being an American military personelle only medal. It would be interesting[telling of the general mindset of the Bush administration] if someone from that White House made an attempt to give him the medal, so maybe it is a worthwhile question to ask his widow much later after she has finished grieving.

My father was given a medal from a foreign government, and he kept it quiet until his deathbed.

BTW, I don't think the SBS needs a medal of any sort to prove they have valor though. The MOH has always been simply a symbol for the many who didn't receive it but qualify for it. The SBS in general has plenty of those symbols attributed to them.