July 30, 2022

MSG Earl Plumlee Receives Medal of Honor: Sergeant Defends Base from Surprise Attack

“Suddenly, we were both thrown to the floor by a tremendous explosion. At that time, we'd been receiving indirect fire for, every day for about two or three weeks. So we were both under the assumption that indirect fire…had hit the building we were in…But as I walked outside…I see a, you know, a tremendous mushroom cloud, just extending up off the ground…that's when it kind of became apparent to me that this was a more significant attack. And I, you know, ran and put my kit on and grabbed my rifle and decided to figure out how I was going to get involved.”

Master Sergeant Earl Plumlee recounts one of the most unique days in his military career, where his courageous and heroic actions later earned him the Medal of Honor in 2021.

KP of The Morning Formation Podcast, had the honor ofinterviewing this American hero, just two months after MSG Plumlee received the Medal of Honor.

Earl Plumlee grew up in Oklahoma and joined the Oklahoma National Guard while he was still just a junior in high school. After graduating high school, he joined the Marine Corps and was a member of the Marines from 2000 to 2008. During a deployment to Iraq in 2008, he recognized as the Marine Corps Recon Team Leader of the Year. He then decided to join the US Army in 2009 where he was then assigned to The 4th Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne). 

In the interview, the Master Sergeant explains what happened in his Afghanistan deployment, during Operation Enduring Freedom in Ghazni Province. On 28 August 2013, the complex, Forward Operating Base Ghazni, was attacked. 

Plumlee, along with a small handful of other Special Ops soldiers, were determined to defend the base. In doing so, they were confronted by Taliban insurgents armed with weapons and also wearing suicide vests. During the battle, Plumlee never retreated or gave up. He kept on pursuing the enemy, even when outnumbered and with a jammed rifle.

“I didn't want to sit out, sit where I was at. And I knew that they were down there. And I figured the best thing would be to go engage them and, and keep up the pressure. Because I knew sooner or later that my guys that were with me that weren't wounded, would come and get in the fight. So I decided to grab a hold of them and keep them, keep them engaged until those guys could support me.”


Plumlee not only displayed courage that day, he also put to action the great training he and his team received in the event of an attack such as this. He demonstrated discipline to use the skills he learned. Plumlee also displayed loyalty to his base, to defend it even if it meant going directly into the line of fire.  

Master Sergeant Earl Plumlee is not only a courageous fighter and leader, he is also a wise man, ready to give to those in the service and those who have transitioned out. In the interview, he gives great advice to those considering retirement.

“I always tell people that the difference between a job and a profession,…jobs pay you money, and professions pay your soul. So really understand what you're looking for in life. Before you go out there and find something you don't actually want.”


If you are in the military or you are just fascinated by stories of heroism, you do not want to miss this exclusive interview!


Click here for the whole interview.


Blog post written by: Lina Gomez