Distinguished Service Cross

Richard S. Sweet


Lieutenant Colonel Infantry

Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry, 1st Air Cavalry Division (Airmobile)

3 to 5 February 1968

Republic of Vietnam


For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: 

Lieutenant Colonel Sweet distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions during the period 3 to 5 February 1968 as a battalion commander defending the city of Hue. Colonel Sweet was on the ground with his front line troops when the enemy launched an attack on the city. Positioning himself far forward, he disregarded the intense North Vietnamese mortar and sniper fire and expertly directed his forces in an advance toward Hue.  His brilliant leadership enabled all four of his companies to successfully cross a wide open rice paddy into the city while under a constant enemy fusillade. He then led his battalion through the first line of enemy resistance, and by nightfall had succeeded in establishing a tight defensive perimeter. Under a steady hail of mortar and heavy automatic weapons fire from three sides, the battalion fiercely fought to retain its position. Early in the morning of 4 February the perimeter came under an extremely heavy bombardment and shortly thereafter began receiving ground attacks by large numbers of North Vietnamese soldiers. The battalion was soon encircled by a North Vietnamese regiment, and heavy enemy fire rained on the defenders from all directions. Colonel Sweet skillfully directed the perimeter defense, personally encouraging his troops’ fight.  Following their commander’s example, the officers and men of the battalion fought savagely to repulse the enemy. After dark, Colonel Sweet devised a plan to deceive the surrounding North Vietnamese forces and move through their positions to a new location deeper in their lines of communication. The entire battalion slipped through the enemy’s encirclement without suffering one casualty. Again Colonel Sweet’s example provided the inspiration for his troops and by daybreak they had successfully occupied commanding terrain deep inside the enemy’s area of operations. Lieutenant Colonel Sweet’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

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