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IAVA Commends Colonel Paris D. Davis, Recipient of Medal of Honor

March 3, 2023

Washington D.C. – Today, the President awarded the nation’s highest military award, the Congressional Medal of Honor, to Colonel Paris D. Davis for his distinguished acts of gallantry and service in the United States Army. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) joins our fellow Americans in celebrating Colonel Davis’s heroism in combat during the Vietnam War, and for this long overdue recognition of it.

“Today’s recognition of Colonel Davis’ bravery and heroism is long overdue. It’s also a reminder that in America, the arc of history may be long, but it always bends towards justice,” said IAVA CEO Jeremy Butler. “As one of the first Black officers in the Army Special Forces, Colonel Davis was a trailblazer who did not let the racism of the 1960’s era Army keep him from pursuing his dreams and fighting for the country that too often fought against him. His actions, heroism and devotion to those under his command continue to inspire today and stand as an example to all who wear the uniform.”

Colonel Davis, who served three tours in Vietnam, was nominated for the Medal of Honor twice previously, but the paperwork mysteriously disappeared. He is now finally receiving this honor for his actions while serving as Commander of Detachment A-321, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, during combat operations against an armed enemy in the vicinity of Bong Son, Republic of Vietnam, June 17-18, 1965. Through use of surprise and skillful leadership over an inexperienced raiding force, Davis led a successful engagement –  and eventual destruction of – enemy forces, not ceasing his efforts until all members of his Company were extracted. 

IAVA is the voice for the post-9/11 veteran generation. With over 425,000 veterans and allies nationwide, IAVA is the leader in non-partisan veteran advocacy and public awareness. We drive historic impacts for veterans and IAVA’s programs are second to none. Any veteran or family member in need can reach out to IAVA’s Quick Reaction Force at or 855-91RAPID (855-917-2743) to be connected promptly with a veteran care manager who will assist. IAVA’s The Vote Hub is a free tool to register to vote and find polling information. IAVA’s membership is always growing. Join the movement at


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