FORT BENNING, GA – A memorial service is scheduled for Retired Army Col. Robert L. Howard, a Medal of Honor recipient, U.S. Army Ranger and Special Forces veteran Feb. 17, 11 a.m., at the Ranger Memorial.
Howard, born July 11, 1939 in Opelika, Ala., was known throughout the Army and the military's Special Operations community for his courage and leadership in combat. He entered the service July 20, 1956 and was medically retired Sept. 30, 1992. He died of natural causes Dec. 23 at his residence in San Antonio, Texas.
Howard received the Medal of Honor for actions in Vietnam Dec. 30, 1968. He was nominated three times for the award in thirteen months; the first was downgraded to the Distinguished Service Cross and the last was downgraded to a Silver Star. All three came while he served as a non-commissioned officer in the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam—Studies and Observations Group.
He received a direct commission from master sergeant to first lieutenant in December 1969 and went on to command several units throughout his career.
His military assignments include service with the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions; 2nd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment; 3rd, 5th, and 6th Special Forces Groups, 5th Infantry Division; 7th Corps and XVIII Airborne Corps.