I’m Clinton Romesha, Medal of Honor recipient and a former Staff Sergeant who enlisted in the Army in 1999. At the time of the deadly attack on Combat Outpost (COP) Keating, I was assigned as a section leader for Bravo Troop, 3-61st Cavalry, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. Me and my guys in Red Platoon, along with the rest of our troop, were preparing to shut down the outpost, which was the most remote and inaccessible in a string of bases built by the U.S. military in the eastern corner of Afghanistan, directly along the border with Pakistan. On October 3, 2009, after years of constant smaller attacks, the Taliban finally decided to throw everything they had at Keating. The ensuing 14-hour battle—and eventual victory—cost 8 men their lives. Red Platoon is my firsthand account of the battle and how we drove the Taliban back beyond the wire. AMA.

My Proof: http://i.imgur.com/pHwYseu.jpg

Thank you all for some really great questions! Catch me at 3 PM EST on the American Heroes Channels FB page for a video Q&A. Please check out Red Platoon SCOUT OUT!

Comments: 145 • Responses: 21  • Date: 

Black_Raptors116 karma

Do you remember the time I mooned you and Raz playing horseshoes at Manas coming back from OEF and the Air Force Cop saw it from a mile away and rolled us up into the squad car?

ClintonRomesha62 karma

Yes way to get us in trouble, Brother how have you been I have not heard from you in ages?

rbevans32 karma

Thank you for doing the AMA. I'm looking forward to reading your book. Do you have any words of encouragement for soldiers who struggle with contemplating suicide?

ClintonRomesha38 karma

Thank you for your question. For those that might be struggling with suicide is to know that as soldiers we always have our battle buddies there for you and will have them always

Getoutofmylaboratory22 karma

Thank you for your service!

Traditional Reddit nonsense question: Would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses, or one horse sized duck?

ClintonRomesha137 karma

both if I have air support

notreallyc3po13 karma

Thank you for your service. What are some of your hobbies when not writing?

ClintonRomesha34 karma

Watching cartoons with my 5 and 7 year olds

Sierra41913 karma

How do you adjust to civilian life here in the States after coming back from warzones, death, destruction, and the strict/structured military life? Especially considering the way many Americans don't feel that we are really "at war" at all in that it doesn't effect civilian life as wars in the past have. Is there some kind of counseling/debriefing/group therapy that you go through? Thank you for your service.

Edit: words

ClintonRomesha31 karma

For me what went on in Iraq or Afghanistan can always stay there. I didn't need to bring it back to the states with me and I made the choice to leave it there. Ever person is unique on how the might deal with something, not one pill or one way will work on everyone. For me I talk with the men I served with, warriors helping warriors goes along ways.

two_off11 karma

Congratulations on the book. It looks like it's getting very well reviewed.

How have you adjusted to life since the event?

ClintonRomesha20 karma

Thank you. Life is an everyday adjustment. It is always important to keep in mind that we must live everyday to improve ourself or someone around us.

emilyann249 karma

Thank you for your service. Are there other military books that inspired you to write your own story? Did you find yourself trying to read other books in the genre before you started your own book?

ClintonRomesha20 karma

I honestly stayed away from reading most military books from Iraq and Afghanistan. One I did read was Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden, to see how he laid out a very drawn out timeline of events was helpful in laying out our 13 almost 14 hour fire fight. But when I was overseas I was living it everyday I staid away from the reminder of reading what I was living.

Mr-Unpopular8 karma

hey brother. thanks for doing an AMA with us. If you ain't cav....

Army leadership knew from the start that COP Keating was in a highly vulnerable position with it being at the bottom of a tall valley. From what I've seen your freedom of maneuver was extremely limited as well. What was done at the troop level to try and mitigate those limitations?

There's also been a lot of talk about the ANA forces that were at COP Keating. once the engagement kicked off, all accounts say that they completely abandoned half the out post and ran off, allowing taliban forces to breach the perimeter. were there any precursors that indicated something bad was about to go down?

ClintonRomesha12 karma

You aint S#%$!

We attempted to chance our react to contact drills on a almost daily basis, moved battle position around of the ones we could, moved force pro shifts and time around, and shifted stand 2 hours.

From the first day we got to COP Keating the daily report was we were going to get attacked by 75 to 200 AAF. So 3 months being there crying wolf was getting old.

readnderp7 karma

Thank you for your service! How did you grow such a luxurious beard/mustache combo? Please share your secrets to bearded glory.

ClintonRomesha26 karma

Bud Light foam and laziness

BOOM_hehehe6 karma

Way to fight the fight soldier, I have trouble contemplating what 14hrs of fighting is like. OIF Vet 06-07 here. When did you realize that this wasn't going to be a normal day, normal engagement?

What do you do now that you're home, what do you put your energy into and what things do you rally behind to find purpose after living on such extreme moments? Everything seems bland, like the world lacks flavor.

ClintonRomesha14 karma

Thank you for your service and welcome home. From first contact you knew this was like no other fight I had been in in 10 years of service. Now that Im home I know that those days will forever be with me, but they will not dictate the rest of my life. I look forward to what tomorrow brings and I know that everyday I was in the Army I always had someone there, a battle buddy, now being out I look forward to do the same as a Vet helping other Vets.

_Mad_Jack5 karma

How are you doing? Thank you for your service!

ClintonRomesha21 karma

Another great day in the good US of A

blowinthroughnaptime3 karma

I understand if you don't enjoy watching movies about what was once your reality, but of what you've seen, what movies most realistically depict the reality of being deployed?

For example, I've heard people who have served say that the movie Jarhead is effective at showing that a lot of the time it can be really boring, until suddenly it's not.

ClintonRomesha10 karma

For me I enjoy watching documentaries then something coming out of Hollywood.

DasMess2 karma

Thank you for your service! And i love the book! Hope to see it made into a miniseries soon. Do you feel that the DUSTWUN caused by Bowe Burgdahl caused a delay in the closing or your extraction from Keating?

ClintonRomesha18 karma

Glad to hear you enjoyed the book and thank you. So first and foremost regardless of the reason Bergdahl wandered off from is position he deserted if post and his unit. The US military did everything in the power to search and locate him. Bc of the effort and assets used to do that it caused a removal of some early warning recon that we might have been able to use the weeks and days leading up to 03 oct 2009. But that shows what the military will do to make sure everyone comes home. I know I would give up air assets and put myself in harms way to make sure we leave no trooper behind. I hope he understand that and lives with that everyday for the rest of his life.

MrRags132 karma

Thank you for doing this AMA and for your service. How were you able to maintain your focus and composure to accomplish your goals in such a stressful situation?

ClintonRomesha6 karma

One step at a time, and knowing that if the roles were reversed that someone would have came to get me.

I_smell_awesome2 karma

What are your favorite pizza toppings?

ClintonRomesha10 karma

meat and cheese

GeraldBrennan2 karma

Thanks for doing this. Hope you're well. If you could speak to any (or all) of the presidential candidates about your experiences, what we've done so far, and what we might want to do differently, what would you tell them, and why?

ClintonRomesha10 karma

I would love to speak to all of them, would the listen would be the real question?

GeraldBrennan4 karma

Interesting answer :-) That brings up another question: do you feel like the politicians you've talked to so far, in the course of receiving your award, have been interested in really listening to what you have to say about the war? Or do you get the sense that meeting you is more of a photo op for them, and an easy way to look patriotic?

ClintonRomesha14 karma

So here is what I know, since I have taken off the uniform I no longer work for "them." I hope the rest of the American people remember that to that we do not work for our government our government works for us. I try and remind ever congressman or senator of that when ever I get a chance. Depending on there reaction will depend on if they get a photo op.

shamikchaudhuri2 karma

Has your experience changed your opinion of the United States' involvement in conflicts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Middle East?

ClintonRomesha17 karma

It has stayed the same I would much rather be over there fighting then here in the US.

throwyaw1232 karma

What piece of advice would you give to a young person thinking of starting a military career today?

ClintonRomesha10 karma

It will be the hardest thing you will ever love. Know before you join that you might see and do things no person ever should.

Carriehjs222 karma

Does any part of you miss service? And knowing what you know now, would you enlist again?

ClintonRomesha8 karma

I miss it everyday, the brothers you meet there are for life. If my nation called upon me again to defend it I would answer the call.

Push2KO1 karma

What is it like to be a Medal of Honor winner?

ClintonRomesha45 karma

First off you don't "win" it. We didn't put our names in a hat and have someone draw it out. You receive it. The Medal is not mine it is for all of those who have lay down their life to protect and defend this country.