You know I have been reading a lot lately about heroes and protecting our heroes.  For all those that may be confused, here is the definition of heroism, Sgt First Class Randy Shughart and Master Sergeant Gary Gordon.  That is all.

36 Responses to “Definition of Heroism”

  1. Anon says:

    Still gives me chills when I watch Blackhawk Down. Those guys are real heroes.

  2. jonas says:

    and if any of these men were immigrant noncitizen soldiers they could be deported for they would’nt even be considered US Nationals. Yea, the way we protect and honor our heroes.

    I was on facebook on found this group”Banished Veterans” the phrase itself did’nt make any sense, so I decided to read on. I was stunned to know that immigrants who wear the uniform even after honorable service may be deported from a country they pledge permanent allegiance to by way of their enlistment contract and their willingness to spilled their blood.

    Does anyone know about this?, It does’nt seem to make sense to have people who willingly wear the uniform and because of later character flaws that leads to crinminal activities may be deported and infact are being detained and deported en masse by ICE?(IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOM ENFORCEMENT?, How could this be?

    Where is congress on this?

    when noncitizen soldiers where the uniform and especially overseas who are they if not US nationals?

    What legal standing would the US government have to act on their behalf as it relates SOFA agreements?

    Comments from this vast legal diaspora would be enligthening indeed.

    Colonel Sullivan?, anyone?

  3. jonas says:

    Anon, Black Down leaves with chills too, but after reading about this immigrant veterans issue I have been left wondering about what it means to serve.

  4. CPT Rob M says:


    Under current fedederal law, anyone who has served one day in the military since 9/11 (or during another designated period of hostilities) is entitled to automatic naturalization (during peacetime, it takes a year). The law was even amended in 2004 to make it easier for servicemembers to go through the naturalization process overseas. can give more information; there are links there for people in the military.

    I suppose it’s possible that some veterans are deported (though I haven’t heard of specific instances), but it seems like that would be a case of the system failing (or those veterans choosing not to apply for citizenship, for whatever reason), rather than a lack of a system.

  5. Presley O'Bannon says:

    These men are heroes.

    But we should be careful not to fall into the trap of “measuring” heroism, to the extent that only some “level” of heroism qualifies one to be a hero.

    From where I sit, anyone who voluntarily and consciously risks loss of life, sight or limb for this country as a hero. And that can be as non-flashy and mundane as climbing behind the wheel of a humvee for a milk run, knowing that you are driving down a route that is consistently laced with IEDs.

    And I think it is pretty obvious that NoMan’s post is a response to those who call the accsed SEAL’s “heroes.”

    But I think it is unseemly to sit behind a keyboard and implicitly denigrate one form of heroism by trumpeting another.

    All gave some, some gave all.

  6. Southern Defense Counsel says:


    I’m afraid I am with No Man on this one. The term hero is bandied about with respect to our military far too often, and it loses its meaning after a while. If someone were to call me a hero just because I wear the uniform I would be uncomfortable and point them to the gentlemen named above as examples of true heroes.

    Calling all who serve “heroes” leads to this unfortunate result: In October 2009, Major Hasan was a “hero.” Same goes for Pvt Green, etc, etc, etc. Save the term hero for those who truly deserve it. Just signing up doesn’t cut it in my book. Which is not to say that I believe I am denigrating the service of those who sign up, risk their safety by deploying, and do their job with honor.

  7. Presley O'Bannon says:


    Your point is well-taken.

    Perhaps there is a difference between being heroic and being a hero.

  8. jonas says:

    CPT Rob, can you address the status of this legislation as it relates to noncitizen veterans who served prior to 911?

  9. CPT Rob M says:

    Jonas- this is from the USCIS website:

    Naturalization through One Year of Qualifying Service During “Peacetime”
    Generally, a person who has served honorably in the U.S. armed forces at any time may be eligible to apply for naturalization under section 328 of the INA. The military community sometimes refers to this as “peacetime naturalization.”

    In general, an applicant for naturalization under Section 328 of the INA must:

    Be age 18 or olderHave served honorably in the U.S. armed forces for at least 1 year and, if separated from the U.S. armed forces, have been separated honorably Be a permanent resident at the time of examination on the naturalization applicationBe able to read, write, and speak basic EnglishHave a knowledge of U.S. history and government (civics)Have been a person of good moral character during all relevant periods under the lawHave an attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution and be well disposed to the good order and happiness of the U.S. during all relevant periods under the lawHave continuously resided in the United States for at least five years and have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application, UNLESS the applicant has filed an application while still in the service or within 6 months of separation. In the latter case, the applicant is not required to meet these residence and physical presence requirements.

  10. CPT Rob M says:

    SDC- I’m definitely with you. I’ve been somewhat uneasy with the unequivocal national “support” for the military since 9/11. Granted, it’s a hundred times better than the post-Vietnam shunning/”baby-killer” treatment, but I worry that perhaps we’ve gone too far in the other direction. When we’ve arrived at the point where anyone in a uniform is considered infallible, and we can’t question or criticize their actions, we’ve gone too far (for example, when a U.S. Congressman’s immediate knee-jerk reaction is to attempt to influence the judicial process). The military is imperfect, and made up of imperfect individuals, and we must be able to recognize that in order for our nation to survive.

  11. jonas says:

    CPT Rob, the million dollar here is, what if they are not naturalized?. In uniform, what is their status, without naturalization they are certainly not citizens. Then, who are they if not US Nationals?. According the INS a National of the United States is anyone though not a citizen owes permanent alegiance to United States.

    The question therefore is, when one enlists in armed forces and swear to defend the constitution and the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic does’nt this constitute permanent allegiance to the United States?. Hence. by definition a National of the United States. I dont recall any provision that says if you’re not a citizen your allegiance ends at your EAOS?.

    If this is not the case and infact under the law noncitizen soldiers are not US nationals are they defacto mercernaries?

  12. jonas says:

    CPT Rob, lets engaged in a hypothetical,

    A retired E8 as a result of receiving his retirement benefits who most of us believe remains subject to the UCMJ. Lets say that E8 who is a noncitizen makes disparaging statement against the United States, does this E8 OWE permanent allegiance to the United States?
    If not a citizen or a national but his only connection to the US is earned retirement benefit then how is subject to the UCMJ?. According the logic of the INS AND MAYBE current law and I admit I have to do some more researched on this, then this E8’s allegiance to the united States has ended with his retirement.

  13. Anonymous says:


    Not sure what you’re asking for. If a non-citizen serves but elects not to become a citizen, you think they should be immune to deportation if they later commit a crime? Military service provides a fast track to citizenship, but it doesn’t provide amnesty altogether, and I can’t see why it should.

  14. Anonymous says:

    No Man,

    I completely agree that these men were heroes. But what’s with the condescending & patronizing tone of your post?

  15. Ama Goste says:

    Don’t understand how this got turned into an immigration law forum, but here’s an example of a Blackhawk Down hero turned criminal:

  16. CPT Rob M says:

    Noting and agreeing with Ama Goste that this isn’t exactly an immigration law thread…


    I’m not sure where you’re getting your information; the INS no longer exists (it is now divided between the US Customs and Immigration Service or USCIS and the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement or USICE).

    A naturalized citizen is a citizen, someone not naturalized is a “permanent resident” (a lawful permanent resident is a “green card” holder). Permanent residence is a step on the process toward naturalization/citizenship. Those in the military who are not eligible for immediate citizenship would be considered residents.

  17. Christopher Mathews says:

    CPT Rob, SDC, while I have on occasion noticed — and like you, been uncomfortable with — the degree to which civilians seem to go out of their way to pay homage to military service, I have also noticed that it doesn’t apply universally to all veterans. See, e.g., John Kerry.

    Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing may depend on your political outlook. But clearly not all veterans are accorded equal respect for their “heroism.”

  18. any mouse says:

    Capt Rob,

    I agree with you about the unequivocal national support directed towards the military. I have not yet been shot at and the only times during my service where I have felt a little scared were on a couple live fire ranges at TBS wear the ground was a little icey and the Marine rushing with the SAW next to me was known to be a bit of a klutz. Until I face real danger, I am far from a hero; just a lucky guy with a job that pays.

  19. CPT Rob M says:

    CM- Yeah, the political process is not particularly kind to veterans who run for public office (especially, and this is solely an observation not a judgment, democrats).

    The dangerous thing is that when people believe the military can do no wrong, we start to believe it too, and the sense of infallibility, entitlement, and superiority leads to all sorts of problems.

    No man- though you didn’t say it in so many words, I liked how you reminded us that real heroes usually don’t expect to be treated like it.

  20. No Man says:

    My post actually had nothing to do with the SEALs. I watchwd Blackhawk Down last night and felt I should share my definition in light of all the recent discussion in many contexts. I always get a little misty during the movie when Durant asks Shughart where is the rescue force and Shughart says we’re it-or something like that.

  21. Late Bloomer says:

    I agree with SDC. For me, the title Marine or veteran is sufficient.

    SFC Shughart and MSG Gordon certainly qualify as heroes in my book. I also believe the members of the 442 RCT are heroes as well.

  22. Anonymous says:

    So are members of all the other RCTs. And their families. Not to mention everyone else who has worn a uniform since 9/11. Or before.

  23. Sean Hannity says:

    …and their Great Americans! YOU’RE a Great American!

  24. jonas says:

    CPT Rob, you continue to advance a straw man’s argument and not addressing the central question, does a noncitizen enlisted soldier by virtue of his oath of enlistment owe permanent allegiance to the United States?and by virtue of his enlistement contract and permanent allegiance is he a National of the United States?. If he is not a National by virtue of his decleared allegiance by way of his oath of enlistment then who is he?.

    It seems to me we cannot have it both ways, how can one be enlisted and not be a US national by our own definition?.

    Oh, I have not made this into an immigration thread the topic is about heroes.

    Per the INA”Section 101(a)(22) of the Immigration and Nationality Act:

    The term “national of the United States” means (A) a citizen of the United States, or (B) a person who, though not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the United States”.

  25. jonas says:

    Have we lost the very basic of the plain reading of our statues?

  26. Anonymous says:

    The oath of enlistment terminates when the enlistment terminates. And furthermore, even if a noncitizen is retired military, receiving pay, and owes allegiance to the U.S., why should that make him non-deportable? He’s had the option of naturalization for 20+ years. If he chose not to take that option, he faces the potential of deportation for committing a crime (not to mention the potential of a court-martial).

  27. jonas says:

    I wonder why no one wants to address is the noncitizen soldier a national or not. I guess because the obvious answer is YES! AND WHERE IN THE ENLISTMENT CONTRACT DOES IT SAY ALLEGIANCE TO US terminates with end of the enlistment contract?

  28. jonas says:


    even if a noncitizen is retired military, receiving pay, and owes allegiance to the U.S., why should that make him non-deportable?

    Owing allegiance is exactly what makes him a national by definition, you’re so good at making my argument.

  29. Anonymous says:

    And a national can’t be deported because?

  30. Look, Man- says:

    Ah- the joys of the blogosphere. Amazing detour form the main point. Ya gotta love the way humans make random associations. Ya just gotta.

  31. Anon says:

    “Not to mention everyone else who has worn a uniform since 9/11. Or before.”

    Eh, not really. I’ve worn a uniform off and on on active duty for over a decade combined over the last two decades. I wear one now. At no point am I or was I a “hero.” You have to do something heroic to be a hero. Signing up is not heroic. It is service, it should be honored and valued as such. It certainly is laudatory, but it is not heroic.

    It may be for those who look at things with a facile, simplistic view, like your Hannitys and Becks, but for the folks who actually serve, we know who the real heroes are, and that isn’t everyone who laces up a pair of boots.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Anon, your sarcasm-radar needs a new battery.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Or maybe your sarcasm gun needs better ammo?

  34. jonas says:

    Thats, the whole point, a National of the United States cannot be deported, so says the immigration and nationality act by their own definition and statute.

    Anyone who swears allegiance to the United states is a Nattional and not a citizen by definition and this miscarriage to veterans needs to be addressed by congress I am not pro immigration simply anti stupidity when its clear we are circumventing our own laws to serve a political end.

    People who volunteered to wear the uniform and swears allegiance to our country are nationals or other wise we employing mercernaries and I dont believe thats the case since INA itself says not.

  35. jonas says:

    Anon jan27 552PM, well said having worn the uniform myself its how I feel, wearing the uniform does’nt make you a hero. Furthermore, true military minds can comprehend what true heroism entails and its certainly not simply putting on the uniform like most of us do everyday.

  36. jonas says:

    I am no hero, I am simply in love with my country and I am willing to do whateveer it takes to see her through whatever the future may bring. Do I have what it takes to be a hero?, I dont know. Moments transform ordinary men into heroes. I have’nt had a moment of transfirmation yet and I pray if that moment shall have come upon me I wont wilt from what America has asked of me.
    America, is a lady that when asking takes all from the Men and Women at her service.

    The concept of heroism, is one of humility that most of us never come to comprehend and a concept most military people are’nt comfortable with. Furthermore the tile”HERO” is one bestowed upon extraordinary people by mere ordinary people.