New Medal of Honor recipient requests to return to active duty, report says
Former Army captain William D. Swenson, who received the Medal of Honor from President Obama on Tuesday, has asked to return to active duty according to the Associated Press.
Swenson earned the honor for his actions during a brutal, hours-long battle in Afghanistan in 2009. He retired from the Army in 2011.
The request is a rare move by someone in uniform who has received the military’s highest award. Swenson also has a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
Swenson, 34, left the military in February 2011 as a captain, but he could rise to the rank of major once he rejoins. In order to successfully re-up, Swenson will have to pass a physical, a drug test and other routine reviews. But officials Tuesday were optimistic it would all fall into place.
In the aftermath of 9/11, when the Army was growing in size to meet the combat requirements of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, it was not unusual for former soldiers to rejoin the service and go back on active duty. It is rare, if not unprecedented, for an officer holding the Medal of Honor, to do so. Officials were unsure if that had ever happened before.