Alek Skarlatos, a National Guardsman who was one of three Americans who helped foil a gunman’s attack on a French passenger train Friday, will receive the Soldiers Medal, one of the U.S. Army’s highest awards.
Skarlatos is a specialist in the Oregon National Guard; along with two friends and another passenger, he rushed to confront a man who was armed with an AK-47, a pistol and a knife on a high-speed train. The group received France’s Legion of Honor medal Monday.
Announcing Skarlatos’ award Tuesday, senior Army officials called the Soldiers Medal the service’s “highest award for acts of heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy.”
Another service member who acted alongside Skarlatos, Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, will be awarded the Airman’s Medal for his actions, the Air Force announced Monday.
“Spec. Skarlatos’ actions that day epitomize what we mean by a soldier of character — one who lives by a personal code where dedication to duty and taking care of others is sacred,” Secretary of the Army John McHugh said. “His actions, and those of his fellow serviceman and passengers, exemplify the highest standards of selfless service. We are proud to count him in our ranks.”