Medal of Honor Citation

Ronald L. Coker, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam in March 1969, was born 9 August 1947, in Alliance, Nebraska. He attended District 78 Rural Elementary School in Alliance, Alliance High School, and Denver Colorado Automotive School.

Drafted by the Selective Service Board in Alliance, he entered the U.S. Marine Corps at Denver, Colorado, 16 April 1968.

He completed recruit training with the 1st Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, in June 1968; individual combat training with Company Z, 3d Battalion, 2d Infantry Training Regiment, Camp Pendleton, California, in July 1968; and basic infantry training with Rifle Training Company, Basic Infantry Training Battalion, 2d Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Pendleton, in August. He was promoted to private first class on 1 September 1968.

Private First Class Coker then joined a replacement company, Staging Battalion, at Camp Pendleton, for transfer to the Republic of Vietnam.

Upon his arrival in Vietnam, in November 1968, he was assigned duty as a rifleman with Company M, 3d Battalion, 3d Marine Division. While serving in this capacity, he was killed in action in the northwest section of Quang Tri Province, on 24 March 1969.

A complete list of his medals and decorations includes: the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with one bronze star, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Vietnam War 1965-1973 Medal of Honor

Marine Corps University