1LT Rich Goldsmith served his first combat tour in Vietnam from May 1965 to June 1966. He was a platoon leader with D Co, 16th Armor. That was a separate, airborne "tank" company which was part of the 173rd Airborne Brigade. It was equipped with M113s instead of tanks so they could be air dropped. He made three non-combat jumps and earned the Combat Infantry Badge (CIB).
On his second tour in Vietnam from June 1969 to June 1970, he was a Mechanized Infantry company commander and Battalion S3 (Operations) in the "Triple Deuce" (2nd Bn, 22nd Infantry) assigned to various brigades of the 25th Infantry Division. During this time he engaged in some heavy combat and was awarded the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star with "V" among other valor awards, and the Purple Heart.
Captain Goldsmith took command of C Company, 2-22 Infantry a few days after it had suffered a hit by a misdirected artillery round. The round killed 16 soldiers in one platoon. That event and the subsequent action left the company in bad condition and without their company commander. The company was taken off the line for a week of recuperation. Captain Goldsmith took command on the fourth day of that recovery. Less than a week after taking command of C Company, the action occurred in which he was awarded the Silver Star. On 7 September 1969, Captain Goldsmith distinguished himself by heroic actions as commander of C Company, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry in the Republic of Vietnam. While on a reconnaissance operation his company came into contact with a large enemy force. Captain Goldsmith immediately deployed his unit and directed their fire on the hostile positions. As the battle progressed, Captain Goldsmith, with complete disregard for his own safety, exposed himself to the hail of fire as he led his men in an assault on the enemy emplacements. Upon nearing the enemy bunkers, Captain Goldsmith personally aided in destroying one of the machine gun emplacements while coordinating the movement of his three platoons and bringing indirect fire to bear on the enemy.
Colonel Goldsmith was born in San Diego in 1941. His father had just been activated and commissioned in the Army because of the start of World War II. He moved with his family to various Army posts until his father deployed to France. He, his mother and younger brother joined his father in Germany immediately after the war in Europe ended. He graduated from Topeka High School in Topeka, KS. He received an appointment to attend West Point from which he graduated in 1963 and was commissioned a 2LT in Armor. He attended Armor Officers' Basic Course and Airborne School and was assigned to 4-12th Armored Cavalry at Ft Carson, CO, as an armored cavalry platoon leader until early 1965 when he was transferred to the 173rd Airborne Brigade on Okinawa. The 173rd was sent to Vietnam in May 1965.
Upon return from Vietnam in 1966, he attended the Armor Officers' Advanced Course at Ft Knox, KY. He was promoted to Captain and commanded C Troop, 1-6th Armored Cavalry Regiment before returning to Vietnam in 1969. There being no armor or cavalry units available at the time, he volunteered to command an infantry company in the 25th Infantry Division. Following this second tour in Vietnam, he attended Tulane University in New Orleans, LA, for a Masters Degree. He served in Germany twice. Once as commander of 1-70 Armor and later as commander of "The Iron Brigade" (2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division). He graduated from the Army Command & General Staff College in 1973 and from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1981. He was on the faculty of the Army War College in Carlisle, PA, when he retired in January 1993 as a Colonel.