Roesler, David Earl

David Earl Roesler was born on 20 January 1941 in Deadwood, South Dakota. He was commissioned in 1964 from the United States Military Academy. Following the Ranger and Airborne courses at Fort Benning, Georgia, Lieutenant Roesler was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in West Germany. Returning from Germany, LT Roesler was assigned as an instructor with the Ranger Department at the Infrantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia. Captain Roesler then was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, and, in August 1967, was deployed with the division to Vietnam where he served as squadron S-4, and then as commander, Troop A, 1st Squadron. Captain Roesler's troop made contact with an enemy force comprised of two main force Viet Cong battalions in well-entrenched fortifications on 27 February 1968. Receiving heavy hostile fire from the front and the flanks, Captain Roesler immediately  analyzed the situation and deployed his forces in a profressional and calm manner. He then positioned himself with the point element during his troop's advance into the enemy position in order to maintain the orientation of the attack. Despite the intense enemy fire, he led his into and through the enemy positions. The enemy fire became so torrid that the crew of his track had to seek shelter inside the vehicle, but Captain Roesler courageously remained exposed as he continually returned the enemy fire and directed his troop. He personally led the penetration into three hositle positions and remained in the middle of the enemy positioins to control the clearing operations of his forces. In order to extricate his unit in a change of maneuver, he called in aerial rocket artillery to within ten meters of his tracks. Captain Roesler ordered all personnel inside their track while he remained exposed in the hatch of his track to conduct the mission. During the five-hour encounter, Capatain Roesler's gallantry in action and unquestionable bravery earned him the nation's third highest medal for valor, the Silver Star. During this combat tour with the 1st Cavalry, Captain Roesler also was awarded the Bronze Star with 'V' Device, the Army Commendation Medal with 'V' Device and the Purple Heart.