b. 08/05/1983 Poissy, France.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 08/08/2012 Asadbad, Afghanistan.
Florent Groberg was born in Poissy, near Paris, France on May 8, 1983. He and his family lived in the Paris area until Florent was 6 years old, then moved to Spain before returning back to France. He did not learn to speak English until he was 11 years old.
When Groberg was in middle school, his family moved to the Chicago area before they settled in Potomac, Maryland, where he continued his studies in French at Lycée Rochambeau in Bethesda, Maryland, before graduating from nearby Walter Johnson High School in June 2001. Groberg became a naturalized U.S. citizen on February 27, 2001. Groberg attended the University of Maryland, College Park and competed in varsity track and cross country. In May 2006, Groberg graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor's degree in criminology and criminal justice.
Groberg entered the Army in July 2008 and attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. In November 2009, he deployed to Afghanistan as part of Task Force Lethal, with responsibility for the Pech River Valley in Afghanistan's Kunar Province
Upon returning home in June 2010, he continued serving as a platoon leader until he was reassigned as an infantry company executive officer from October 2010 to November 2011. He was then assigned as the brigade personal security detachment commander for 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. He deployed again to Kunar Province, Afghanistan, in February 2012, with Task Force Mountain Warrior. He was promoted to captain in July 2012.
As a result of his actions, Groberg sustained the loss of 45 to 50 percent of his left calf muscle with significant nerve damage, a blown eardrum, and a mild traumatic brain injury. Groberg spent his recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center from August 2012 through May 2015. He was medically retired from Company B Warriors, Warrior Transition Battalion, as a captain, on July 23, 2015. President Barack Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to Groberg on November 12, 2015 at a ceremony at the White House.
Captain Florent A. Groberg distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Personal Security Detachment Commander for Task Force Mountain Warrior, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during combat operations against an armed enemy in Asadbad, Kunar Province, Afghanistan on August 8, 2012. On that day, Captain Groberg was leading a dismounted movement consisting of several senior leaders to include two brigade commanders, two battalion commanders, two command sergeants major, and an Afghanistan National Army brigade commander. As they approached the Provincial Governor's compound, Captain Groberg observed an individual walking close to the formation. When the individual made an abrupt turn towards the formation, he noticed an abnormal bulge underneath the individual’s clothing. Selflessly placing himself in front of one of the brigade commanders, Captain Groberg rushed forward, using his body to push the suspect away from the formation. Simultaneously, he ordered another member of the security detail to assist with removing the suspect. At this time, Captain Groberg confirmed the bulge was a suicide vest and with complete disregard for his life, Captain Groberg again with the assistance of the other member of the security detail, physically pushed the suicide bomber away from the formation. Upon falling, the suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest outside the perimeter of the formation, killing four members of the formation and wounding numerous others. The blast from the first suicide bomber caused the suicide vest of a previously unnoticed second suicide bomber to detonate prematurely with minimal impact on the formation. Captain Groberg's immediate actions to push the first suicide bomber away from the formation significantly minimized the impact of the coordinated suicide bombers' attack on the formation, saving the lives of his comrades and several senior leaders. Captain Groberg's extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty at the risk of life are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect credit upon himself, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division and the United States Army.