Legion of Merit
Bobby L. Martin was born on 14 July 1947 in Wynne, Arkansas. He graduated from Wynne High School in 1965. He entered military service by enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1966, serving in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. After service in Vietnam, Martin pursed an Army officer career thought ROTC at Arkansas State University. He commissioned in December 1974 as a second lieutenant and graduated in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in business management and a master’s degree from Central Michigan University in 1979. From 1974 until 1991, he served in various positions in Germany and the United States, including Battalion Executive Officer in Germany; Professor, U.S. Army Command & General Staff College (where he also earned a graduate degree in 1991); Operations Officer, Savanna Army Depot; Theater War Plans Officer, U.S. Pacific Command; Professor, ROTC, University of Missouri; Co. Commander, 25th Infantry Div., and Co. Executive Officer 9th Infantry Div. Bobby Martin was Operations Officer, 60th Ordnance Group, Zweibrücken, Germany, 1992-93; and he retired as the Commander, Holston Army Group of Plants, Kingsport, TN, 1993-95. His many rewards and decorations include the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal with “V” Device for Valor, and the Legion of Merit.
On 10 November 1967, while on combat patrol in Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, Petty Officer Martin’s unit, First Platoon, A Company, First Battalion, Fifth Marine Regiment, came under intense automatic weapon and small arms fire from a large, well concealed enemy force. Almost one third of the patrol element was struck down within the initial seconds of enemy contact. Although seriously wounded, Petty Officer Martin repeatedly refused medical treatment for himself. With complete disregard for his own safety, under intense and deadly crossfire, he continued moving about the battlefield, providing lifesaving assistance to his wounded comrades, in many cases shielding them from hostile fire with his own body. Following the combat, he again refused medical assistance for himself until all other wounded had been treated and evacuated from the field of battle Lieutenant Colonel Martin’s dedication, exemplary performance of duty, and achievements throughout his distinguished military career are in keeping with the highest tradition of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Arkansas State University, and the U.S. Army.