Facts about Florent Groberg

Florent Groberg is 35 years old
Born: May 8, 1983
Birthplace: Poissy, France
Best known as: The Army Captain awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2015

     

Florent Groberg Biography

Florent Ahmed Groberg won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions while serving in Afghanistan on August 8, 2012.

On that day, U.S. Army Captain Florent Groberg was commanding a personal security detachment (PSD) that was protecting 28 coalition and Afghan National Army personnel, including two brigade commanders and two battalion commanders. While escorting the group on foot to the provincial governor’s compound in Asadabad, Kunar, Groberg spotted a man approaching the group wearing a suicide bombing vest.

Taking fast action, Groberg rushed the man and shoved him away from the group. With the aid of a fellow soldier, Sgt. Andrew Mahoney, Groberg drove the bomber further from the group and down to the ground, where he detonated his vest. Groberg was thrown 15-20 feet back by the blast, which punctured his eardrum and severely damaged his left leg. The explosion caused a second bomber, hidden nearby, also to detonate his vest prematurely.

Four members of Groberg’s group were killed by the blast, but his actions saved the lives of many others. For his heroism, Florent Groberg was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama on November 12, 2015.

Florent Groberg was born in France to an Algerian Muslim mother; he told the Seattle Times in 2018 that he knows nothing about his biological father. When Groberg was three, his mother married an American businessman, Larry Groberg, who adopted Florent. Eventually the family moved to the United States. Florent became a naturalized U.S. citizen on February 27, 2001; later that year he graduated from Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland.

An avid runner, Groberg first attended the University of North Carolina-Wilmington on a track scholarship, but transferred to the University of Maryland, where he graduated in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2008, and retired with a medical discharge in 2015.

In 2018 he published a memoir titled 8 Seconds of Courage: A Soldier’s Story from Immigrant to the Medal of Honor.

Extra credit

The four men killed in the attack on August 8, 2012 included U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin, U.S. Army Major Thomas E. Kennedy, U.S. Air Force Major Walter D. Gray and USAID Foreign Service Officer Ragaei Abdelfattah. 16 other soldiers were injured… Florent Groberg married Carsen Alexa Zarin on November 17, 2018. Their marriage was covered in the Vows section of The New York Times the next day… Poissy, Florent Groberg’s birthplace, is a suburb about 25 kilometers northwest of the center of Paris, France.


     

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