Purple Heart Profile: Leon Roy IV

Command Sergeant Major Leon Roy, the son of a World War II Navy Veteran, spent his childhood in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Sarasota, Florida. In December 1957, he joined the Navy to follow the Pacific service of his Father. He served on the U.S.S. Boston Guided Missile Cruiser during most of his enlistment and was honorably discharged in April 1962.

After trying civilian life for a few months he decided to join the Army and on 2 August 1962, started his enlistment with Basic Training School and then on to Jump School at Ft. Benning. Although, Patriot Roy was scheduled for an assignment with a Special Forces unit at Ft Bragg, he was put on Emergency Requisition Orders to V Corps (LRRP) 3779 in Frankfurt, Germany. In Germany, his unit saw lots of field training and was known to be the best marching unit in V Corps and was in high demand to perform at ceremonies and dignitaries visits. Their unit was so elite that they were selected to represent the 101St and the 82nd airborne units at the 20th Anniversary of the June 6, 1944, WWII Normandy Invasion.

In July 1965, Patriot Roy was ordered to Vietnam and assigned as an advisor with the Vietnamese 3rd BN, 45th Infantry Regiment in Ban Me Thuot. Patriot Roy saw combat action with this Regiment and was wounded by shrapnel on 29 March 1966. A North Vietnamese element firing small arm weapons and mortar rounds attacked their unit which resulted in many Vietnamese casualties. After his Vietnam tour, Patriot Roy finally got an assignment to a Special Forces unit in Fort Bragg, NC, where he was trained in counterinsurgency operations. In September 1968, Patriot Roy was assigned to the 46th Special Forces in Thailand. In Thailand, Patriot Roy’s primary duties were training Thai Special Forces on border operations.

Patriot Roy returned back to Fort Bragg to attend Vietnamese Language School. Upon completing training at Fort Bragg, his Special Forces unit was ordered to Nha Trang, South Vietnam where he was selected to train Cambodia military forces on how to conduct counterinsurgency operations. After his year tour of duty, Patriot Roy was assigned to the Pathfinder School at Fort Benning, GA. As a Master Sergeant (E-8) Roy was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry as their Operations Sergeant for about 12 months. In June 1973, Patriot Roy took the opportunity to become a first sergeant with the 42nd Company, Airborne which led to his selection for the Sergeant Major’s Academy at Fort Bliss, TX. Upon completion of the Academy, he was assigned as the Senior Enlisted Advisor for the National Guard 73rd Infantry Brigade in Columbus, Ohio.

Patriot Roy retired from the Army on November 1, 1980 as a Command Sergeant Major. His awards and decorations includes: Combat Infantry Badge, Master Parachutist Wings, Vietnam Jump Wings, Thailand Jump Wings, Legion of Merit, Soldiers Medal, Bronze Start Medal (1 OLC), Purple Heart, Air Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Navy Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnamese Service Medal, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star, Vietnam Service Medal with 3 stars and the Vietnam Campaign Medal with 60’s device.

Command Sergeant Major Roy moved to Florida with his wife of 12 years, Marie Roy and two sons, Leon J. Roy V, and Gary. In the Army, Patriot Roy had been a natural trainer, so it was only fitting that he was selected to become a JROTC Instructor at a high school in Quincy, Florida. He retired again in 1996 due to a bout with cancer. Patriot Roy is a life member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and has served two years as the Commander of our Chapter 758.

Patriot Roy wishes to acknowledge his closest fallen Vietnam troops. They were Jerry Shriver, Mike Newburn, Herman Ross and John T. Flynn. CSM Leon Roy and his fallen Patriots have been inducted into The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor (www.thepurpleheart.com).

Command Sergeant Major (Ret) Leon Roy was an outstanding soldier and sailor whose exemplary military service reflex great credit upon him, his entire family and the United States of America.