Retired Staff Sergeant


Medal of Honor Recipient, United States Army

In a Conversation with Lieutenant General Jim Pillsbury, USA (Ret.)

Thursday, April 18, 2024 | 5:30 PM • Cocktails | 6:30 PM • Lecture and Discussion
7:30 • PM Dinner in Loretta Spencer Hall catered by Purveyor

Tickets are available for purchase for Members on March 5th, 2024, and for Non-Members, March 26th.

*Note: All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges. Members are limited to two tickets. Due to very limited parking downtown, we request that all lunch guests make every effort to carpool or rideshare. Valet parking will be available, but they have limited spaces open.



The Battle of Kamdesh stands as one of the bloodiest battles of the entire Afghan War and Staff Sergeant Clinton Romesha (known as “Ro” by his comrades) is the author of the book Red Platoon: A True Story of American Valor as well as collaborated and portrayed in the Netflix documentary series, Medal of Honor, in Season 1/Episode 2. It lasted 14 hours and cost eight American lives while the Taliban suffered an estimated 150 killed. Twenty-seven more American warriors were wounded. Romesha deployed twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and once to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Romesha received the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Section Leader with Bravo Troop, during combat operations against an armed enemy at Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan on October 3, 2009. On that morning, Staff Sergeant Romesha and his comrades awakened to an attack by an estimated 300 enemy fighters occupying the high ground on all four sides of the complex, employing concentrated fire from recoilless rifles, rocket propelled grenades, anti-aircraft machine guns, mortars and small arms fire.

Staff Sergeant Romesha moved uncovered under intense enemy fire to conduct a reconnaissance of the battlefield and seek reinforcements from the barracks before returning to action with the support of an assistant gunner. Staff Sergeant Romesha took out an enemy machine gun team and, while engaging a second, the generator he was using for cover was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade, inflicting him with shrapnel wounds. Undeterred by his injuries, Staff Sergeant Romesha continued to fight and upon the arrival of another soldier to aid him and the assistant gunner, he again rushed through the exposed avenue to assemble additional soldiers. Staff Sergeant Romesha then mobilized a five-man team and returned to the fight equipped with a sniper rifle. With complete disregard for his own safety, Staff Sergeant Romesha continually exposed himself to heavy enemy fire, as he moved confidently about the battlefield engaging and destroying multiple enemy targets, including three Taliban fighters who had breached the combat outpost’s perimeter. As the enemy forces attacked with even greater ferocity, unleashing a barrage of rocket-propelled grenades and recoilless rifle rounds, Staff Sergeant Romesha identified the point of attack and directed air support to destroy over 30 enemy fighters.

After receiving reports that seriously injured soldiers were at a distant battle position, Staff Sergeant Romesha and his team provided covering fire to allow the injured soldiers to safely reach the aid station. Upon receipt of orders to proceed to the next objective, his team pushed forward 100 meters under overwhelming enemy fire to recover and prevent the enemy fighters from taking the bodies of the fallen comrades. Staff Sergeant Romesha’s heroic actions throughout the day-long battle were critical in suppressing an enemy that had far greater numbers. His extraordinary efforts gave Bravo Troop the opportunity to regroup, reorganize and prepare for the counterattack that allowed the Troop to account for its personnel and secure Combat Post Keating. Staff Sergeant Romesha’s discipline and extraordinary heroism above and beyond the call of duty reflect great credit upon himself, Bravo Troop, 3d Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division and the United States Army.

After separation from the Army in January of 2011, he relocated to North Dakota pursing work in the Bakken Oil Fields, first as a general laborer then transitioning into job as a Field Safety Specialist. On Feb 11 2013 SSG Romesha received the Medal of Honor at a ceremony held in the White House. Then in 2014 he started working on his book Red Platoon: A True Story of American Valor released in 2016 which became a New York Times Bestseller. SSG Romesha now spends his time supporting Veteran initiatives where he is a member of Sportsmen for Warriors, the Military and Veterans Appreciation Trust (MVAT) Foundation Board of Advisors, Patriot Project Board of Directors, and American Warrior Partnership Emeritus Board Member. He travels the country doing Veteran and youth outreach, inspirational and motivational speaking and enjoying his time spent with his wife Kelli and their 6 kids.

Lieutenant General Jim Pillsbury, USA (Ret.)

Lieutenant General (retired) Jim Pillsbury commenced his military journey in 1973, enlisting in the Army through ROTC at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. After attending flight school in 1976 and the Maintenance Test Pilot School in 1977, he dedicated 16 years to Infantry Divisions, with a significant portion spent in the esteemed 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Achieving the rank of Brigadier General in 2001, Pillsbury held key positions such as Command of the Defense Distribution Center, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics for the United States Army Europe, Commander of the Army Aviation and Missile Command, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations for the Army Material Command, and later Deputy Commanding General for AMC, concluding his illustrious career in 2011. Post-retirement, he actively engages with his community in New Market, Alabama, where he contributes to numerous mission trips to Guatemala through his church. Currently residing in Huntsville, Alabama, Pillsbury finds joy in family, with his two children and two grandchildren also calling Huntsville home.

Thank You Sponsors!

Lead Sponsors

Cynthia and Rey Almodovar in Memory of Becky Pillsbury

Cathy and Bill Stender

President’s Circle

Dana and Jay Town

Nancy and Richard Crunkleton
Joyce Griffin


Artist’s Circle

Charlie and Wayne Bonner
Pei-Ling Charitable Trust, David A. Chan
Carole and Buddy Jones