PFC Andrew Cashe, the surviving son of Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe, is about half-way through Basic Combat Training at Fort Benning, Georgia, currently going through the Basic Infantryman’s Course.
PFC Cashe enlisted in the Army and shipped to Fort Benning, GA, sometime in February. He is now training under 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry Regiment at the highly prestigious Sand Hill School for Infantry.
PFC Cashe’s turning blue ceremony, during which he will receive the blue cord, is scheduled to be a virtual graduation on July 24, 2020. Turning blue is considered the day that a soldier-in-training completes the 11B 22-week Infantryman One Station Unit Training (OSUT) course at Fort Benning, GA. Fort Benning has highly been considered the Home of the Infantry since 1909 and has since been converted into the Maneuver Center of Excellence to include the United States Army Armor School.
Current Specific Job Duties of the Infantryman according to the Army, include:
- Perform as a member of a fire team during drills and combat
- Aid in the mobilization of vehicles, troops and weaponry
- Assist in reconnaissance missions
- Process prisoners of war and captured documents
- Use, maintain and store combat weapons (e.g., rifles, machine guns, antitank mines, etc.)
PFC Andrew Cashe’s permanent duty station is still not known at this time, and we will keep you updated closer to his graduation date.
SFC Alwyn ‘Al’ Cashe on October 17, 2005, was the gunner in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV) on patrol when an improvised explosive device struck his vehicle. The blast ignited the fuel cell of the BFV and scattered fuel all over the Soldiers inside. Cashe managed to escape and pulled six Soldiers and one interpreter out of the burning BFV. His fuel soaked uniform ignited in flames and burned away, leaving only his helmet, body armor and boots, as he dragged the wounded Soldiers out to safety.
SFC Cashe received 90% burns over his body and refused medical attention until his men had received medical evacuation. SFC Cashe, 35, died while receiving treatment for burn injuries at The San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC), Texas, on November 8, 2005, with his family by his side. Three of the rescued Soldiers also later died at the burn center at SAMMC, according to the Department of Defense.
“As we were fighting the fight and clearing the scene, he wouldn’t leave,” Maj. Jimmy Hathaway said. He wanted to make sure all of his guys were out first even though he was burned over most of his body. He was still more concerned about his guys getting out than he was.”
For SFC Cashe’s actions in the rescue of the Soldiers, he posthumously received the Silver Star, which is considered the third-highest combat award.
Lieutenant General Brito, who was SFC Cashe’s battalion commander at the time, initially recommended SFC Cashe for the Silver Star. However, after reviewing witness statements from surviving Soldiers that described the heroic actions of SFC Cashe, he then submitted for the award to be upgraded to the Medal of Honor.
“I don’t know that there’s much more I can do,” Brito said. “I’ve asked others who have provided witness statements so far to look at them and see if there’s anything else that can be recalled that was left off before. I’m not going to have anything fabricated, and I’m not going to violate the integrity of the award, and I don’t want to bring any dishonor on Sgt. 1st Class Cashe or his family.”
“Some will say that maybe the incident doesn’t qualify because there wasn’t enough direct fire or what have you. I’m not sure about that, but over time as I had a chance to reflect (I knew), this is something I wanted to pursue,” said LTG Brito.
There is currently a movement on Facebook to request an upgrade to SFC Cashe’s Silver Star to be upgraded to the higher award, The Medal of Honor for his heroic actions.