Igor D. "Duke" Gerhardt: Silver Star Medal, Bronze Star Medal with Valor, Air Medal with Valor, Army Commendation Medal with Valor (with one Oak Leaf Cluster), and the Purple Heart.
Duke Gerhardt is a native of Richmond, Virginia. He retired from the United States Army as a Lieutenant Colonel, having served for more than twenty-two years on active duty. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. During his distinguished military career he taught engineering as a member of the faculty at West Point.
Duke Gerhardt is the Founder and President of DG Associates, providing professional services to the United States military and Defense Contractors.
Duke is married, has four children and has been a resident of Huntsville since 1981.
On 11 September 1969, then Major Gerhardt distinguished himself by heroic actions while on a reconnaissance operation in the Republic of Vietnam. During the mission, his Company encountered a numerically superior enemy force and the forward platoon became pinned down and suffered several casualties. With complete disregard for his own safety, Duke Gerhardt rushed forward and carried a critically wounded man to a safe area. Organizing a four man team, he then lead the element forward where he directed the safe evacuation of the remainder of the wounded men. For his valorous life saving actions, he was awarded the Silver Star.
On 17 October 1969 Duke Gerhardt distinguished himself by heroic actions in the Republic of Vietnam which lead to the saving of several lives. During an intense rocket attack several casualties were sustained by his unit. With complete disregard for his own safety, Duke Gerhardt exposed himself to the hail of enemy fire as he directed the evacuation of wounded personnel to a safe area. Although wounded by the intense barrage of enemy fire, he continued to establish evacuation procedures. For his actions on that date, Duke Gerhardt was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor.
On 15 September 1969 while participating in aerial flight in the Republic of Vietnam, Duke Gerhardt distinguished himself by heroic actions when friendly forces came in contact with a large enemy force. From his command and control helicopter, Duke Gerhardt directed artillery and gunship fire on the hostile force. With complete disregard for his own safety Duke Gerhardt made several low level passes over the battle area to locate and direct fire on the enemy positions. For his valorous actions, Duke Gerhardt was awarded the Air Medal with Valor.
On 6 September 1969, when his unit came under an intense barrage of enemy rockets, Duke Gerhardt moved through the perilous area to aid and evacuate a soldier who had been wounded. By his valorous actions he saved the life of that soldier. For his actions on that date, Duke Gerhardt was awarded the Army Commendation Medal with Valor.