Specialist Grade 4

Donald P. Sloat

Army
Inducted 2015


Medal of Honor Recipient

Medal of Honor Recipient

Donald P. Sloat

Specialist 4 Donald P. Sloat was born 6 February 1949 and grew up in Coweta, Oklahoma in Wagoner County. Sloat graduated from Coweta High School in 1967 where he was a lineman on the Coweta Tigers Football Team. He attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami, Oklahoma, and then enlisted in the U.S. Army on 19 March 1969.

After completing initial training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, he was sent to Vietnam in September 1969. He was a machine gunner in the 3rd Platoon, Company D, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, American Division. He was killed 17 January 1970 while on a combat patrol. Sloat's heroism went unknown by his family for nearly four decades. His mother was told by a fellow soldier he had stepped on a land mine. Sloat actually lost his life that day saving the rest of his patrol. During that patrol, another soldier tripped a wire on a booby trap, causing a grenade to roll down the hill toward Sloat. He picked up the grenade to throw it away from the patrol but realized the explosion was imminent and he couldn't shield them in the blast. In that moment, he drew the grenade to his body, shielding his patrol members and saving their lives. Specialist 4 Sloat was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama in September 2014.