Motivational Analysis of Actions of Clifford C. Sims

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Motivational Analysis of Actions of Clifford C. Sims  (1968) 
by Richard J. Tallman

From the National Archives and Records Administration; Record Group 472: Records of the U.S. Forces in Southeast Asia, 1950 - 1976; Series: Medal of Honor Awards Case Files, 1965 - ca. 1972; File Unit: Clifford Sims, 2/21/1968 - 2/21/1968; ARC #305381



Basing the following opinion on what I know of the battlefield situation, the condition of our men, the resistance encountered, and the resultant frame of mind which most of our men were in, I would feel quite qualified to judge the motivational factors involved in Staff Sergeant Sims' action which sacrificed his life for his men. And yet, even moreso do I feel able to correctly analyze this man's motivation on the basis of a personal knowledge of him, of his accomplishments, of his dedication and loyalty.

Staff Sergeant Sims was not a man to act rashly; he made decisions with the firm belief that he was right, and he made them without counting the cost to himself. He was intensely loyal to his men, and never put his own interest above theirs. Just five days before he died he was assigned the task of securing an LZ during heavy fighting. He assured that his men were properly positioned and behind suitable cover. And he made certain that the wounded were expiditiously evacuated. Yet he never considered cover for himself during a full six hour period during which he was under a harassing sniper fire. His devotion was to his duty and to his men. And so I believe, as he never acted otherwise that I was aware of, did he consider the safety of his men on 21 February, fully aware of the sacrifice he was making, yet more poignantly concerned for the fate of his men were he to choose any other course. In simple fact, Staff Sergeant Sims knowingly and willingly laid down his life so that his comrades might live.

Richard J. Tallman

LTC, Infantry
Commanding (2/501)


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).