For heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy as a squad leader with Company D, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division in the former Republic of Vietnam. On 26 April 1967 Corporal Padgett was leading his rifle squad on a patrol in an area of heavy enemy activity when they were ambushed by a superior enemy force. The initial volley of fire mortally wounded the point man. As the squad corpsman moved forward to render first aid, he was also hit. Quickly and accurately assessing the tactical situation, Corporal Padgett deployed the remainder of his men to deal with the numerically superior enemy, and provide covering fire for his wounded corpsman. With disregard for his own safety, he continually repositioned himself to gain tactical advantage and direct his squad. His superior use of supporting arms, fire, and maneuver enabled his squad to prevail against a tenacious force. When the medevac helicopter arrived, the enemy fire again intensified. Again disregarding his own safety, he assisted another Marine in carrying the wounded corpsman to the waiting helicopter. By his initiative, courage, and total dedication to duty, Corporal Padgett reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.