Warren joined the U.S. Army from New York City in 1967.
On January 14, 1969, as a first lieutenant, Warren was commanding a platoon in Tây Ninh Province, Vietnam when the unit came under attack. During the fight, Warren fell on an enemy-thrown grenade to shield others from the blast. The action cost him his life.
His official citation reads:
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to First Lieutenant (Infantry) John Earl Warren, Jr. (ASN: 0-5347373), United States Army (Reserve), for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty at the cost of his life while serving as a platoon leader with Company C (Mechanized), 2d Battalion, 22d Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, in action against enemy aggressor forces at Tay Ninh Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 14 January 1969. While moving through a rubber plantation to reinforce another friendly unit, Company C came under intense fire from a well-fortified enemy force. Disregarding his safety, First Lieutenant Warren with several of his men began maneuvering through the hail of enemy fire toward the hostile positions. When he had come to within six feet of one of the enemy bunkers and was preparing to toss a hand grenade into it, an enemy grenade was suddenly thrown into the middle of his small group. Thinking only of his men, First Lieutenant Warren fell in the direction of the grenade, thus shielding those around him from the blast. His action, performed at the cost of his life, saved three men from serious or mortal injury. First Lieutenant Warren’s ultimate action of sacrifice to save the lives of his men was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.
We honor you, John Warren Jr.