Sgt. Meyer was born and raised in Columbia, Kentucky, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2006, and completed his basic training at Parris Island Recruit Training Depot later that year.
A school trained sniper and highly skilled Marine infantryman, Sgt. Meyer deployed twice to combat duty. In 2007, he deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom, and during 2009-10, he deployed to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom.
Sgt. Meyer was serving as a turret gunner and driver when he deployed to combat duty in Afghanistan. His unit assignment at the time of his heroic acts was with Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7 operating in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.
Sgt. Meyer is a highly decorated Marine combat veteran. His personal awards include:
- Medal of Honor
- Purple Heart Medal
- Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with “V” device for valor
- Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
- Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal
His other awards and decorations include the Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one bronze campaign star, Iraq Campaign Medal with one bronze campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, NATO ISAF Afghanistan Medal, and a Rifle Expert Badge (3rd Award) and Pistol Expert Badge (2nd Award).
Sgt. Dakota Meyer completed his active duty in 2010 and now serves in the Individual Ready Reserve of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Since returning to civilian life he continues to work to tell the stories of the Marines with whom he served. He also has completed undergraduate college coursework and currently is employed by McDan, Inc. a Kentucky construction company.