Joseph Robert "Bob" Kerrey (born August 27, 1943) was the 35th Governor of Nebraska from 1983 to 1987 and a United States Senator from Nebraska from 1989 to 2001. Having served in the Vietnam War, and being awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions, he moved into politics. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992. From 2001 to 2010, Kerrey served as president of The New School, a university in New York City. In May 2010, he was selected to become the head of the Motion Picture Association of America. But in July 2010, both Kerrey and the MPAA could not reach an agreement and former Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd was selected instead. On February 27, 2012, aides confirmed that Kerrey was filing to seek election to his old Senate seat, to replace the retiring Democratic incumbent Ben Nelson.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a SEAL team leader during action against enemy aggressor (Viet Cong) forces. Acting in response to reliable intelligence, Lt. (j.g.) Kerrey led his SEAL team on a mission to capture important members of the enemy's area political cadre known to be located on an island in the bay of Nha Trang. In order to surprise the enemy, he and his team scaled a 350-foot sheer cliff to place themselves above the ledge on which the enemy was located. Splitting his team in 2 elements and coordinating both, Lt. (jg.) Kerrey led his men in the treacherous downward descent to the enemy's camp. Just as they neared the end of their descent, intense enemy fire was directed at them, and Lt. (jg.) Kerrey received massive injuries from a grenade that exploded at his feet and threw him backward onto the jagged rocks. Although bleeding profusely and suffering great pain, he displayed outstanding courage and presence of mind in immediately directing his element's fire into the heart of the enemy camp. Utilizing his radio, Lt. (jg.) Kerrey called in the second element's fire support, which caught the confused Viet Cong in a devastating crossfire. After successfully suppressing the enemy's fire, and although immobilized by his multiple wounds, he continued to maintain calm, superlative control as he ordered his team to secure and defend an extraction site. Lt. (jg.) Kerrey resolutely directed his men, despite his near unconscious state, until he was eventually evacuated by helicopter. The havoc brought to the enemy by this very successful mission cannot be over-estimated. The enemy soldiers who were captured provided critical intelligence to the allied effort. Lt. (jg.) Kerrey's courageous and inspiring leadership, valiant fighting spirit, and tenacious devotion to duty in the face of almost overwhelming opposition sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.