“First In, Last Out” In Memorial of Warrior Leader, Lieutenant General Hal G. Moore, US Army (RET)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11FEB17
By Elias.

Beatae Memoriae.

“In the American Civil War it was a matter of principle that a good officer rode his horse as little as possible. There were sound reasons for this. If you are riding and your soldiers are marching, how can you judge how tired they are, how thirsty, how heavy their packs weigh on their shoulders?”
― Harold G. Moore, We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young: Ia Drang-The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam

Harold Gregory “Hal” Moore, Jr., Lieutenant General, United States Army (RET) born February 13, 1922 in the lovely American town of Bardstown, Kentucky, USA has died. He passed in his sleep on February 10th 2017, just days short of his 95th birthday.

General Moore’s family publicly released the following statement yesterday;

“We regret to report Lt. General Harold G Moore Jr passed away in his sleep on February 10, 2017, also the birthday of his wife, Julia, who passed away in 2004. Mom called Dad home on her day. After having a stoke last week, Dad was more lethargic and had difficulty speaking, but he had always fought his way back…

By the time we held an early birthday party on February 9th, Dad could no longer speak and was visibly tired. Upon seeing his cavalry Stetson, his iron will force a final communication to his beloved West Point, his precious soldiers, and the US Army. This video shows his final hand salute. God bless our Dad. Keep and protect him.

Chills just went up to my spine. As I type this, an ice cream truck drove by improbably chiming the 7th Cavalry ballad, Garry Owen. Dad just told all of us he is fine. We are working the details of the funeral. As a devout Roman Catholic, Dad’s Mass will be held at St. Michael the Archangel Church in Auburn AL. After moving to Fort Benning for a memorial service at the National Infantry Museum, internment in the Fort Benning cemetery, the family will host a reception back at the museum.

All are welcome to attend and we will publish a schedule as soon as it is finalized. We will attempt to live stream the memorial and graveside service. The services will probably be on either Thursday or Friday.”

This American hero is known for saving most of his men in the first major battle between the US and North Vietnamese armies. General Moore was a West Point Graduate, and a seasoned combat leader, with service in World War Two, The Korean War, and The War in Vietnam.

General Moore retired in 1977 following 32 years of exceptionally distinguished and honorable service. Universally beloved by peers, superiors, and subordinates General Moore was a prodigious intellectual one of the most effective combat leader in American history, that statement cannot and may not be amended.

General Moore is best known for his combat leadership in Vietnam.

William S. Phillips compellingly depicts the chaos of LZ X-Ray in “First Boots on the Ground.”

 

On November 14, 1965, then Lt. Col. Moore commanded the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in Battle within the Ia Drang Valley, Republic of Vietnam. This was the first major massed engagement between the US and North Vietnamese Army (NVA) soldiers.

Almost immediately upon insertion via Huey’s, the 3rd brigade became encircled by enemy soldiers. A day’s long murderous fight began, the outnumbered Americans, most who had yet been tested in combat, dug in, and furiously engaged their assaulting enemy. Colonel Moore’s unit managed to endure despite being significantly outnumbered by North Vietnamese Army (NVA) forces that would go on to defeat the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry only two-and-a-half miles away the next day.

“Moore’s dictum that “there is always one more thing you can do to increase your odds of success” and the courage of his entire command are credited with this outcome. The blond-haired Moore was known as “Yellow Hair” to his troops at the battle at Ia Drang, and as a tongue-in-cheek homage referencing the legendary General George Armstrong Custer, who commanded as a lieutenant colonel the same 7th Cavalry Regiment at the Battle of the Little Bighorn just under a century before. For his leadership during the battle of Ia Drang Valley Colonel Moore was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism at Ia Drang. After the Battle, Moore was promoted to colonel and took over the command of the Garry Owen (3rd) Brigade.”

The nonstop three-day & two-night long Battle of Ia Drang was one of the deadliest of Vietnam. American causalities are as follows; At LZ X-Ray 79 Americans were killed with 121 wounded. At LZ Albany 155 Americans killed, 124 were wounded. At LZ Columbus 3 Americans were killed, 13 were wounded. Another 71 Americans were killed elsewhere during the battle and 282 were wounded. 4 helicopters were shot down, 55 were damaged while arriving and departing the various LZ’s delivering supplies and performing high-risk medical evacuations of the wounded.

Ultimately, the battle was considered an American Victory. Colonel Moore’s unit destroyed nearly two thousand attacking NVA. American ground forces in direct contact with the NVA were directly supported by two batteries of artillery and a multitude of fixed and rotary wing aircraft. 740 close air support and bomber sorties were flown including 96 sorties flown by B52 strategic bombers in direct support of American Infantryman during the two-day battle of Ia Drang Valley.

“There is no such thing as closure for soldiers who have survived a war. They have an obligation, a sacred duty, to remember those who fell in battle beside them all their days and to bear witness to the insanity that is war.”
― Harold G. Moore, We Are Soldiers Still: A Journey Back to the Battlefields of Vietnam

In 1992 the battle was immortalized in the book “We Were Soldiers Once… And Young” written by Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore and iconic war journalist Mr. Joseph L. Galloway. The book was a New York Times best-seller. David Halberstam called it “A stunning achievement “paper and words with the permanence of marble. I read it and thought of The Red Badge of Courage, the highest compliment I can think of.” General H. Norman Schwarzkopf said, “We Were Soldiers Once…and Young is a great book of military history, written the way military history should be written.”

Joe Galloway, Author of “We Were Soldiers Once… And Young”

 

 

In 2002 the book was made into a major motion picture titled “We Were Soldiers” starring actor Mel Gibson as Colonel Moore. The film was warmly received by viewers and critics. Specific praise was given by surviving Veterans of the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley praising the films accuracies and the manner it honored the heroism and memory of the fallen of both the American and Vietnamese warriors who fell during the hellish battle.

 

A thinking, thoughtful, charismatic, authentic leader of Men who loved his soldiers and reluctant warrior Gen Moore had this to say in later life regarding Ia Drang:

“There is no glory in war—only good men dying terrible deaths.”
― Harold G. Moore, We Are Soldiers Still: A Journey Back to the Battlefields of Vietnam

“He’s courageous, he’s aggressive and he’s kind and he’ll go where you tell him to go” -Hal Moore regarding the American Soldier in Vietnam.

“May God bless and keep all soldiers, young and old, and may that same God open the eyes of all political leaders to the truth that most wars are a confession of failure—the failure of diplomacy and negotiation and common sense and, in most cases, of leadership.”
― Harold G. Moore, We Are Soldiers Still: A Journey Back to the Battlefields of Vietnam

After Vietnam in August of 1973 Moore was made the Commanding General (CG) of the US Army Military Personnel Center (MILPERCEN). In 1974 General Moore was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, Department of the Army. This was his final assignment before leaving the Army. He was heavily involved with US Army recruiting issues after the termination of the draft and the drawdown of US forces in Vietnam.

Moore’s next assignment was to become the Commanding General, U.S. Army Japan yet he elected to retire instead. On August 1, 1977, General Moore retired and returned to private life.

 

“It’s tough being alone. I lost my wife a few years ago,” he says, a momentary melancholy passing over his face. “But I have my books, my memories, my church, my children.” -Hal Moore.

Speaking in 2008 to an organization in Philadelphia devoted to caring of the elderly, Moore was blunt and to-the-point, the common traits of an uncommon man.

“… I believe we all live with fears. As I grow older,” he told his audience, “I also have fears – not of dying, but of living life in a state of loneliness. Thank God, I have my God. But, even with God, it is the honest fear of loneliness in old age that can bring one to a premature state of unhappiness, poor health, and death. No longer being an important part of another life, of being forgotten and left for dead…while still breathing – even generals like to be loved.”

During his speech Moore reminded his audience that Thomas Jefferson planned the University of Virginia between the ages of 86 and 92, cautioning that their goals need not be so lofty.

“There is nothing so precious about life,” he told them, “than sharing it with others.”

Sir, we render to you our most solemn and profound honor and RESPECT. General, we lament your passing with ferocious respect. You inspired millions of Americans and others throughout the world. You earned the respect of your enemies. No higher echelon of honor exists for any Warrior, not in this world or the next.

Aloud your name shall be forever spoken by the living among our warrior elite.

 

 

With respect to the Moore family, we honor your patriarch and mourn with you.

-Elias, written on behalf of the Guardian Of Valor Staff.

Consummatum Est.

 

 

 

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