Tribute to Lieutenant General Harold Gregory ``Hal’’ Moore, Jr.by Senator Jeff Sessions
Posted on 2015-12-15
SESSIONS. Mr. President, today I wish to recognize retired
LTG Harold ``Hal'' Moore of Auburn, AL, for his lifetime of service to
the United States of America.
LTG ``Hal'' Moore is best known as the lieutenant colonel in command of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, at the Battle of Ia Drang, in 1965 during the Vietnam war and as the author of ``We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young.'' This book explores the weeklong Battle of Ia Drang where Hal served as the battalion commanding officer and led his troops personally. It is a magnificent book evidencing his courage, leadership, brilliance, and that of his regiment. I read it years ago and have not forgotten it.
Encircled by enemy soldiers and with no clear landing zone that would allow them to depart, Moore managed to persevere despite overwhelming odds. Moore's belief that ``there is always one more thing you can do to increase your odds of success,'' along with the courage of his entire command, are credited with this victory. Hal used the concepts of air assault organization and employment that he and his troopers learned during their time at Ft. Benning, GA, for the first time in actual combat.
Moore then took the lessons he learned from this initial battle and helped instruct future troopers on how to better employ the tactic, saving countless lives going forward. During the Battle of Ia Drang, Moore was referred to as ``Yellow Hair'' by his troops, for his blond hair, and as a tongue-in-cheek tribute referencing GEN George Armstrong Custer, commander of the same 7th Cavalry at the Battle of the Little Bighorn just under a century before.
For his actions, Hal was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest military decoration of the U.S. Army. After the Battle of Ia Drang, Moore was promoted to colonel and subsequently took command of the 3rd Brigade, commonly referred to as the Garry Owen Brigade.
After his service in the Vietnam war, Moore served in various assignments until his retirement from the Army, as a lieutenant general on August 1, 1977, after completing 32 years of active service. Today he remains an ``honorary colonel'' of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment.
Along with the book he wrote, Hal is remembered in the 2007 book written by his volunteer driver, ``A General's Spiritual Journey,'' and in the 2013 biography by author Mike Guardia, ``Hal Moore: A Soldier Once . . . and Always.'' Moore has also been designated a Distinguished Graduate by the West Point Association of Graduates and has a 3-mile stretch of Highway 280 in Lee County, AL, named in his honor.
Lieutenant General Moore splits time between Auburn, AL, and Crested Butte, CO. He continues to involve himself in his community. I am proud to call LTG Harold ``Hal'' Moore a fellow Alabamian and to acknowledge and celebrate his long and distinguished life.