Earlier this month, Fort Benning, the military’s training base in Georgia, was renamed Fort Moore, after Lt. General Hal Moore who served as commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in the first and perhaps, fiercest battle in the Ia Drang Valley in Vietnam.
Surrounded by a massive force of the People’s Army of Vietnam, years later, Moore said that the “peasant soldiers [of North Vietnam] had withstood the terrible high-tech fire storm delivered against them by a superpower and had at least fought the Americans to a draw. By their yardstick, a draw against such a powerful opponent was the equivalent of a victory.”
The battle was the subject of both a book and film, “We Were Soldiers Once . . . And Young.”
At the re-dedication ceremony, Maj. Gen. Curtis Buzzard said, “Together, Hal and Julie Moore embodied the very best of our military and our nation, and the renaming of this installation as Fort Moore is a fitting tribute to their lifelong dedication to the army and its soldiers and their families.
“General Moore accomplished many things in his life, but none would have been possible without the love and support of his wife Julie,” Buzzard. “Much like her husband, Julie Moore was a visionary. A crusader of seeing things done right.”
Of Julie Moore, Buzzard said, “She had a hand in improving services for spouses and family. Her leadership and commitment to supporting soldiers and their families led to the development of what we now know today as Army Community Services and the modern-day casualty notification process.”
It’s worth noting that the men of the 7th Calvary were committed to their mission as well as those they fought alongside. Each soldier knows that fighting any enemy requires the loyalty and courage to support each other despite race, religion, gender, or political affiliation.
After his death in 2017, the US Army said of Gen. Moore:
“By his constant movement and repeated exposure to this insurgent fire, Moore set the standard for his combat troops by a courageous display of ‘leadership by example,’ which characterized all his actions throughout the long and deadly battle.” For his leadership and courage under fire, Moore received the Distinguished Service Cross.
We need about 1 million more Hal Moore’s who lead by example.