Retired Army Ranger receives the Silver Star Medal

Retired Army Ranger receives the Silver Star Medal

By Katisha Draughn-Fraguada,

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. — Almost 31 years after conducting various missions and operations during the Battle of Mogadishu, retired Army Maj. Larry Moores received the third highest military decoration for valor in combat — the Silver Star Medal.

Gen. Gary Brito, commanding general, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, presented Moores with the Silver Star during a ceremony in front of family and friends March 25.

“Mr. Moores, I personally salute you for your tenacity, your toughness in a crucible combat, and your commitment to our Army, and your fellow Soldiers,” Brito said. “Your actions in Somalia were for them, your brothers in arms, and are a living tribute to the Ranger Creed, which I know that you hold dearly. Thank you so much for your selfless service. I am honored to present to you today the Silver Star.”

Moores enlisted in the U.S. Army on his 18th birthday. After basic training, he was assigned to the 1st Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger for his first assignment. Within a few months, he was ready to accept the Ranger School test and headed straight to the school at Fort Benning, Ga., now called Fort Moore.

“Ranger School was very difficult and definitely a great challenge, but I think coming from the battalion to become a ranger student was more of a validation process,” he said. “I was in the first class after the invasion of Grenada, so I was a young Soldier who had already been in a combat experience in the early 1980s.”


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In the summer of 1993, then-President Bill Clinton deployed Task Force Ranger comprised of Rangers, Special Operators and TF-160 Special Operations Aviators to Mogadishu, Somalia, to capture Somali warlord Mohammed Farah-Adid. The majority of that task force was composed of American Rangers from the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.

“When I was in Somalia as part of Task Force Ranger, it was my third tour with the unit, so I understood their capabilities and how prepared we were to execute the mission,” Moores said. “We conducted a series of missions before that, so we knew the environment and the threat. Knowing how well trained your people were and the mission made it easier to lead.”

On Oct. 3, 1993, Task Force Ranger became embroiled with Somalia militiamen in an overnight gun battle, the intensity of which was likened, at the time, to the most intense firefights in Vietnam. That afternoon, Task Force Ranger boarded Army helicopters for what was expected to be a textbook raid to capture two of Adid’s lieutenants.

Using rocket-propelled grenades, Somalia militiamen shot down two U.S. Blackhawk helicopters, turning a planned raid into an unexpected rescue mission.

Although this particular battle was very challenging for Moores, and the 75th Ranger Regiment unit, due to the number of Soldiers who were killed or were wounded, Moores said it was astonishing to be able to demonstrate their capability during that operation.

“We lost 18 [Soldiers] in battle and had more than 70 Rangers wounded. That was a tough experience because we were overwhelmed — with the odds against us. But it was amazing to watch the young Rangers still execute under very difficult circumstances,” he said.

Moores hard work and leadership during that operation resulted in him being inducted as a Distinguished Member of the 75th Ranger Regiment in 2005 and into the U.S. Army Ranger Hall of Fame in 2017.

“I was honored to serve with the Rangers, so whenever I went to those ceremonies as a young Soldier, I was always in awe of the people who were being inducted,” he said. “Then to be inducted myself was an amazing honor. But for me it was a team effort. It wasn’t Larry who was inducted, it was the whole unit.”

Retired Army Col. Larry Perino, a fellow Ranger platoon leader who served with Moores during the Battle of Mogadishu, attended the Silver Star ceremony, and emphasized how important it was for him to be there to witness it.

“I would not have missed this event for the world. This is long overdue and well deserved,” Perino said. “Larry is deserving because he chose to go back to that street to try and break us out. Despite going out there and getting riddled with bullets time and time again and losing Rangers, he had the intestinal fortitude to lead his men to help us.”

Moores credits the entire regiment for him being able to receive the honor of the Silver Star Medal.

“This Silver Star Medal is about those types of units and all of the months and months of hard work,” he said. “It was an amazing opportunity to be a part of those special operations. I feel so blessed to have worked with the people that I did over all of these years. I never would have thought that I would have been able to do all of the things that I did, and meet and work with so many amazing people along the way.”