Leading from the ground…

Colonel Tony Nadal shared these comments. He was a company commander in 1/7 CAV at LZ Xray and later Assistant S3 (Operations Officer):

“General Moore always led from the front. He always exposed himself to the same dangers that the soldiers were facing and always faced the same privations as his troops.

Where other commanders commanded from helicopters, General Moore led from the ground.  I recall flying with him to join a recon element in contact with the enemy in order that he could quickly determine the nature and intensity of the enemy contact and, thereby, determine the appropriate response.  

Moore with RTO Sgt Dick Pierce and CPT Tony Nadal
Moore with SGT Dick Pierce (L) and CPT Tony Nadal (R) during the Bong Son fight.

As a Colonel he would on occasion join a rifle company on the assault.  

When other officers lived in buildings back at base camp he remained in a tent until the soldiers had barracks.

Colonel Nadal wrote a longer explanation later:

To : Whom It May Concern

Subject: Renaming Fort Benning, Georgia

The purpose of this letter is to express my total support for the renaming of Fort Benning as the Lieutenant General Harold G and Julia Moore Infantry Center. 

I believe I am well qualified to make this recommendation. I joined the 1st Battalion 7th Cavalry in August 1965 prior to our deployment to Vietnam. I had volunteered to go back to Vietnam having previously commanded a Special Forces “A” Detachment (Camp Nam Dong) in 1963-64.

Initially, I was assigned as the battalion intelligence officer of the Ist Battalion, 7th cavalry, so I was able to observe LTC Moore as he directed the battalion staff and interacted with his company commanders and his senior commanders. Shortly after our arrival in Viet Nam I was assigned as the Company Commander of A company, 1/7 Cavalry and led the company through the intense battles of LZ X-Ray and Bong Son Valley. Subsequently, I became the S-3 of the second Battalion 7th cavalry while General Moore was the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division Commanding Officer.

As the reader can see, I had the honor of observing LTG Moore as a battalion commander during an epic battle in Vietnam and as a brigade commander in several other fights. I also had further occasions to interact with General Moore while I was serving in the office of the Chief of Staff of the Army and he commanded Fort Ord. Through my multiple dealings with General Moore, in a variety of situations, I maintain the belief that he was the Best Officer I ever worked with in my entire career. During his lifetime, he epitomized the West Point motto of Duty, Honor, Country. His desire to serve his country as a young man was demonstrated by the effort he made to secure an appointment to West Point. Throughout his career, General Moore was always forthright, did not lie, led by his own personal example and was always conscious of the welfare of his troops. He always took the same risks he expected us to take.

I attribute the success of our unit (1st Battalion / 7th Cavalry) in the battle of LZX-Ray to General Moore’s intellect and his ability to think one step ahead of the enemy. He deployed our understrength battalion so that we were strongest where the enemy attacked. He also participated in an infantry assault on the second day of the battle thereby putting his own life at risk and demonstrating to our soldiers that he was putting his own life at risk. As a battalion or brigade commander he commanded from the ground, not from a helicopter as many other commanders did. He also insured that our soldiers behaved properly towards civilians or captured enemy soldiers.

As a brigade commander he continued to stay with the troops and was successful in leading the Third Brigade during the month-long battles of Bong Son.

Although I was not present during the Army’s fiasco in notifying the families of those killed or wounded at LZ X-Ray and Albany, I am very aware of Mrs. Moore’s efforts to contact and comfort the families of these soldiers. Julie Moore, as an Army Brat, knew what needed to be done and, although the Army chain of command failed, she was there to provide the needed and expected assistance to many families. Subsequently, the Army has recognized in many ways the value of the support both needed and given to families.

For these and numerous other reasons I recommend that Fort Benning be renamed Fort Harold G and Julia Moore Infantry Center. His career of valor, devotion to country and family and his principled behavior sets an example for all future Army soldiers, officers, or enlisted personnel.

Ramon A Nadal

Colonel, Infantry (Ret.)

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Please sign the petitions to rename Fort Benning and Fort Rucker

Whether you like the idea or not, federal law requires all bases named for Confederates be renamed.
Let’s help them make the right choice for Fort Benning and Fort Davis!
Beyond the individual contributions of Hal Moore, renaming Fort Benning also recognizes the equally important contributions of the military spouse and family.
His many accomplishments make General Davis deserving of this honor – even more so when you see how he had to overcome crushing prejudice to achieve greatness.

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