Vietnam Veteran Leads by Example

American Icons,Americana,Hometown Heroes,People,Traditions
May 26, 2011

Hal Moore provides inspiration for ‘We Were Soldiers’

As a young Army officer, Moore developed into one of America’s top battlefield commanders.Retired Lt. Gen. Hal Moore is a Vietnam War hero.Sharing lighthearted stories of learning and leadership off the battlefieldVisiting the National Infantry Museum in Columbus, Ga., Moore describes the role of helicopters to shuttle U.S. troops during the Vietnam War.Posing with students participating in the 2010-11 class of the Hal Moore National Youth Leadership Academy for HonorIn the first major battle of the Vietnam War, Moore’s men fought a jungle war that made combat particularly dangerous. Seventy-nine of his men died, and another 121 were injured.At age 89, Moore continues to lead by imparting lessons on leadership to students visiting his sunroom in Auburn, Ala.“When we go into battle,” Moore told his men, “I will be the first one to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off. And I will leave no one behind … so help me God.”
Courtesy of Hal Moore
David Mudd
David Mudd
David Mudd
David Mudd
Joe Galloway
David Mudd
Courtesy of Hal Moore
As a young Army officer, Moore developed into one of America’s top battlefield commanders.
Retired Lt. Gen. Hal Moore is a Vietnam War hero.
Sharing lighthearted stories of learning and leadership off the battlefield
Visiting the National Infantry Museum in Columbus, Ga., Moore describes the role of helicopters to shuttle U.S. troops during the Vietnam War.
Posing with students participating in the 2010-11 class of the Hal Moore National Youth Leadership Academy for Honor
In the first major battle of the Vietnam War, Moore’s men fought a jungle war that made combat particularly dangerous. Seventy-nine of his men died, and another 121 were injured.
At age 89, Moore continues to lead by imparting lessons on leadership to students visiting his sunroom in Auburn, Ala.
“When we go into battle,” Moore told his men, “I will be the first one to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off. And I will leave no one behind … so help me God.”
http://pgoaamericanprofile2.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/a-hal-moore-portrait.jpg

Sitting in his favorite rocking chair in the sunroom of his home in Auburn, Ala. (pop. 42,987), Lt. Gen. Hal Moore, 89, is surrounded by a dozen young students hanging on his every word—how a small-town Kentucky boy managed to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., flew through the air as a young paratrooper when his parachute snagged on the tail of an airplane and, most notably, led his troops in the first major battle of the Vietnam War.

In that historic battle in November 1965 in Vietnam’s rugged Ia Drang Valley, Moore’s boots were the first on the battlefield and the last off as he and his 390 men, outnumbered by 4-to-1, killed an estimated 750 enemy soldiers during a fierce three-day shootout. Seventy-nine of Moore’s men died in the firefight.

LINK: Hal Moore's Letter to America's Youth

“Never once did it cross my mind that we would fail,” the retired general tells the youngsters during a lesson on leadership.

“When you’re up against a tough problem, never quit. There’s always one more thing you can do to influence any situation in your favor. And then after that, one more thing again. Never give up.”

Tenacious leader
Moore’s tenacity is grounded in experience.

At age 15, he set his sights on attending West Point to become an Army officer, though he was unable to secure an appointment through his own senators and congressman. Undeterred, he moved to Washington, D.C., at age 18, working days in the Senate Book Warehouse and taking evening classes to finish high school, all while knocking on doors on Capitol Hill to get his foot in the door of West Point.

More than two years later, a Georgia congressman nominated Moore for an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy—with permission to swap if he could find a willing West Point candidate. He did.

“In the game of baseball, three strikes and you’re out,” Moore says. “But I learned that in the game of life, three strikes and you’re not out.”

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