Operation Gothic Serpent was underway in Moghadishu, Somalia...Delta, Rangers, PJs, SEAL TEAM 6, and Infantry battalions were all called on to take part in the mission to capture Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid's key lieutenants.
The mission was highlighted by the movie Blackhawk Down.
Most of you probably know most of the details of the mission - that the valor of the men on the ground and in the air was incredible. It is estimated that between 700 to 3000 Somali fighters were killed. And twice that wounded. 84 Americans were wounded.
18 American Fighting Men died on that mission.
Chief Aaron Weaver survived Somalia (as a Ranger) but lost his life in Iraq. We had a tribute to him here.
And Chaplain (MAJ) Jeff Struecker (who is now retired) was a SSG on the ground in Somalia. Here is our video interview with Chaplain Struecker at the Best Ranger Competition.
He retired this year.
This final scene of the movie, sums up Operation Gothic Serpent which the Somalis call "The Day of the Rangers":
1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta
MSG Gary Gordon (awarded Medal of Honor)
SFC Randy Shughart (awarded Medal of Honor)
SSG Daniel Busch
SFC Earl Fillmore
SFC Matt Rierson*
MSG Tim “Griz” Martin
3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
CPL Jamie Smith
SPC James Cavaco
SGT Casey Joyce
PFC Richard “Alphabet” Kowalewski
SGT Dominick Pilla
SGT Lorenzo Ruiz
160th SOAR (Nightstalkers)
SSG William Cleveland
SSG Thomas Field
CW4 Raymond Frank
CW3 Clifton “Elvis” Wolcott
CW2 Donovan “Bull” Briley
2nd Battalion 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (rescue convoy)
SGT Cornell Houston
PFC James Martin