Korean War – Recommendation for Promotion to Major

Recommendation for promotion to Major written by Major General Wayne Smith (7th Infantry Division Commander) and Colonel William Hardick (17th Infantry Regiment Commander) on 27 January 1953

On 27 July 1952 Captain Moore was assigned as a Regimental S3 for this regiment on the basis of demonstrated skill and ability as an officer and a soldier. For the six-month period that Captain Moore has occupied his present assignment, he has served under three different regimental commanders all of whom had been wholeheartedly satisfied with his performance of duty, frequently under extremely heavy stress and strain.

From 27 July 1952 to 15 August 1952, the 17th Infantry remained online in the Kumhwa-Chorwon sector and executed a number of combat patrols and raids under the coordination of the Regimental S-3.

Captain Moore personally went forward to “Yoke” Outpost on 8 August 1952 and observed a company-sized raid on “Sugarloaf” while Yoke was under constant enemy direct-fire artillery, in

Hal Moore at Koje Do Korea
Hal Moore at Koje Do Korea

order to better gain a knowledge of the combat effectiveness of the plan. The17th Infantry was in reserve at Chip-O-Ri until 1 September 1952, when it again occupied a sector of the division MLR.

From that time forward, Captain Moore planned and supervised preparation of the regiments fire plan, disposition of the support elements of the regiment, counter­attack plans for the regiment and disposition of all elements of the regiment along the regimental MLR. Captain Moore frequently exposed himself on the MLR, OFIR and well in front of the OFIR, on several occasions in order to gain an intimate knowledge of the regimental sector and to see the sector from the enemy’s viewpoint.

On one occasion late in September, Captain Moore in company with the regimental commander, without bodyguards or other protection of any kind (to include armored vests), moved out from the MLR to inspect the left boundary of the regimental sector to better plan a shortening of the MLR to tie in with the ROK outpost later called “Iron Horse Mountain”. They moved over four thousand yards out in front of the MLR, past the Charlie Company Outpost, past Iron Horse Mountain to a small hill called 358 several thousand yards in front of our northernmost outpost position. Captain Moore and the regimental commander remained on that position for nearly an hour to study the terrain that our positions were established on and look over the ground. While returning, they were brought under fire and were forced to take cover and remain out in enemy territory until late in the afternoon, when they finally returned to the MLR.

On 6 October 1952, Captain Moore fully and ably demonstrated his full potential for his assignment when the Chinese attacked two of the regimental outposts and overran one of them. From that time on Captain Moore worked tirelessly without sleep or rest for over 72 hours until the elements of the regiment had been disposed to meet further Chinese attacks in that sector and three separate counterattacks had been planned and executed and the outpost retaken.

Two battalions from another regiment were integrated into the 17th plan of defense under the operational control of the 17th and a number of direct support attachments made which required a high degree of coordination by Captain Moore and his section. During the period of the counterattacks, due to an absence of communications to the Regimental CP, Captain Moore and the regimental commander went forward to the 1st Battalion CP and thence to the Charlie Company positions on the MLR from which point the counterattacking forces were staging their attack.

Hal Moore Bronze Star for Valor Citation
Hal Moore Bronze Star for Valor Citation

The area was under extremely heavy enemy mortar and artillery fire and the counterattacking forces became disorganized. Captain Moore moved halfway out to their objective and aided in their reorganization until the company was able to move on and continue the attack. Captain Moore’s extreme coolness under fire and complete disregard for his own personal safety undoubtedly inspired the men of that company. For the valorous act, Captain Moore was cited for bravery in action. The regiment continued under heavy pressure throughout October, repulsing several enemy battalion-sized probes on Able Outpost, moving a battalion to the adjacent ROK Sector as a feint and later counterattacking with one company and recapturing the ROK Outpost of “Iron Horse Mountain,” constituting a division reserve during the early days of the “Triangle Hill” action and later committing two battalions to the battle for 598 itself. At no time during these days of stress was there a lack of confidence in the superior abilities of Captain Moore as regimental S-3, for he demonstrated his characteristics of intelligent prior planning, cool analytical thinking while surrounded by confusion and near-chaos, detailed planning and concise transmission of orders and leadership of, the variety which inspires confidence in those about him.

The battles of October were closely followed by another period of occupation of the MLR in the division center sector, a period in reserve while preparing to move and duty on Koje and Cheju Islands and the move to and from these POW garrisons by rail, motor and water transportation with the two months security mission under the Prisoner of War Command. In all of these extremely diversified and complex operations, Captain Moore has maintained an optimum level of performance of duty, working long hours until near-perfection has been achieved. Captain Moore is supremely qualified to hold the grade of Major and is one of the few highly outstanding officers that I have known.

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