Equipped with only his sniper rifle and a pistol, Sergeant First Class Shughart and his team leader Gary Gordon, while under intense small arms fire from the enemy, fought their way through a dense maze of shanties and shacks to reach the critically injured crew members. Sergeant First Class Shughart pulled the pilot and the other crew members from the aircraft, establishing a perimeter which placed him and his fellow sniper in the most vulnerable position.
Sergeant First Class Shughart used his long range rifle and side arm to kill an undetermined number of attackers while traveling the perimeter, protecting the downed crew. Sergeant First Class Shughart continued his protective fire until he depleted his ammunition and was fatally wounded. His actions saved the pilot’s life. Sergeant First Class Shughart’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest standards of military service and reflect great credit upon him, his unit and the United States Army.
During his military service, SFC Randall David Shugart also served in 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1SFOD-D)
Randall David “Randy” Shughart (August 13, 1958 – October 3, 1993) was a United States Army soldier of the special operations unit, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1SFOD-D), also known as “Delta Force”. Shughart was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of Mogadishu in October 1993.
We honor you, Randall Shughart.
25 years ago, 33-year-old Gary Gordon and 35-year-old Randy Shughart, both members of the Army’s 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment Delta, were providing air cover for Rangers in Operation Gothic Serpent in Mogadishu when a fellow Blackhawk helicopter was shot down. Gordon requested to be landed at the crash site to provide cover for the crew, but was denied permission. Seeing the hostile Somali crowds converging on the downed Blackhawk, he pressed his request until finally granted permission. Gordon and Shughart, armed each with only his own rifle and pistol, were dropped off at the crash site, and found pilot Michael Durant alive. There they formed a perimeter around him hoping for rescue that never came. Both men exhausted their ammunition and were killed saving Durant, who was taken alive as prisoner. Both men were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the first ones awarded for action since Vietnam.
We honor you, Gary Gordon.
(Submission by: Miah Parry. #Repost @ASMDSS)
Persian Gulf War, 1991
15th Evacuation Hospital
Fort Dix, New Jersey; San Antonio, Texas; Fort Polk, Louisiana; Saudi Arabia
In 1989, Wendy Wamsley was a troubled 17-year-old high school student with bad grades and an attitude to match. When her policeman father informed her she was joining the Army—or she was moving out of the house—she agreed to enlist. What she couldn’t have anticipated was a tour of duty as a medic during the Persian Gulf War, an experience which definitely provided her with an attitude adjustment.
We honor you, Wendy Wamsley Taines.
Rhonda Cornum embarked on a combat search and rescue mission the morning of 27 February 1991 to recover an Air Force pilot shot down over Iraq during Desert Storm. Tragically, the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter she was aboard crashed as a result of Iraqi anti-aircraft fire. One of only three survivors from the eight-member crew, Major Cornum was captured and taken prisoner by the Iraqi Republican Guard. Suffering two broken arms, a severely damaged leg, and gunshot and shrapnel wounds in her shoulder and head, she survived imprisonment behind Iraqi enemy lines. An Army flight surgeon, wife, and mother, she was repatriated on 6 March 1991 as one of only two women POWs from the Gulf war. Although U.S. law prohibited women from serving in combat roles, her experiences and open dialogue as a POW helped pave the way for continued Congressional expansion of military women in combat roles.
Born in Dayton, Ohio, now Brigadier General Cornum started her military career in 1978 as an Army medical researcher. She completed medical school at the Uniformed Services University in 1986, and was quickly drawn to the combat field and aerospace medicine arenas. Her love of flight grew as she completed airborne, air assault and flight surgeon training. Her medical aviation research enhanced use of helmet mounted displays in advanced attack helicopters and in pilot performance. She and her husband, Air Force Brigadier General (Dr.) Kory Cornum, also built their own experimental aircraft by hand. After repatriation, Major Cornum became the first medical officer to graduate from Air Command and Staff College. She continued medical training and research in the field of urology, commanded the 28th Combat Support Hospital at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and deployed as the Medical Task Force commander to Bosnia. She was also the first female commander of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, leading medical treatment for over 26,000 injured veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. General Cornum’s career culminated in founding and leading the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Center. The Center develops psychological strengthening and resilience training to aid military members in surviving difficult, even life-threatening, situations. Awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Air Medal, POW Medal and others for her service, recently-retired General Cornum splits her time between a 700 acre family farm in Kentucky, and Biloxi, Mississippi, where her husband serves as the medical center commander.
We honor you, Rhonda Cornum.
Maj. Alexander C. Furla served in the U.S. Air Force (active duty 1985-1996, reserve 1996-2006) as an aeromedical evacuation operations officer during the Panama (Just Cause), Persian Gulf (Desert Shield/Storm) and Somalia (Restore Hope) campaigns, having been awarded 13 military service decorations, ribbons and numerous letters of commendation. He also served with the first team to stand up the HQ AMC Tanker Airlift Control Center (TACC) Aeromedical Evacuation from April 1992 to 1996, and with the 375th Aeromedical Airlift Wing, 57th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, 7276th Air Base Group, and 90th Strategic Missile Wing. Major commands included the Strategic Air Command (SAC), U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), Military Airlift Command (MAC), Air Mobility Command (AMC) and Air Force Reserve Command (AFRES).
We honor you, Alexander Furla.
Major General Dee Ann McWilliams, USA, Retired, took the helm as president of the Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation on January 1, 2016. Serving 29 years with the United States Army, MG McWilliams held a variety of Human Relations positions, including command of four companies, a training battalion, and a personnel brigade. She also taught national strategic studies and leadership, and served as an Equal Opportunity Officer. As Director, Military Personnel Management for Department of the Army, MG McWilliams developed policy and strategy for staffing, salary compensation, and training for over 1 million soldiers, to include recruitment of more than 100,000 annually. She also served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel and Installation Management in Europe where she provided human resource and quality of life support to soldiers in Germany, Italy, Hungary, Kosovo, Croatia, Bosnia, Greece, and Egypt. MG McWilliams retired from the Army in 2003 and later joined the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. She retired in 2010 as Director of the Lessons Learned Center. MG McWilliams holds degrees from Lon Morris College, Stephen F. Austin University where she was named a distinguished alumnus, Texas Woman’s University, and the National War College. She serves on the advisory boards of the Army Historical Foundation and the Army Women’s Foundation where she previously served as President. In 2007, MG McWilliams joined the board of directors for the Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation, assuming the position of Vice Chair in 2014. She was the 2013 recipient of the Lillian K. Keil Award for outstanding contributions to women’s service in the United States military and was named a Trailblazer by Women Veterans Interactive.
We honor you, Dee Ann McWilliams.
(Submission by: Ninzel Rasmuson)