Harold G. “Hal” Moore Jr. was an outstanding officer in the US Army. He was commissioned a second lieutenant at West Point in 1945 and retired 32 years later in 1977 as a lieutenant general. He gained notoriety as a military officer after the book he co wrote titled “We Were Soldiers Once … And Young” was made into a popular movie titled “We Were Soldiers” and he was portrayed by Mel Gibson.
Most of his acclaim comes from the time he commanded the 1st of the 7th Cav at the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley that was the inspiration for the aforementioned movie. This one chapter of his military career overshadows an otherwise long and distinguished period of service to his country.
Mike Guardia, another Army officer and author of two previous biographies realized Moore’s book “We Were Soldiers Once … And Young” concentrated primarily on the Ia Drang Valley battle with scant attention paid to his other life time experiences and accomplishments. He decided to fill in the blanks of this outstanding officer’s life and proceeded to embark on the journey of writing a book about the general’s life. The finished product is titled “Hal Moore: A Soldier Once … And Always.”
This episode takes a look at a review of Guardia’s book. The review comes from The Bowling Green Daily News in an article titled” ‘Hal Moore’ looks at soldier’s life” reviewed by David A. Serafini, Department of History, Western Kentucky University. The reviewer generally was positive in his remarks but he did offer two critical points to ponder. First, the book did not cover enough of his early years growing up in Kentucky and what factors from his youth went into his character development. Secondly, “the book does not critically examine Moore’s professional actions in combat.”
Get a copy of the book and decide for yourself if Serafini, the reviewer got it right.