The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act
of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of The Congress the
Medal of Honor to
MSG GARY I. GORDON
gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty:
Master Sergeant Gordon, United States Army,
distinguished himself by actions above and beyond the call of duty on 3
October 1993, while serving as Sniper Team Leader, United States Army
Special Operations Command with Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu, Somalia.
Master Sergeant Gordon's sniper team provided precision fires from the
lead helicopter during an assault and at two helicopter crash sites,
while subjected to intense automatic weapons and rocket propelled
grenade fires. When Master Sergeant Gordon learned that ground forces
were not immediately available to secure the second crash site, he and
another sniper unhesitatingly volunteered to be inserted to protect the
four critically wounded personnel, despite being well aware of the
growing number of enemy personnel closing in on the site.
After his third request to be inserted, Master Sergeant Gordon received
permission to perform his volunteer mission. When debris and enemy
ground fires at the site caused them to abort the first attempt, Master
Sergeant Gordon was inserted one hundred meters south of the crash site.
Equipped with only his sniper rifle and a pistol, Master Sergeant Gordon
and his fellow sniper, 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. Master Sergeant Gordon
immediately 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.
Master Sergeant Gordon used his long range rifle and side arm to kill an
undetermined number of attackers until he depleted his ammunition.
Master Sergeant Gordon then went back to the wreckage, recovering some
of the crew's weapons and ammunition. Despite the fact that he was
critically low on ammunition, he provided some of it to the dazed pilot
and then radioed for help.
Master Sergeant Gordon continued to travel the perimeter, protecting the
downed crew. After his team member was fatally wounded and his own rifle
ammunition exhausted, Master Sergeant Gordon returned to the wreckage,
recovering a rifle with the last five rounds of ammunition and gave it
to the pilot with the words, "good luck." Then, armed only
with his pistol, Master Sergeant Gordon continued to fight until he was
fatally wounded. His actions saved the pilot's life.
Master Sergeant Gordon's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were
in keeping with the highest standards of military service and reflect
great credit upon, his unit and the United States Army.
Medal of Honor, established by Joint Resolution of Congress 12 July 1862
(amended by Act of 9 July 1918 and Act of 25 July 1963) is awarded by
the President in the name of Congress to a person who, while a member of
the Armed Forces, distinguishes himself or herself conspicuously by
gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life or her life above and
beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of
the United States, while engaged in military operations involving
conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly
foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed
force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.
The deed performed must have been one of personal bravery or
self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual
above his or her comrades and must have involved risk of life.
Incontestable proof of the performance of service is exacted and
each recommendation for award of this decoration is considered on the
standard of extraordinary merit.
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