American Rhetoric: Movie Speech
"We Were Soldiers" (2002)
Lieutenant Colonel Harold "Hal" G. Moore: Combat Training Address to Officers
Col. Moore: At ease, gentlemen.
[A single U.S. Army UH-1 Iroquois helicopter suddenly appears, circles once, lands briefly and motors off, followed by two more UH-1's in line formation. The use of cavalry helicopters marked a seminal moment in U.S. military combat history.]¹
You don't have to catch it; don't have to feed it. But I can assure you that neither the new technology nor your status as officers will keep you above the danger.
Sergeant Major Plumley and I come from the paratroopers -- where the officer is always the first one out of the plane; because to follow your instincts and to inspire your men, by your example, you have to be with 'em -- where the metal meets the meat.
Sergeant Major Plumley made all four combat jumps in the 82nd Airborne during World War II -- Sicily, Salerno, Normandy, and Holland, plus one more in Korea. He answers to me and to me alone.
Now, I hope you gentlemen like training 'cause me and the Sergeant Major -- we love it.
¹Research Note: Many thanks to Scott LeCraw for correcting the name of the helicopter previously identified as a U.S. Army AH-1G Huey "Cobra." The events depicted in the movie occurred in 1965, while the Cobra helicopter did not enter service until about 1970. (7/15/03)