60 Soldiers to have valor awards upgraded for actions in Somalia ’93

| July 2, 2021

Jeff LPH 3 sends in word that 60 soldiers will have valor awards related to action during Operation Gothic Serpent, the US/UN intervention in Somalia in 1993. This was the operation that led to the famous Black Hawk Down incident in what became the Battle of Mogadishu. Fifty-eight soldiers will have awards upgraded to Silver Stars and two will have an award upgraded to the Distinguished Flying Cross. Army times reports;

The Army has upgraded 60 medals for special operators involved in Operation Gothic Serpent — 58 are being upgraded to Silver Stars and two are being upgraded to the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Gothic Serpent culminated in the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu and cost the lives 19 U.S. service members, with dozens more wounded.

“At this time we are not releasing the names or units as we are still working through the notifications and are able to confirm that the soldiers would like their names to be released to the public,” said Bonita Riddley, a spokesperson for Army Special Operations Command.

The upgraded awards will be presented later this year — the 28th anniversary of the mission — in separate ceremonies, according to a press release. Each service member will be hosted by their former units.

The awards were upgraded following a directive issued in October by former Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy to re-evaluate the actions taken during the mission.

This will more than double the number of Silver Stars awarded for action on the Horn of Africa. Previously the Army had noted that 41 Silver Stars and 17 Distinguished Flying Crosses were awarded for Somalia.

Category: Army, Army News, Guest Link

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Slow Joe

Here we go again.

Next, everyone gets a Bronze Star with V for firing his weapon.

They are lowering the valor of lower level awards. It should be hard to get anything.

Nobody should be getting medals for killing the enemy, that’s doing your fuckin job. Medals should be reserved for getting out of cover and saving other American lives, not yours.

Stop fuckin up the system!


Hard to say Slow Joe, without more info or a reading of the citations proposed. To paraphrase a coupla infamous sayings; “…at this point in time, what difference does it make?” Or this other classic; “Why should we send American Boys to do a job that Somalian Boys should be doing?” You may recall from your study of history that back in the 1860s awards were made of the MoH for the simple act of picking up an Orphaned Confederate Battle Flag. I will defer to your more recent knowledge of the Awards System and the overall action by the troops involved. Are any of these Troops still serving on AD?

This action was atypical of the half-assed way we have been approaching our enemies for way yonder too long Too little and too late. War means fightin’ and fightin’ means killin’! Bring every weapon to bear upon our enemies, call in the whole clan, and make the error of their ways hurt. When you can’t tell the sheep from the goats, it makes them all goats.

I salute the Warriors that did their job to defend their fellow Warriors.

Green Thumb

Mixed emotions on this one.

If this is legit, all for it. No problems there. It just took fucking damn near 30 years.

But if this is some politically motivated nonsense, then there are some issues.


Now maybe I can get that ARCOM upgraded to a Bronze Star.


How’s about you stop grousin’ ’bout the awards others earn? If you don’t think you earned yours, that is your problem. Projecting that upon others is not OK.

Yes, the reward for doing your job every day is the paycheck. Additional awards are for above and beyond. Did that happen in this case? Based upon information I knew at the time, yeah, it was. (Or maybe my memory is faulty, but I don’t think so.)

But expressing your opinion freely is still your right. The rest of us also have the right to call you a dumb ass when you earn it.

Slow Joe

What the fuck are you talking about?

I don’t give a flying fuck about what awards you have, so stop projecting your shit on me.

Revising old awards in mass is a very bad policy, opening the whole award system to upheaval that only lowers the value of current awards.

If you cannot see that its your fuckin problem.

I support reviewing individual cases like SFC Alwyn Cashe, but what they are doing with “black hawk down” is a mass upgrade.


Participation Silver Stars…

Just Lurkin

I had the honor and pleasure to have served with Paul Shannon who was a crew chief on that mission (look for his name in the appendix). He was an officer by then (but I don’t hold that against him) and he retired as a Major. I’m curious to see if he’s one of those being decorated.

Just Lurkin

“…look for his name in the appendix of the book…”

MI Ranger

I have nothing but respect for those that fought that day. Long ago, when I was young and anxious to prove myself I was upset by the Regimental Commander’s decision to keep 3rd BN there, instead of rotating out like we had been doing.
However, seeing one of my buddies from RIP not make it back and knowing that likely would have been me I must remain content with memories of what could have been and knowing that the lord had other ideas for me. Hard to believe it was 28 years ago.

Mustang Major

Hopefully, Lee Van Arsdale’s award is part of the awards upgrade. He led the rescue column. His bravery, leadership, and humility set an example for others.

With a bit of digging, you can find accounts of his actions on the internet.



Larry Perino, Lee Van Arsdale and Kyle Lamb discuss Gothic Serpent at West Point.


Will LTC “this is my safety” Steele get his award upgraded– after all the sh*t he got after Black Hawk Down, he probably should.


Maybe once the dust settles and they get this all sorted out as to who gets a medal upgrade, they can have Congress Critter Ilhan Abdullahi Omar pass them out. After all, she was born in the “Mog”. /sarc




“After all, she was born in the “Mog”.”

And should be sent back…


Its seams that only SOF troops are getting awards upgraded, no mention of the 10th MTN.
Same sand, shared blood
RIP Houston


[…] talked about some of the awards from Operation Gothic Serpent being upgraded earlier this month. The names have started to trickle out. One of the men recieving an upgrade for […]