JSOC’s former top enlisted soldier is one of 60 ‘Black Hawk Down’ award upgrades

| July 14, 2021

Delta Force operator then-Sgt. 1st Class Chris Faris, center, poses with teammates near a MH-6 Little Bird helo in Somalia. (Courtesy of Chris Faris)

We 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 their actions in the Battle of Mogadishu (from the famous book and movie Black Hawk Down) is retired Command Sgt. Maj. Chris Faris, a US Army Delta Force operator whose last assignment before retiring was as the Joint Special Operations Command’s senior enlisted advisor.

Jeff LPH 3 sends in the Army Times story;

Rangers and Delta Force operators faced an onslaught of gunfire as they approached the crashed Black Hawk helicopter on the afternoon of Oct. 3, 1993.

The soldiers dashed for cover along the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, where they would spend the night securing the crash site.

In need of medicine and ammunition, another Black Hawk arrived, hovering low as aircrew kicked out cases of supplies. Helicopter door gunners opened up with 7.62mm miniguns, and were met with return fire from below.

“It was the first time I had ever heard miniguns being drowned out because there was so much ground fire from AKs up to that helicopter,” retired Command Sgt. Maj. Chris Faris, a Delta Force veteran, told Army Times. “That was the first time we realized how many people were actually around us.”

Faris, who went on to serve as the top enlisted soldier for the secretive Joint Special Operations Command, is among the 60 soldiers receiving new awards for the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu. The awards came after former Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy ordered a review of battlefield actions last fall.

Fifty-eight medals are being upgraded to Silver Stars and two will be upgraded to the Distinguished Flying Cross. Faris is expected to receive a Silver Star in an October ceremony at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Faris’ award upgrade from a Bronze Star Medal won’t mess up his ribbon rack too much. He’s still got six other Bronze Stars. Check out his bio here. 99% of our posers featured here couldn’t dream up such a list of awards and decorations. As JK Simmons would say, “He knows a thing or two, because he’s seen a thing or two.”

Category: Army, Delta, Silver Star, Valor

Comments (12)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Jay says:

    Good Lord…..I read both the book and saw the movie. One can not even FATHOM that mad dash the men made through the streets of Mogadishu.

    SIX other Bronze Stars? Go ahead and cast his testicles in titanium, since they are already brass.

    • Twist says:

      In the mid 90’s I had a Company Commander that was in the book, but not the movie. He was the FSO that lobbied to have the little birds armed with rockets that day. He ended up getting shot in the leg in the fight. I never heard him even mention that battle and didn’t even know his role in it until I read the book years later.

  2. Sapper3307 says:

    Hoping that the ARMY will upgrade some awards for the troops of the 10th Mountain DIV, but not holding my breath at all.

  3. Eric (the OC tanker) says:

    The man has BALLS he size of the Great Pyramids. Cant see how it was possible to get them on the chopper!

  4. Only Army Mom says:

    Agreed on the collective assessment of this soldier. I’ve been honored to meet several of the guys, all humble, honorable men.

    Met a guy a while back who claimed he was in Mogadishu, telling his tales of derring-do. Just so happens I texted one of the guys that was actually there, who fed me some more names to throw into the conversation. Of course, the poser stuttered. Asked him why the person I was texting didn’t know who he was. Guy foolishly got in my face. Last I saw of his face was as it was being dragged across the pavement out the door. This was at a VFW hall. One of my prouder moments.

    It still infuriates me it has taken this long to properly recognize what those guys did. It was not their fault the mission went so bad, that blame rests entirely, IMHO, on Clinton and his policies. Those guys paid the price, literally in blood, and then were dishonored by the same command that doomed the mission.

    • KoB says:

      Spot on OAM, Hardcore Warriors all around. And yes, as you so very well know, those types are all Humble, Honorable Men.

      Spot on about Slick Willie too. IMO THE most despicable politician…EVAH!

      Loved the story of the phony at the VFW. You GO Girl!

      • Only Army Mom says:

        KoB – don’t know if Mr. Cankles takes the top spot, seeing how many current contenders are vying for the (dis)honor. But, he is definitely in the team picture.

        I absolutely love the role I get to play of “clueless civilian house-wifey” type as foil for posers. They really seem to lay it on thick to impress.

        When the hammer comes down on them, I give my best June Cleaver smile.

    • Dustoff says:

      Armor would have saved lives. Ultimately it was Les Aspen that denied it.
      Taken From A WP Article:

      THE WORDS BEHIND A DEADLY DECISION
      By Barton GellmanOctober 31, 1993
      At 7 p.m. on Sept. 14, Army Maj. Gen. Thomas M. Montgomery sat down in his battle-scarred headquarters in Mogadishu and transmitted a call for help.

      Montgomery, the American commander in Somalia, asked for tanks and armored vehicles “at the earliest feasible date.” “I believe that U.S. forces are at risk without it,” his classified message said.

      The urgency was somewhat rehearsed. Montgomery’s superior and recipient of his message was Gen. Joseph P. Hoar, who had just ended a quiet visit to Mogadishu. Hoar knew what Montgomery would ask him for and, according to one knowledgeable official, thought he could sell the package in Washington.

      But on Sept. 23, Defense Secretary Les Aspin turned down Montgomery’s request. Ten days later, on Oct. 3, Somali militiamen killed 18 Americans who were trapped, in part for lack of armor, under enemy fire. The resulting uproar brought congressional calls for Aspin’s resignation and forced President Clinton to promise withdrawal from Somalia by March 31.

      • A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

        Les Aspin, I once heard him speak in person during which a Fellow Soldier kept elbowing me in my ribs because my snoring woke HIM up!

  5. Devtun says:

    CSM Faris reportedly had harsh evaluations for some guys in Task Force Ranger. It mentions at 19:18 mark. Salute to the soldiers in TF Ranger, and the 2nd BN, 10th Mountain Div.