Special Operations Memorial Foundation

Rayene S. Simpson

Rayene S. Simpson


Warrant Officer II Rayene S. Simpson distinguished himself on 6 and 11 May 1969, while attached for duty with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, in Kontum Province, Republic of Vietnam. Warrant Officer II Simpson, Commanding the 232nd Mobile Strike Force Company, 1st Mobile Strike Force Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, was on a search and destroy mission when it was engaged by a superior North Vietnamese force. Leading the assault against the enemyís position, he realized that Warrant Officer II M. M. Gill, another Australian advisor, was badly wounded. Disregarding his own safety, Warrant Officer II Simpson crawled an exposed and fire-swept area to rescue his wounded fellow advisor. He then closed within 10 meters of the enemy bunkers and threw hand grenades, destroying the bunkers. Without the possibility of relief from other units, he ordered his men to withdraw from the area. Warrant Officer II Simpson stayed behind to cover the withdrawal. Five days later, on 11 May 1969, while on the same mission, Warrant Officer II Simpsonís company was again heavily engaged with a larger enemy force. Interposing himself between his wounded, including Warrant Officer II A. M. Kelly, and the enemy, he repulsed the enemy until all wounded members of his company had been recovered. Although most of the Vietnamese troops he was leading had retreated, Warrant Officer II Simpsonís remained behind by the others and by his resolute fire prevented the enemy from overrunning their position. Warrant Officer II Simpsonís sustained and gallant efforts as well as his coolness under fire was instrumental in holding off the enemy, saving the lives of wounded members of his company and permitting his company to successfully evacuate. It will always stand as a testimony of the true meaning of valor.Sergeant First Class Randall D. Shughart, United States Army, distinguished himself by actions above and beyond the call of duty on 3 October 1993, while serving as a Sniper Team Member, U.S. Army Special Operations Command and attached to Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu, Somalia. Sergeant First Class Shughart provided precision sniper fires from the lead helicopter during an assault on a building and at two helicopter crash sites, while subjected to intense automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenade fires. While providing critical suppressive fires at the second crash site, Sergeant First Class Shughart and his team leader learned that ground forces were not immediately available to secure the site. Sergeant First Class Shughart and his team leader unhesitatingly volunteered to be inserted to protect the four critically wounded, despite being well aware of the growing number of enemy personnel closing in on the site. After their third request to be inserted, Sergeant First Class Shughart and his team leader received permission to perform his volunteer mission. When debris and enemy ground fires at the site caused them to abort the first attempt, Sergeant First Class Shughart and his team leader were inserted one hundred meters south of the crash site. Equipped with only his sniper rifle and a pistol, Sergeant First Class Shughart and his team leader, 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. Sergeant First Class Shughart 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. Sergeant First Class Shughart used his long range rifle and side arm to kill an undetermined number of attackers while traveling the perimeter, protecting the downed crew. Sergeant First Class Shughart continued his protective fire until he depleted his ammunition and was fatally wounded. Sergeant First Class Shughart"s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest standards of military service and reflects great credit upon him, his unit, and the United States Army.' WHERE `ID` = 733; UPDATE `specialopsmemorial`.`tblwall` SET `Description` = 'First Lieutenant Sisler was the platoon leader/advisor to a Special United States/Vietnam exploitation force. While on patrol deep within enemy dominated territory, First Lieutenant Sisler"s platoon was attacked from three sides by a company sized enemy force. First Lieutenant Sisler quickly rallied his men, deployed them to a better defensive position, called for air strikes, and moved among his men to encourage and direct their efforts. Learning that two men had been wounded and were unable to pull back to the perimeter, First Lieutenant Sisler charged from the position through intense enemy fire to assist them. He reached the men and began carrying one of them back to the perimeter, when he was taken under more intense weapons fire by the enemy. Laying down his wounded comrade, he killed three onrushing enemy soldiers by firing his rifle and silenced the enemy machine-gun with a grenade. As he returned the wounded man to the perimeter, the left flank of the position came under extremely heavy attack by the superior enemy force and several additional men of his platoon were quickly wounded. Realizing the need for instant action to prevent his position from being overrun, First Lieutenant Sisler picked up some grenades and charged single-handedly into the enemy onslaught, firing his weapon and throwing grenades. This singularly heroic action broke up the vicious assault and forced the enemy to begin withdrawing. Despite the continuing fire, First Lieutenant Sisler was moving about the battlefield directing the force and several additional men were quickly wounded. His extraordinary leadership, infinite courage, and selfless concern for his men saved the lives of a number of his comrades. His actions reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the military service.

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