Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Michael R. Noggle
10th SFG (A) Public Affairs noncommissioned officer
In front of Soldiers from his unit, Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Moe spoke briefly about the night of June 3, 2007.
“I just thank God we made it out of there alive,” said the 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) linguist.
More than 17 months later, Moe received the Bronze Star with Valor device from Col. William H. Shaw III, 10th SFG (A) deputy commanding officer, at the McMahon Auditorium Feb. 20.
Moe served as an assistant team sergeant supporting Special Forces Operational Detachment – Alpha and members from the 8th Iraqi army. Their mission was to capture or kill a targeted individual in Diwaniyah, Iraq.
While conducting the mission, the entire element was engaged in a firefight with more than 100 members of an insurgent force which massed during the night.
“We started taking fire in all directions when all these insurgents showed up,” Moe said.
“It threw me back; one of the Iraqi soldiers was killed. It got scary really quick.”
After completing his task, Moe began assisting in securing the area and preventing the enemy from maneuvering on the ODa.
During the firefight, a sniper team moved out in advance of the forward line of troops in order to engage enemy rocket-propelled grenade and machine gun positions. After engaging the target, the sniper team was trapped while one member of their team was severely wounded. The team attempted to evacuate themselves back to the friendly troops but was unable to because of accurate and persistent enemy fire.
In order to provide covering fire for the movement of the trapped team, Moe voluntarily stepped directly into the line of enemy fire and began suppressive fire on the enemy position.
“I just wanted to do the right thing and help my fellow Soldiers out,” Moe explained. “I didn’t think too much about it, I just reacted. I knew things were getting pretty thick and they needed help to get out.”
Despite rounds of small arms fire impacting inches from his head and being shot in the right leg, Moe continued to place effective fire on the enemy until the sniper team was safely under cover.
His courage and selflessness allowed the sniper team to move to a secured position where the wounded sniper could receive immediate medical treatment and be evacuated out of the area.
“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about that day,” said the staff sergeant. “I thank God that he prevented more people from getting killed or hurt. I hope I did the right thing and (am) happy all those guys made it out alive.”