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Matthew Loren Rierson

Date of birth: September 29, 1960
Date of death: October 4, 1993
Place of Birth: Iowa, Nevada
Home of record: Nevada Iowa
Status: KIA

Matthew Rierson was subsequently killed on October 6, two days after the "Black Hawk Down" mission, when a stray mortar shell landed near him as he chatted with other soldiers near the airport hangar.


Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the United Nations Operations in Somalia II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Sergeant First Class Matthew Loren Rierson, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against hostile enemy forces while serving with the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment - Delta, Task Force RANGER, Special Operations Command, during combat operations in Mogadishu, Somalia, on 3 and 4 October 1993. Sergeant Rierson was part of the assault force which conducted an air assault raid deep into the enemy sector. Following the successful apprehension of two key militia officials and twenty-two enemy soldiers, Sergeant Rierson accompanied the detainees and wounded personnel to his base in the vehicular convoy. This convoy came under intense enemy fires, during which time, numerous friendly casualties were suffered. With total disregard for his own personal safety, Sergeant Rierson repeatedly dismounted his vehicle, exposing himself to enemy fire, in order to direct the drivers through enemy roadblocks and ambushes. It was due in part to his exceptional leadership that the convoys were able to reach the base safely. Sergeant Rierson then immediately accompanied the relief element headed for two downed helicopters. Once again, Sergeant Rierson demonstrated calm, effective leadership under fire that allowed the stalled convoy to fight its way to the crash site. At the crash site, Sergeant Rierson directed his team in a security position while the body of the pilot was recovered. His team provided security throughout the night as the enemy repeatedly tried to overrun the site. Sergeant First Class Rierson's heroic actions saved the lives of fellow comrades and reflect great credit on himself and the United States Army.

Action Date: October 3 - 4, 1993

Service: Army

Rank: Sergeant First Class

Company: 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment - Delta

Regiment: (Task Force Ranger)

Division: Special Operations Command