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SFC Matthew Loren Rierson
from Nevada, Iowa

 

SFC Rierson served with: B_Co 2_75_Ranger_Bn

 

Born in 1960, Ranger Rierson was 33 years old at the time of his death in 1993.

 


Complete biography is below the photo gallery

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SFC Matthew Loren Rierson 's Biography

Matt Rierson survived the two-day Battle of Mogadishu on October 3-4, 1993. He returned to the battle scene in a frantic attempt to rescue fallen friends or recover their bodies. He followed the Ranger Creed: "Never shall I fail my comrades."
A few days after the big battle, on Oct. 6, Matt Rierson was killed by a stray mortar shell that landed near him as he chatted with other soldiers near the airport hangar.

 

During his military service, SFC Matthew Loren Rierson also served in 1st SOCOM Operational Detachment Delta

Sergeant First Class Matthew Loren Rierson, a member of 1st SOCOM Operational Detachment Delta was killed in action during a mortar attack on the compound in Mogadishu, Somalia, On October 6th 1993. Matthew Loren Rierson was born to Loren and Kay Rierson on 29 September 1960, in Nevada, Iowa. He graduated from Ellsworth junior college in 1981.

http://www.usmountainranger.org/memorial/2003/rierson.htm


Sergeant First Class Matthew Loren Rierson, a member of 1st SOCOM Operational Detachment Delta was killed in action during a mortar attack on the compound in Mogadishu, Somalia, On October 6th 1993. Matthew Loren Rierson was born to Loren and Kay Rierson on 29 September 1960, in Nevada, Iowa. He graduated from Ellsworth junior college in 1981.

On 18 February 1982, he entered the United States Army at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He completed Infantry one stop unit training and Basic Airborne at Fort Benning, GA. During his career with the United States Army, Sergeant First Class Rierson also served with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Lewis, Washington.

Matt RiersonRierson successfully completed the following military courses of instruction: Ranger, Jungle Warfare training, Scout swimmer, Static line Jumpmaster, Primary, Basic and Advanced Noncommissioned officer, Combat diver, Combat divers supervised, Advanced land navigation, Military freefall, Military freefall jumpmaster, and Battlestaff. In recognition of Matthew’s outstanding career, he was promoted to Sergeant First Class on 1 April 1990.

During his distinguished career with the United States Army, he received the following awards and decorations: the Silver Star, the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, The Army Achievement Medal (first oak leaf cluster), the Army Good Conduct Medal, (third award), the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Arrowhead Device and Bronze Service Star, The noncommissioned Officer Professional Award, the Valorous Unit Award( first oak leaf cluster), the Combat infantry Badge, The Expert Infantry Badge, the Ranger Tab, the Master Parachutist Badge, the SCUBA Divers Badge, and the Royal Thai Army Airborne Wings. Sergeant First Class Rierson is survived by his wife Patricia, and his sons, Jacob and Kaleb.

Photo courtesy of Black Hawk Down '93

Excerpts from the Des Moines Register, article by Ken Fuson

Sgt. First Class Matt Rierson led the first assault team that landed in Mogadishu, and he supervised the capture of several prisoners.

That he showed the way would not surprise his classmates at Nevada High School in Nevada, Iowa, where Rierson graduated in 1979. He was a football co-captain, successful wrestler, dedicated weight-lifter and popular student leader. A memorial service in his honor filled the high school gymnasium in the Story County town of 6,650.

Rierson loved the Army. The harder the challenge, the more he embraced it, from jumping out of airplanes to competing in shooting competitions.

Matt Rierson survived the two-day Battle of Mogadishu on October 3-4, 1993. He returned to the battle scene in a frantic attempt to rescue fallen friends or recover their bodies. He followed the Ranger Creed: "Never shall I fail my comrades."

Says Trish Rierson, Matt’s widow and high school sweetheart, “These men weren't super-heroes. They were husbands and fathers and average Joes who went to church on Sunday and signed up for Neighborhood Watch. They taught their children how to throw a spiral and catch a fish. Then all of a sudden they go to work, and it's like this new personality comes out. They were just so determined that you can't leave anybody, no matter what."

A few days after the big battle, on Oct. 6, Matt Rierson was killed by a stray mortar shell that landed near him as he chatted with other soldiers near the airport hangar.

Rierson had just turned 33 and was survived by two boys who were postponing his birthday cake until he returned home.

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http://valor.militarytimes.com/recipient.php?recipientid=23830

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
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Ranger Matthew Rierson: When It Rains, It Pours SOFREP Original Content

BY GEORGE E. HAND IV
http://sofrep.com/39032/ranger-matthew-rierson-when-it-rains-it-pours/

I met Matt Rierson at the Special Forces Underwater Operations (SFUWO) Academy on my second attempt to pass that course in Key West, Florida, in 1986. I was, at that time, assigned to Combat Dive Team ODA 155 at Ft. Lewis, Washington. Matt was attending that same course coming from 2/75 Ranger Battalion, also out of Ft. Lewis. Being thrust together into a class of some 60 students coming from any and all Special Operations units, Matt and I deemed it sensible to hang together for the simple reason that we were both from Ft. Lewis. I, being reverent toward and appreciative of U.S. Army Rangers in general, was confident that Matt would not be quitting anything anytime soon. That would be yet another good reason to hang out with Ranger Rierson.

It took less than a day to conclude that not only was Matt a bad-ass Ranger, but also an all-around solid fellow of strong character and immense courage. He was a devoted family man with a wife, and at that time, just his one son, Kaleb. Matt had no vices; I kept mine in check for those next 30 days out of respect for him. We hung together as as much as was practical, ate all three meals together daily, chilled near the barracks on the weekends, and even gravitated toward each other during class breaks for a quick sanity check and motivational ribbing.




 

 

 

 

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