SFC Earl R. Fillmore Jr.
from Latrobe, Pennsylvania
SFC Fillmore served with:
Born in 1965, Ranger Fillmore was 28 years old at the time of his death in 1993.
SFC Earl R. Fillmore Jr.'s Biography
Earl was responding to help his mates trapped inside a downed helicopter when he was fatally wounded. Earl Robert Fillmore Jr. is remembered as a son, a husband, and a soldier who died trying to help other soldiers in need.
During his military service, SFC Earl R. Fillmore Jr. also served in A Co, 1st Bn, 7th SFG, - 1st SFOD-D (Delta) - Special Forces Command
When SFC Earl R. Fillmore Jr. joined the Army under the Delayed Entry Program, he followed the paths of many of the men in his life. His grandfather, father and two uncles all served in the military.
A childhood friend said they often played soldiers. Earl Fillmore was 18 when he left Derry, Pa., for basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C. At 24, he became the youngest soldier chosen for Delta Force, part of the Army Special Forces Command at Fort Bragg.
Before his assignment with the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne), Earl Fillmore served with A Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne). He was a veteran of Operation Just Cause (Panama) and Operation Desert Shield (Saudi Arabia).
He was killed Oct. 3 while serving as a medic with Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu. He was 28.Earl Fillmore was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously.
During his career, he also received the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge and Ranger tab.
SFC Earl Fillmore was killed in action during the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993.
SFC Earl R. Fillmore
Earl was an 18D with A-1/7th prior to his selection and assignmnet to 1st SFOD-D.
New Cumberland Army Depot Medical Clinic Named To Honor Soldier Killed In Combat
PennLive, 4 Oct 2011
Most special forces soldiers look grim in their official photographs, but not Sgt. First Class Earl Fillmore.
The Pennsylvania native who died in the battle of Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993 wore a jaunty smile, a sign of the quirky wit he displayed throughout his life, friends said.
Fillmore was honored Monday during a ceremony at the New Cumberland Defense Distribution Center when a medical clinic was named in his memory.
Lt. Col. Robert Mabry, who spoke Monday, told of the time Fillmore mounted a pair of warthog tusks onto his helmet and paraded around the compound in Somalia half naked.
But when it came to his job, there was no more professional soldier than Fillmore, Mabry said.
“He was a fearless and tenacious combat medic,” said Mabry, who served in Somalia with Fillmore. “He kept his medic skills intact so he could not only fight his way out of a tight spot, but he could take care of his injured comrades.”
During the battle of Mogadishu, the fight made famous in the movie “Black Hawk Down,” Fillmore fought through the streets to reach the crash site of a downed helicopter in an attempt to rescue his comrades. He was fatally wounded defending his force.
Big Spring High School graduate Randall Shughart was killed in the battle. Shughart and Master Sgt. Gary Gordon were posthumously awarded Medals of Honor in 1994 for their actions in the battle.
According to the ceremony’s program notes, “as a direct result of his superior marksmanship and demonstrated bravery, many members of the assault force were spared injury or possible death.”
Fillmore was awarded the Silver Star for valor posthumously.
His sister, Brenda Perry, said she met a soldier who fought with him who told her, “it was because of your brother we were able to come home.”
Fillmore was born in Latrobe near Pittsburgh, the youngest of seven children and the only boy. His mother, his six sisters and several nieces and nephews attended Monday’s ceremony.
Perry said the brother she knew as “Poocher,” “Little Earl,” “The Boy,” or “Sparky” was always a dreamer, an achiever and a risk taker.
As a child, he would relate stories about his adventures in the Army “when he used to be big,” she said.
He joined the Army at 17, right after high school, getting his training as a medic. When he was 24, he became the youngest soldier ever to be accepted into the Army’s elite Delta Force, where he became a counter-terrorist.
Fillmore fought in Panama, Iraq and elsewhere before he was assigned to Somalia. Perry said he was involved in secret operations his family did not even know about. He loved his 10 years in the military, she said.
Capt. Donald Varos, retired, a physician’s assistant at the facility now known as the SFC Earl Fillmore Army Health Clinic, said he met Fillmore during their early medic training. Varos pushed for the clinic's name, which took a couple of years to accomplish.
“I feel Earl exemplified America’s best,” he said. “The green beret, the Delta Force. He was a true warrior. He could be a clown, but when it came to combat, he was a dedicated professional. He was just a really good guy.”
The medical clinic at the army depot serves more than 2,000 active duty soldiers, their families and retirees, as well as about 4,000 civilian workers.
Mabry said Fillmore helped inspire him to continue his studies, get his medical degree and remain in the Army, where he is now chief physician of the U.S. Army Emergency Medicine Fellowship Program.
Mabry said special forces medics need to be highly trained in medicine because they often serve in remote areas during guerrilla warfare and might not reach safety for days on end. According to Varos, “we’re trained to be in the middle of nowhere without a lot.”
Fillmore then also trained in marksmanship, patrolling, parachuting and the other disciplines of the elite forces.
Brig Gen. Joseph Caravalho, commanding general of the Northern Regional Medical Command, said during the ceremony, “I am in utter awe of all this man could accomplish in his life.”
Perry said her brother never bragged about his accomplishments. She said he was dedicated, witty, educated, fun, considerate and humble.
“If he were looking down from heaven now, he would wonder, ‘What’s all the fuss?” she said. “It’s about you, Earl. It’s all about you.”
Earl FillmoreEarl Robert Fillmore Jr. was born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania on 16 June 1965. Earl graduated from Derry Area High School in 1983. Following High School Earl entered the Army on 19 August 1983 and went to Ft Jackson, South Carolina. Earl’s first assignment was with A Company of the 1st Bn. 7th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, N.C. Earl was a graduate of the Special Forces medical course and his initial assignment in Special Forces was as a medic.
Earl FillmoreIn 1987 Earl attended the 1st Special Forces Operational Detatchment-DELTA’s selection course. Earl was chosen as one of only 11 soldiers from a pool of over 200 to attend the Operator’s Training Course (OTC). Earl excelled in this new environment both as a medic and a shooter, and quickly mastered all skills required to be a part of this special organization. While assigned to Delta, Earl participated in the invasion of Panama (Just Cause), and operations in Iraq during Desert Storm and Desert Shield. Earl also participated in the “Battle of the Black Sea” in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1993. Earl participated in many other important, though not yet de-classified operations while assigned as a member of 1st SFOD-D.
Earl FillmoreEarl had numerous awards and qualifications that included the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Accommodation Medal, Master Parachutist Badge, HALO Badge, Special Forces and Ranger Tabs.
Earl FillmoreEarl was driven to do his best at every endeavor and always succeeded at whatever task he put his mind to. Earl established himself as the youngest Operator to complete the Delta assessment and selection, and subsequent Operators Training Course. He attended the Ranger Course as a Sergeant First Class and graduated as the honor graduate of his class. He finished the course with the following record: 1st time go's in all evaluated tasks, Go's in all 6 graded patrols, 7 major plus spot reports, peers - 90, 86, 91, and 93.
Earl FillmoreHe was successful in every mission during training or combat and was in every sense a walking testament to the professional soldier. Earl would accept nothing less than a team mate’s best effort, and in return Earl gave his best effort every time.
It was this drive that carried Earl to the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia on 03 October 1993. Earl was responding to help his mates trapped inside a downed helicopter when he was fatally wounded. Earl Robert Fillmore Jr. is remembered as a son, a husband, and a soldier who died trying to help other soldiers in need.