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Video: Actor Mel Gibson praises renaming Fort Benning after ‘We Were Soldiers’ lieutenant general and his wife

The final battle scene from the film We Were Soldiers starring Mel Gibson. (YouTube/Screenshot)
May 19, 2023

Actor and director Mel Gibson released a new video praising Fort Moore, the new name for what was previously called Fort Benning in Georgia.

The location was renamed Fort Moore in honor of Lt. Gen. Harold “Hal” and Julia Moore. Gibson portrayed the lieutenant general in the 2002 film “We Were Soldiers.”

“I really found out just how gracious and generous he could be when he allowed and trusted this Hollywood clown enough to let him into his personal life, his story and, particularly, his experiences in the Ia Drang Valley,” Gibson said in a video posted to YouTube.

“One of the big lessons Hal taught me was that, no matter what the plan is, no matter what the conditions are, it’s always going to be, y’know, it’s going to go awry,” the actor continued. “So you have to have a plan A, B, C, D through Z and beyond and leave no stone unturned, which he did.”

He added, “Having known [Hal] was a highlight in my life.”

A ceremony was held at the base on May 11 to highlight the change and recognize the people behind the location’s new name.

“Fort Moore will recognize Hal Moore’s career as a decorated and highly regarded commander of the Vietnam War; and his wife, Julia Moore, equally distinguished as a leader of Army family programs who changed how the military cares for the widows of fallen Soldiers,” the Fort Moore Redesignation Ceremony video posted on YouTube explained in its description. “Fort Moore will honor Vietnam veterans, Army Families and highlight the military spouse’s invaluable contribution to combat readiness.”

READ MORE: Fort Benning in West Georgia to become Fort Moore this week

Moore was a highly respected service member known for his leadership during the Vietnam War. He is most remembered for his role as the commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, during the Battle of Ia Drang in 1965.

Moore’s leadership and strategic skills were instrumental in the success of the American forces during the battle. Despite being heavily outnumbered, Moore showed unwavering determination and bravery, inspiring his troops against the North Vietnamese Army.

After his military career, Moore continued to inspire others through his public speaking engagements and his book “We Were Soldiers Once… And Young,” co-authored with journalist Joseph L. Galloway.

The book was later adapted into the movie titled “We Were Soldiers” in which Gibson portrayed Moore in one of his most enduring roles. The film brought the story of the famed military hero to the big screen to millions of viewers who discovered the heroism and sacrifices made by Moore and his soldiers during the Battle of Ia Drang.