American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"We Were Soldiers" (2002)


Lieutenant Colonel Harold "Hal" G. Moore: Combat Training Address to Officers

Audio mp3 delivered by Mel Gibson


Col. Moore: At ease, gentlemen.

Welcome to the new Cavalry.

We will ride into battle, and this will be our horse.


[A single U.S. Army UH-1 Iroquois helicopter suddenly appears, circles once, lands briefly and motors off, followed by two more UH-1's in line formation. The use of cavalry helicopters marked a seminal moment in U.S. military combat history.]

You don't have to catch it; don't have to feed it. But I can assure you that neither the new technology nor your status as officers will keep you above the danger.

Sergeant Major Plumley and I come from the paratroopers -- where the officer is always the first one out of the plane; because to follow your instincts and to inspire your men, by your example, you have to be with 'em -- where the metal meets the meat.

Sergeant Major Plumley made all four combat jumps in the 82nd Airborne during World War II -- Sicily, Salerno, Normandy, and Holland, plus one more in Korea. He answers to me and to me alone.

Now, I hope you gentlemen like training 'cause me and the Sergeant Major -- we love it.

Research Note: Many thanks to Scott LeCraw for correcting the name of the helicopter previously identified as a U.S. Army AH-1G  Huey "Cobra." The events depicted in the movie occurred in 1965, while the Cobra helicopter did not enter service until about 1970.  (7/15/03)

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