Randy Shughart

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U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Randall Shughart, Medal of Honor for actions in Operation Gothic Serpent (October 3, 1993).
U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Randall Shughart, Medal of Honor for actions in Operation Gothic Serpent (October 3, 1993).




Delta Force operator

Date of birth

Place of birth

Date of death

Place of death

Entered service at

Posthumous awards

Medal of Honor for actions in Operation Gothic Serpent.
USNS LMRS T-AKR: Shughart Class (ship) [1] (http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/factfile/ships/ship-takr2.html)
USNS Shughart (ship) [2] (http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/ships/auxiliaries/shughart/)

United States Army Sgt. First Class Randall 'Randy' D. Shughart (August 13, 1958October 3, 1993) earned the Medal of Honor posthumously for actions in Operation Gothic Serpent — the operation that led to the Battle of Mogadishu.



Sergeant First Class (SFC) Shughart, U.S. Army, distinguished himself by actions above and beyond the call of duty on 3 October 1993, while serving as a Sniper Team Member, United States Army Special Operations Command with Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Shughart provided precision sniper fire from the lead helicopter during an assault on the target building and at two helicopter crash sites, while being subjected to intense automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenade fires. While providing critical suppressive fires at the second crash site of Super 6-4, Sergeant First Class Shughart and his team leader, Master Sergeant Gary Gordon, learned that ground forces were not immediately available to secure the site. Shughart and his team leader unhesitatingly volunteered to be inserted to protect the four critically wounded personnel, despite being well aware of the growing number of enemy personnel closing in on the site.

After their third request to be inserted, Shughart and his team leader received permission to perform this volunteer mission. When debris and enemy ground fires at the site caused them to abort the first attempt, he and his team leader were inserted one hundred meters south of the crash site. Shortly after, the Blackhawk that had inserted Gordon and Shughart was hit by an RPG, but managed to crash land back at the U.S. controlled airport.

Equipped with only his M-14 rifle and a Colt .45 pistol, SFC Shughart and his team leader, while under intense small arms fire from the enemy, fought their way through a dense maze of shanties and shacks to reach the critically injured crew members of Super 6-4. He pulled the pilots and the other crew members from the aircraft, establishing a perimeter which placed him and his fellow sniper in the most vulnerable position.

Shughart used his M-14 rifle and side arm to kill an undetermined number of attackers while traveling the perimeter, protecting the downed crew. After his team leader was fatally wounded and his own rifle ammunition exhausted, Shughart recovered Gordon's CAR-15 and searched wreckage, recovering several of the crew chief's M-16s. He returned to Durant, giving him Gordon's CAR-15 with only the last magazine half full. Gordon had managed to fire 15 rounds before being fatally wounded. Shughart then returned to the wreckage without saying another word. When he finished the M-16's ammunition, SFC Shughart continued to fight armed only with his Colt .45 pistol until he was fatally wounded.

His actions saved the life of the pilot, Mike Durant.

In the 2001 blockbuster movie adapted from the Battle of Mogadishu (Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden), SFC Shughart was protrayed by actor Johnny Strong.

U.S. Navy Large, Medium-speed, Roll-on/Roll-off Ship Shughart (T-AKR 295)
U.S. Navy Large, Medium-speed, Roll-on/Roll-off Ship Shughart (T-AKR 295)

USNS Shughart

On April 13, 1996 the U.S. Navy officially named a Roll-on/Roll-off Cargo Ship (T-AKR 295) with the name of Shughart; in a ceremony at the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, San Diego, California. [3] (http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/ships/auxiliaries/shughart/naming.txt)

Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska was the ceremony's principal speaker. Serving as the ship's sponsor was Mrs. Stephanie Shughart, widow of the ship's namesake.

Some of the distinguished guests that attended the ceremony included:

  • Honorable John W. Douglass, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, (Research, Development and Acquisition)
  • General Dennis J. Reimer, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army
  • General Wayne A. Downing, U.S. Army, former Commander in Chief, Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida
  • Vice Admiral Philip M. Quast, Commander, Military Sealift Command
  • Rear Admiral Paul M. Robinson, Program Executive Officer, Carriers Littoral Warfare and Auxiliary Ships
  • Brigadier General William G. Boykin, former Commanding Officer, Army Combat Applications Group, and Sergeant Shughart's commanding officer at the time of his death
  • and Mr. Dick Vortmann, Chief Executive Officer, National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, San Diego, California.

Shughart was the first Large Medium Speed Roll On/Roll Off (LMSR) ship to undergo conversion from commercial container vessel to sealift cargo ship. The ship is operated by the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command, Washington, D.C.

Related topics

External links

Official military sites



  1. US Army Center of Military History. Medal of Honor Recipients: Somalia (http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/mohsom.htm). United States of America: US Army.

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