THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
ESTABLISHED BY AN ACT OF CONGRESS 9 JULY 1918 (AMENDED BY ACT OF 25 JULY 1963) AND AWARDED BY THE
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
SILVER STAR MEDAL
SERGEANT FIRST CLASS MATTHEW L. RIERSON, UNITED STATES ARMY
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.
Born: Sept. 29, 1960 in Nevada, Iowa… Joined Army in 1982… Also awarded Bronze Star and Purple Heart… Killed by an enemy mortar shell two days after Battle of Mogadishu