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The Moore family: lifetimes of service

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Samuel Taylor
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
They've fought terrorism in the Middle East and flown missions into Kosovo. They've served in Desert Storm, Vietnam, Korea and both World Wars. They fought on both sides of the Civil War and struggled to win our nation its independence from Britain. This example of dedicated American military service belongs to the family of Captain Steven E. Moore, 436th Aerial Port Squadron's combat readiness and resources flight commander.

"My family has always put the needs of America before themselves," said Captain Moore. "We've always been about service."

Captain Moore's family is one example of the many military legacy families who strengthen and support the American military culture all servicemembers are part of.

Through genealogy and speaking with relatives, Captain Moore has been able to trace his family back to some of the first notable moments in our nation's past.

"I have documentation which shows my relatives were passengers on the Mayflower in the 1600's," said Captain Moore. "We have a diary entry where an ancestor talks about being with General George Washington as he crossed the Delaware. We even have discharge paperwork from the Union Army during the Civil War."

Crossing the Delaware was just one of the historic battles Captain Moore's family was involved in.

"My grandfather Moore was at the Ardennes Offensive, or Battle of the Bulge, in 1944," said Captain Moore. "What's interesting is I didn't know it until after I visited a re-enactment at the battle site a few years ago and my father mentioned it. My grandfather never once talked about it with me."

However, not all of Captain Moore's findings come from hard research. He has heard many interesting stories sitting around the family dinner table.

Captain Moore's Great Uncle Smith served in Korea, where one of his duties was disposing of old ammunition. While doing his job, he had some very interesting stories to tell, said Captain Moore.

"When they scrapped torpedoes, one guy would straddle the thing and ride it into the bay like a horse until it quit running, then he would just swim back to shore," said Captain Moore.

Former Captain Ed Moore, Captain Steven Moore's father, signed up for the Army during college in 1968, and received his commission through Army Officer Candidate School in 1969.

"During the Tet offensive of 1968, we were losing over 4,000 men every month in Vietnam, and the daily news was about nothing but causality reports," said Captain [Ed] Moore. "My Uncle Alton was a full bird, and after several long discussions with him, he helped me sign up for an OCS program in March 1968."

As a constant reminder of his family legacy, the captain bars currently on Captain Moore's service coat belonged to, and were pinned on by, his father.

"Having my father give me my oath of office and pin on my captain's bars was one of the proudest moments of both of our lives," said Captain Moore. "Growing up, I always wanted to emulate him."

Both Captain Moore and his older brother chose to further their family's tradition of military service by enlisting after high school. His older brother enlisted in the Navy at 18 and is currently serving with the Helicopter Strike Squadron 77, the Seahawks, on board the USS Abraham Lincoln with the Fifth Fleet, on deployment in the Middle East. Captain Moore enlisted in the Air Force as a senior in high school in 1994 and was lucky enough to be selected as one of the first loadmasters to work on the C-17A.

"My squadron was all hand selected," said Captain Moore. "They were the best of the best."

In 1997, Captain Moore was one of the airmen selected to demonstrate the capabilities of the C-17A to foreign governments in the Pacific Theater.

"We showcased the plane for over 30 days, all over Southeast Asia, Australia, and at various air shows and demonstrations," said Captain Moore. "That was the best trip I ever had."

Captain Moore later received his commission through Air Force Officer Training School in August 2004, just short of his 10-year mark as an enlisted man.

Captain Moore's extensive list of service includes combat sorties into Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan, humanitarian relief missions into the Virgin Islands, a four-year term as C-17A Combat Crew Training Instructor in Air Education Training Command at Altus Air Force Base, OK, and a 15-month tour with the Army in Iraq.

With so many past experiences, Captain Moore impacts those who work with him.

"Knowing that he has so much life experience inspires much confidence in his leadership," said 2nd Lt. Benjamin Sperring, 436th Aerial Port Squadron's combat readiness and resources deputy flight commander. "I can definitely learn from him as I continue my military career."

"I feel like I've just been fortunate enough to be at the right place and time with the right opportunities," said Captain Moore. "I take a lot of pride in knowing I can serve as my family did before me."

From the defining moments that began our nation through its entrance into the new millennium, the Moore family has supported and continues to support our nation and its principles.