Cool Hand Luke- The Young Rooster

Carr1
PFC Carr in Mogadishu. Copyright Luke Carr 1993.

My brother Poncho called the young M-60 gunner “Baby Face” in Somalia, as Carr had just got to C CO in March of 1993 while A CO was in Somalia, which is why I didn’t remember seeing or meeting him prior to Somalia. I first remember running into Carr at the range after we had both been to Somalia. I believe it was late 1993 or early 1994. My brother Poncho recalls Carr as being squared away and reliable at all times. The two would lift weights in “The Mog” when the opportunity arose.

When Carr first reported for duty at C CO and was greeted by several NCO’s, one of the sergeants eyeballing the new privates declared “there’s my new 60 gunner” when he saw Carr, and that’s exactly what he became. As a young 20 year old, he recalls trying to cope with Army life and adjusting to his new squad leader, SSG Rossman, by telling Rossman that he didn’t like him and nothing in his contract required him to like Rossman (though he believed Rossman knew he was just being a kid trying to deal).

After C CO deployed to Puerto Rico for training, SSG Rossman soon gathered the squad to let them know that they were chosen to head to Somalia to replace a unit of MP’s (Military Police). They had less than a month to prepare, but still much more warning than the first companies in Somalia had received.

By August, the group was in Somalia. At first, their missions consisted of convoy security and mounted patrols. The atmosphere in Mogadishu was pretty tense since the US had killed numerous Aidid militiamen in July, which resulted in Aidid retaliating by killing four military policemen via remote detonated mine in early August. With Arch as the senior M-60 gunner in the company, and one of the best in the entire US Army, Carr was more than well trained by this point.

carr4

On September 25th, 1993 at approximately 0200 hrs, Carr and his squad were sent on a QRF (Quick Reaction Force) mission to secure a black hawk that had been shot down in Mogadishu. As much of the convoy had taken a wrong turn, it was Rossman and his men that ended up directly at the crash site rather than being rear security. As Poncho, Arch, Boult and Long secured the site nearest the black hawk, Carr and his comrades secured the intersection.

During the ensuing five hours of fighting, from Behind the Gun, Carr silenced several snipers with his M-60 and his group kept the intersection secure during the fighting. When Carr saw Poncho and Arch hit, the thought that they might all die crossed his mind, yet he quickly got back to business suppressing the enemy. By the time the recovery mission was complete and it was time to withdrawal, the group exited in their fastback hummers without uttering a word on the ride back to the base.

carr5

Once back at the base, Boult talked to the men as Rossman checked on the wounded and debriefed his command. According to Carr, Boult had a way of putting the men at ease as he gave them the facts and added a much needed touch of humor. This little known about mission is detailed in “Behind the Gun” in a chapter called “Blood on the Altar“, though it could just as easily be called “The Original Black Hawk Down”. Carr and the men in C CO then went on to fight in the Battle of Mogadishu, a chapter called “Honoring the Creed” in “Behind the Gun”.

After Somalia, Carr, along with many of us who were in Somalia, then Air Assaulted into Haiti from the deck of the USS Eisenhower during the largest Army air operations from the deck of naval vessels since the Doolittle Raids of WWII. Though many disregard Operation Uphold Democracy, those of us who went can tell you that the first couple of months were pretty tough and tense at times, though only a few incidents came close to what the battalion had experienced in Somalia.

Carr then reenlisted and served in the 101st Airborne, the 82nd Airborne and even worked with wounded warriors on their road to recovery while at Ft. Polk, LA. Carr also served in Kosovo and did two combat tours in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom where he was awarded a second Combat Infantryman’s Badge and a BSM (Bronze Star Medal). Carr is also a graduate of the US Army’s Airborne and Air Assault Schools. In a stroke of beautiful irony, his last duty station was the same as his first.

Bronze_Star_medal

At the time of this writing, Carr has only been retired from active duty for a week or so, learning to live life again as a civilian with his wife and children. Though I don’t know him well on a personal level, he seems to be a bit of a quiet guy who is glad that our battalion’s story will finally be told. To his brothers, he’s as fine and fierce a warrior as they come.

Come read about Carr and other amazing soldiers in “Behind the Gun”! Come and learn about the Somali Civil war and our involvement in a way that America knows next to nothing about.

Happy retirement, brother!

Click here for excerpts from the book.

~Bravo Charles

Copyright© Bravo Charles & Behind the Gun 2016

5 thoughts on “Cool Hand Luke- The Young Rooster

  1. Then-CPL Carr was my gunner when I arrived to B 3/502 in the fall of 2000 and was slotted as his AG for a few months. I was then picked up for the platoon RTO job, which still fell in with Weapons Squad. In all, Luke and I were in the same platoon for almost four years.

    I look forward to the book.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s