Terrence "Terry" Leo Moore

USMC LtCol Retired


Go in peace and remember you are not forgotten while I am still on patrol.

July 8th, 2018

It is with deep sadness that I report the news of the death of Terry Moore. Terry passed away on Tuesday June 5, 2018 at the age of 80. He will be greatly missed by his family & friends and all his Recon Buddies from the 1st Recon Battalion Association. We give thanks for Terry's life. (Thanks to Mike Simpson from Charlie Company for the email on Terry's passing.)

Terry L Moore Passed Away at the age of 80 from Hubert, NC

Retired Marine Terry Moore inducted to Commando Hall of Honor 

Hubert-Terrence Leo Moore (USMC LtCol Retired), 80, passed away at his home on Tuesday June 5, 2018. He was born April 23, 1938 in Mosinee, WI son of the late, Don and Vi Moore.
A graveside memorial service will be held Monday June 11, 2018 at 12:00 PM at Coastal Carolina State Veterans Cemetery in Jacksonville with Military Honors.
Mr. Moore enlisted in the USMC in 1955 right out of high school. He faithfully served his country in the corps until his retirement in 1987. During his time in the corps he distinguished himself in service to his country, the Marine Corps, and his fellow Special Operations Warriors across three decades of service. He was stationed at Camp Lejeune, Sasebo, Japan, El Toro, CA, Cherry Point, and then back to Camp Lejeune. Drawing upon a vast reservoir of professional military knowledge honed in extensive combat, then, Gunnery Sergeant Moore developed a comprehensive training program for Reconnaissance Marine candidates, while simultaneously leading a Special Operations team for the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in the Republic of Vietnam in 1970. Due to his outstanding combat leadership during this tour, Gunnery Sergeant Moore was awarded a Battlefield Commission to Second Lieutenant. He is also a member of the Purple Heart #642 and a 32nd degree Mason from Nippon Masonic Lodge # 9.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Darleen Matsche Moore of the home; son, Ronald Moore (Lisa) of Dewitt, MI; daughter-in-law, Theresa Moore of Lansing, MI; grandchildren, Cullen, Alex, Abbey, and Audrey; brothers, Jack Moore of CA, Tom Moore of MI, Rick Moore (Marilyn) of FL, and Mike Moore of VA.
He was preceded in death by a son Donald Moore.
In lieu of flowers the family respectfully request that memorials be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital at stjude.org.

Moore enlisted in the military in 1955 because he wanted to escape the city life of Detroit, joining the Marine Corps right after high school. After assignment to Okinawa, Japan, Moore volunteered with the 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company. As a recon Marine, he was sent to Lebanon, the Dominican Republic, and Cambodia among other undisclosed locations.

He deployed to Vietnam for several tours — spending three years there on and off completing inland reconnaissance. As a gunnery sergeant, Moore led an elite team called War Cloud Mission Impossible. While in combat, he was one of only 63 who received a battlefield commission to the rank of lieutenant.

“I didn’t want to be a zero, but they called me up on the hill and I was interviewed by four colonels and one general,” Moore said. “Then I told them, I was a first sergeant select, I told them I prefer to be a first sergeant and they told me I didn’t have a choice, they were running short on lieutenants … That was in 1971.”

Moore’s time in Vietnam started long before the United States officially entered the war. He said his objective during that timeframe was simple: “Stay alive.”

“Back in the early days (of the Vietnam War), we had a lot of skirmishes; we had a lot of sniper fire,” Moore said. “We couldn’t engage unless we called the APD (Asia Pacific Division) — the APD had to call Saigon. Saigon had to call back in the states.”

He and his wife Darlene, who have two sons, have been married since 1964. The demands of his service left her raising the kids alone most of their life, but she said military life was still a great experience for their family.

“Our one son, (his father) left when he was six months old and didn’t see him again until he was 18 months old,” Darlene Moore said. “You’re just really by yourself. I went home to be with my family. Overall, the career, we did a lot of things that other people don’t get to do. We got to go to a lot of places.”

It was because of his children Moore made the decision to retire from the military instead of taking an assignment in Washington, D.C., which would have forced his kids to change schools.

Moore is a quiet professional, reserved in sharing stories of his service because of the secretive nature of many of the missions he served on. He was one of nine special operators recognized in the USSOCOM ceremony — the event inducts warriors whose bravery, skill, knowledge and patriotism set them apart from others. The inductees’ service spanned 70 years from World War II to Operation Enduring Freedom.

Terrence Leo Moore

USMC LtCol Retired

Celebrating the life

Well over 100 dignitaries, family and friends gathered to pay respects at Terry's Military Funeral Honors. Retired Marines from Recon and the Military Order of the Purple Heart numbered into the dozens. Local law enforcement attended who had worked closely with Terry through his duties as PMO. The patriotic veteran motorcycle club American Infidels (who had voluntarily built Terry a handicap ramp at his home) attended in strength and paid respects at rigid Attention bearing American flags. Terry's life was saved 5 times by US Navy Corpsmen, and they were represented as well. Active duty, retired and disabled Marines (representing hundreds of years of combined service during several wars) who had served with Terry during his 32 years of duty, proudly gathered to bid him Farewell. I saw tears in the eyes of his seniors and subordinates alike. Friends and family came hundreds of miles from many states to be together with Terry and Darlene one final time.

The 14-man Marine Honor Guard (who had been personally briefed on Terry's incredible career before the ceremony) presented Military Funeral Honors, a rifle volley and a flawless rendition of Taps.

A bagpiper played "Going Home", "Amazing Grace" and "The Marines' Hymn". Darlene was presented with Terry's folded flag on behalf of the President, the Marine Corps and a grateful nation, in appreciation for Terry's Honorable and faithful service.

The heat index was above 100*F and it made me think of Terry living, working and fighting in the punishing heat of Vietnam during his 4 tours there. Shortly after the ceremony the skies opened and a torrential downpour made me remember Vietnam's annual monsoons, which Terry had welcomed as cover for many covert operations. I don't believe Terry caused the weather for his farewell, but I can picture his silent, one-sided smirk about it. I'm sure he would have approved.

Our nation has lost a true, quiet hero, and we have each lost an irreplaceable force in our personal lives. Nobody who knew him will ever forget Terry Moore.

Submitted by Frank on Jun 13 2018 12:48:06 AM

Terry Moore was the best Officer I ever served during my Corps career. He had natural leadership instincts and never failed those who served under him. Other Marines said the same. I have never heard anything but praise about Terry Moore.

Terry earned 5 Purple Hearts during his 3 combat tours in Vietnam as a Recon Marine and received one of only 63 combat commissions issued during our 15 years in Nam. Proud to be a Mustang, Terry refused to allow other officers to hold a college advantage over him; during his 32 consecutive years of duty to our Corps he filled his OQR with countless pages of college courses and earned his own degrees. He held a black belt in Karate. Awarded for bravery numerous times (including the Silver Star Medal), he was recently inducted to the Commando Hall of Honor and a challenge coin was cast in his name. He has been mentioned by-name in other author's books about our war in Vietnam.

Colonel Drumright at HQMC, former director of all USMC recon operations in Vietnam, once told me he considered Terry Moore to be the ultimate Special Operations warrior, and that no one was more calm under fire than Terry, even when wounded.

During my 3 years serving with Captain/Major/LtCol Moore, he confided stories of his missions which still chill me today, 45 years after my own Vietnam combat. Colonel Drumright confirmed those stories to me and added some which Terry refused to talk about. This was the American hero which every "wannabe" pretends to be. Terry Moore simply went everywhere and did it all. He was quiet and reserved and never in my experience did I hear him brag; confessions of his achievements had to be dragged out of him. After his 5th Purple Heart disqualified him from further recon duty, Terry lateral-moved into PMO for several bases in WesPac and CONUS. He took criminal justice college courses almost constantly to become the best in the Military Police field. His achievements in recon and MilPol made him a perfect candidate for quiet government missions abroad, and he was selected for quick trips to several overseas locations.

During his hard-earned retirement Terry continued to serve by staying active in local veterans organizations, Wounded Warrior projects and the Military Order of the Purple Heart veterans service organization.

Terry openly praised his wife Darlene for raising their children and keeping their home together. The final time I saw him, Terry referred to Darlene as his "Alpha now", recognizing their personal Change of Command as his health deteriorated. She stood beside him through 3 decades of often lonely and agonizing military life and was with him until his last. I consider her to be as much of a hero as he was.

Our country has lost a true professional warrior, and I have lost the last of my life's personal heroes. The Bible says we will see him again one day, and I chose to believe that. I will stand at full Attention and greet him with my best salute.
Well done, LtCol Moore, faithful and loyal servant of our nation. You will be remembered with a smile and spoken of often. Thank you for the indelible imprint you left on each of us.
Now sir, Rest.

Submitted by Frank on Jun 7 2018 11:43:29 PM

Our deepest sympathy to Darlene and family. You all must be very proud of his life accomplishments. Rest In Peace. Your other Canadian Cousin Doug and Gail Colbourne.

Submitted by Doug Colbourne on Jun 9 2018 03:23:30 PM

Terry was a quiet man and I didn't know him well. After reading other condolences and memories of his long distinguished career in the Military I am so touched and proud to have known him. Love to Darleen and all the family.
Your Canadian cousin, Bonnie

Submitted by BONNIE WRIGHT on Jun 8 2018 02:20:52 PM

Sorry for the loss of your dear loved one. Almighty Jehovah God invites us to throw all our anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1st Peter 5:7) (Psalms 83:18)

Submitted by C. Williams on Jun 10 2018 10:49:41 AM

He came this way but once. Yet, he touched our lives in many ways while he was here. We shall remain eternally grateful for his friendship and for the influence he bestowed upon us. RIP Terry

April 23, 1938 - June 5, 2018

Terrence Leo Moore


Delta, Echo, H&S Companies


USMC LtCol Retired

Terrence Leo Moore