Julia Compton Moore

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Julia Compton Moore
Julia Compton

(1929-02-10)February 10, 1929
DiedApril 18, 2004(2004-04-18) (aged 75)
OccupationArmy daughter, wife, and mother
Hal Moore (m. 1949)
ChildrenGreg Moore, Steve Moore, Julie Moore Orlowski, Cecile Moore Rainey, David Moore[1]

Julia Compton Moore (February 10, 1929 – April 18, 2004) was the wife of Lieutenant General (Ret.) Hal Moore, a United States Army officer. Her efforts and complaints in the aftermath of the Battle of Ia Drang prompted the U.S. Army to set up survivor support networks and casualty notification teams consisting of uniformed officers, which are still in use.

Early life and education[edit]

Compton was born in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, the only child of U.S. Army Colonel Louis J. Compton and Elizabeth Boon Compton. From the age of 12, she began a lifelong journey of experiencing the separation and risk of loss in war. Her father fought in Europe in World War II, her husband served in both the Korean War and Vietnam War, and one of her sons fought with the 82nd Airborne Division in Panama and the Persian Gulf War.[1]

Compton was a graduate of Chevy Chase Junior College, Chevy Chase, Maryland and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority, prior to her marriage.[1]


Wherever her husband was stationed, Moore served as a Brownie and Girl Scout Leader and Cub Scout Den Mother. She volunteered with the Red Cross in the Army hospitals. She supported the day care centers and worked with the wives clubs to take better care of the enlisted soldier and his family. Moore was especially active in setting up the Army Community Service organizations that are now a permanent fixture on all army posts and which assist each soldier as they process into their new duty stations.[1]

Casualty notification[edit]

The Ia Drang Campaign was the first major ground engagement involving U.S. forces in Vietnam. The Army had not yet set up an adequate system of notifying the next of kin of battlefield fatalities. Instead, the telegrams were given to taxicab drivers for delivery,[2] as depicted in the film We Were Soldiers. Unlike the film depiction, Moore did not actually assume responsibility for the delivery of the telegrams, however, she accompanied the cab drivers who delivered the telegrams and assisted in the death notifications, grieving with the widows and families of men killed in battle, and attended the funerals of those who fell under her husband's command. Her complaints to the Pentagon, and the example that she set, prompted the Army to immediately set up notification teams consisting of a uniformed officer and a chaplain.[3]


Moore died on April 18, 2004 and is buried at the Fort Benning Cemetery, near her mother and father, and in the middle of the 7th Cavalry troopers.[3][4] Her husband of 55 years later died in 2017 on her birthday, and was laid to rest beside her.[5]


Julia Compton Moore Award[edit]

One of Julia Moore's more important contributions to the quality of Army family life is summed up by the Ben Franklin Global Forum's press release, announcing the establishment of the Julia Compton Moore Award:

Mrs. Moore's actions to change Pentagon death notification policy in the aftermath of the historic battle of the Ia Drang Valley represents a significant contribution to our nation. Prior to Mrs. Moore's intervention, Pentagon policy was to notify families by a telegram delivered by cab drivers. It serves today as a shining example of one of Mrs. Moore's many contributions to the morale and welfare of the Army family.[6]

The award recognizes the civilian spouses of soldiers for "Outstanding Contributions to the United States Army".[6]

Personal life[edit]

Compton was married on November 22, 1949 to Hal Moore,[7] who later commanded the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry in the battle of the Ia Drang Valley in Vietnam in 1965. They have five children:[1]

  • Greg Moore
  • LTC Steve Moore, USA (Ret)
  • Julie Moore Orlowski
  • Cecile Moore Rainey
  • COL David Moore, USA (Ret)

as well as twelve grandchildren. Two of their sons are career U.S. Army officers: one a retired colonel and another a retired lieutenant colonel.[8]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Julia Compton Moore". obit. Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. 2004-04-21. Retrieved 2007-04-29.
  2. ^ Galloway, Joseph L. (1990-10-29). "Vietnam story: The word was the Ia Drang would be a walk. The word was wrong". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on 2002-09-11. Retrieved 2007-04-29.
  3. ^ a b Galloway, Joseph L. (2004-04-21). "Rest in peace, Julie Moore". Knight-Ridder/Tribune. Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service. Archived from the original on 2011-05-16. Retrieved 2007-04-29.Courtesy link to full text at Military.com
  4. ^ "Julia "Julie" Compton Moore". Find A Grave. 22 April 2004. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  5. ^ Williams, Chuck (17 February 2017). "Retired Lt. Gen. Hal Moore remembered as great warrior, leader". Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Columbus. GA. Moore, 94, died on Feb. 10 at his home in Auburn, Ala. He was buried with his wife of 55 years, Julia Compton Moore, who died in 2004
  6. ^ a b "Ben Franklin Global Forum to Announce Establishment of Julia Compton Moore Award" (Press release). Business Wire. 2005-06-09. Archived from the original on 2009-03-23. Retrieved 2007-04-29.
  7. ^ Guardia, p 54
  8. ^ Moore and Galloway (2008), pp. 220–221