A ceremony was held at Fort Polk on Wednesday to honor the namesakes of one of its training facilities.

The ceremony honored Master Sgt. Gary Gordon and Sgt. 1st Class Randy Shughart who died during combat in Somalia 25 years ago, in 1993.

The ceremony also recognized the contributions of Joint Readiness Training Center’s (JRTC) Shughart-Gordon MOUT site (Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain) over the past 22 years. The MOUT site is named for the two sergeants who died in Mogadishu, Somalia, during Operation Restore Hope.

During the ceremony, a wreath was placed at the commemorative plaque that signifies why the facility is named what it is, and Taps was played in a moment of remembrance.

The guest speaker of the ceremony was one of the men who fought alongside Gordon and Shughart, Retired Chief Warrant Officer 5 Randolph Jones, who was a pilot in the war.  

In an emotion-filled speech, Jones spoke about Oct. 3, many years ago describing it as “a day of many cases of uncommon valor.”

“I had a vantage point over the top of that whole thing," he said. "Mogadishu, Somalia the population is roughly a million people. I witnessed the odds that day were at least 100 to 1. These soldiers didn’t back up one foot until they were ready to,” Jones said of his brothers in arms.

He described the valor and ferocity of not only the Shughart and Gordon but all soldiers who dedicate their lives to keep American free.

The ceremony closed with all in attendance singing the Army song.

Both Gordon and Shughart were killed during a firefight on Oct. 3, 1993, while trying to rescue other Army Rangers who had been cut off from their unit and were under enemy fire.

Both Soldiers posthumously received the Medal of Honor.

The Shughart-Gordon MOUT site at Fort Polk was completed on in February of 1996.  

It is located among the pine trees of the Fullerton Training Area and was constructed at a cost of about $40 million.

At the time, the site had a four-square-mile training area broken into three sections: Shughart-Gordon urban complex, World Military Complex and Self Airfield.

The largest area, Shughart-Gordon, was conceived as a 29-building city that replicated one found in a developing third world nation.

It contained cinderblock and concrete buildings including a post office, church, hospital factory and warehouse - all with real furnishings.

The first Soldiers to train there: The 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C., using plastic bullets.

Today, the training facility is still considered one of the Army's premier combat training centers.

It plays host to about 1/3 of the Army's Brigade Combat Teams, Army National Guard and Reserve units and their associated rotational units.