SGT Dominick "Michael" Pilla (March 31, 1972 - October 3, 1993) was a U.S. Army Ranger who served in Mogadishu, Somalia. He was one of 18 U.S. soldiers killed during the Battle of Mogadishu. Pilla's role was that of a Support Gunner, carrying an M60 LMG. After the extraction of the two primary targets for the raid was complete, the convoy came under heavy fire while making it's way back to the TFR compound at the Mogadishu airport. Sgt. Dominick Pilla is notable for being the first American casualty of the October 3rd raid. He, and a Somali militia fighter were both killed at the "same time". Pilla was riding in the right rear of a Humvee, when he saw a Somali who was aiming his AK-47 at their turret gunner (Pfc. Brad Paulsen) who was manning an M2 Browning HMG. Pilla saw the Somali point his AK at Paulsen, the Somali then saw Pilla, both fired their weapons at the same time, killing eachother. Pilla was shot in the head and killed instantly.
Task Force RangerEdit
Sgt. Dominick Pilla was apart of the 75th Ranger Regiment, 3rd Battalionn that was apart of Task Force Ranger that was assigned to operate in Mogadishu as apart of Operation Gothic Serpent. Pilla was regarded as one of the favorites in the Ranger Regiment. Him, along with his friend Spec. Shawn Nelson, would peforme skits for the regiment, the most popular being Coach Steele: in which Pilla would mock Ranger Captian Mike Steele for his use of Football metaphors and his outgoing Christian Personality. He would also pull other pranks such as sticking tiny charges on soliders cigarettes that would explope halfway through the cigar.
Battle of MogadishuEdit
Sgt. Pilla was assigned to Sgt. Jeff Strueckers lead humvee of Lieutenant Colonel Danny Mcknights convoy that was tasked to pick up assualt forces in the Battle of Mogadishu. After Pfc. Todd Blackburn fell from Black Hawk Super-Six-Seven, Strueckers hummve, along with one lead by Sgt. Danny Mitchell and one with Delta operators and SEAL members, were assigned to transport the crippled Ranger back to base. As soon as the small convoy started moving, they immediately began receiving heavy fire from Somali fire. As Strueckers humvee turned on National Street, Pilla noticed a man taking aim at their turret gunner (Pfc. Brad Paulsen), then the Somali saw Pilla, both fired their weapons, killing each other. Pilla was shot in the head and killed instanly.