CSM (Ret) Peter "Sneaky Pete", "PVT Pouchnelli" Morakon
Fayetteville—Command Sergeant Major Pete Morakon, 88, of Fayetteville, NC passed away on June 3, 2020. Pete was one of the most respected and revered Sergeant Majors in the annuls of Special Forces. He was born on October 15, 1931 in Wilkes-Barre, PA to John and Anna Morykon. He enlisted in the Army in June, 1949, and attended Basic Airborne Training at Ft. Benning, GA in September of that year. When he joined the Army, they misspelled his name as Moryakon and later corrected it. He was promoted to Corporal in 1951 and was sent to Korea. He was assigned to the 187th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), "Rakkasans," as an infantry squad leader and attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. He was honorably discharged in 1952 and worked in his hometown for a year before reenlisting in 1953. CSM Morakon was assigned to the 504th Airborne Infantry Regiment as a reconnaissance squad leader. He returned to Korea in 1955 assigned to the 32nd Infantry Regiment as a platoon sergeant. He returned from Korea and was assigned to various Airborne units. He was promoted to Sergeant First Class with the 501st Airborne Infantry Battle Group.
In 1963 CSM Morakon volunteered for Special Forces training and attended the Operations and Intelligence Course. In 1964 he was assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Vietnam until 1966. He served as the Intelligence Sergeant and Team Sergeant on Detachments A-113 and A-101 (Khe Sahn). He returned to Ft. Bragg assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) as the High Altitude Low Open (HALO) Team Sergeant and later became the Senior HALO Instructor. From 1968 to 1969 he served again in Vietnam with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) as the Team Sergeant of Detachment A-108 at Minh Long. In March, 1970 he was promoted to Sergeant Major and served as a Company Sergeant Major in the 6th and 5th Special Forces Groups (Airborne) at Ft. Bragg. In 1975 he was appointed to Command Sergeant Major and assigned to the 71st Air Defense Artillery and 94th Air Defense Artillery Group in Germany.
In 1980 CSM Morakon culminated his 30-year career as the Command Sergeant Major of the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and the John F. Kennedy Center for Military Assistance. In 1984 he began his second career as a civilian test officer with the US Army Airborne Test Board testing personnel parachutes and certifying US and foreign aircraft for personnel and bundle delivery. He retired again after 25 years. Pete was an active parachutist and made numerous demonstration jumps with the Green Beret Parachute Team and with the Golden Knights. He was a member of the Special Forces Association and past president of Chapter 1-18. Among his numerous awards and decorations are the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star w/V and Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal w/V and Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal w/OLC, three Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry awards, one with Palm, one with Silver Star, and one with Bronze Star, National Defense Service Medal (1st Oak Leaf Cluster), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Army of Occupation Medal (Japan), Good Conduct Medal (8 Awards), Service and Campaign Medals, Combat Infantryman's Badge (2nd Award), National Defense Service Medal (1st Oak Leaf Cluster), Master Parachutist Badge, Military Free-Fall Jumpmaster Badge, he completed over 4,000 free fall jumps, Special Forces Tab, and the Civil Service Achievement Medal. By the order of the Secretary of the Army, CSM Peter Morakon was granted and assigned the distinction of Distinguished Member of the 187th Infantry Regiment, and again, by the order of the Secretary of the Army, CSM Peter Morakon was granted and assigned the distinction of Distinguished Member of the 504th Parachute Regiment. CSM Morakon was presented with the Gold St. Philip Neri Award in 2005 and inducted as a Distinguished Member of the 1st Special Forces Regiment in 2007.
Pete was a true professional soldier and tough Sergeant Major, but he was a gentle man and a friend and mentor to all he met. He will be greatly missed by his loving family, friends, comrades, and brothers. He was preceded in death by his first wife of 58 years, Geraldine (Geri); brothers, Michael and John Morykon; sisters, Mary Morykon, Helen Nazarek, Sophie Pucylowski and Francis Tesigni; and son-in-law, SPC 4 Michael L. Stebens (after 10th Mountain Division positioned in Mogadishu.) CSM Morakon is survived by his wife, CW3 (Ret) Jerrie Ann Morakon from San Antonio, Texas; daughters Susan Morakon of Florida and Jamie Regan of Virginia; son-in-law, Timothy Wayne Stebens (former Soldier of the Year in DA & served in Bosnia) and wife Saundra of Live Oak, TX and his two children, Ethan G. Stebens (apprentice electrical specialist) and Adely M. Stebens (currently a college student participating in internet home instruction); grandchildren, Daniel M. Stebens (Air Force, F15 jet engine repairman stationed at Seymour-Johnson AFB) and Elizabeth M. Stebens (will be in US Army Logistics); son-in-law LTC (Ret) David Regan of Virginia and his wife Jamie and their children, Peter Regan(Senior at Hobart and William Smith College,NY), and Russell Regan (a rising freshman at Liberty University, VA); Susan's son, Mark Gabriel (IT specialist with Xfinity) of Florida; great-grandson, Benjamin Gabriel; and sisters, Anna Marsola and Catherine Shivell. Family and friends, and most others, know him as very loyal, loving, and compassionate, and as someone who would take care of the soldier. THE LOVE OF PETER'S LIFE WAS LIFE ITSELF AND THE SOLDIERS HE SERVED WITH.
A visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 9 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM at Rogers and Breece Funeral Home in Fayetteville. A funeral will be held on Wednesday, June 10 at 10:00 AM at Rogers and Breece to be officiated by a priest from St. Patrick Catholic Church, followed by a private interment at Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made in the name of Peter Morakon to the SFA Chapter 1-18 at P.O. Box 118, Fayetteville, NC 2834-0118. CSM Morakon's obituary and service information can be found at https://www.rogersandbreece.com/obituary/CSMRetPeter-Morakon