Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Rayvon Battle Jr

Rocky Mount, North Carolina

November 13, 2012

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
25 Army SSG

38th Engineer Company, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division

Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

 Died in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.

From Lakewood-JBLM Patch lakewood-jblm.patch.com 11/16/12:

Army Releases More Information JBLM Staff Sgt. Rayvon Battle Jr.
The 25-year-old from Rocky Mount, NC, died Tuesday in Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 38th Engineer Company, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

Posted by Brent Champaco , November 16, 2012 at 08:57 PM
According to the Department of Defense, Staff Sgt. Rayvon Battle Jr., 25, of Rocky Mount, NC, died Nov. 13, in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

He was assigned to the 38th Engineer Company, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, which is attached to Headquarters, 7th Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

According to unit records, Staff Sgt. Battle entered the Army in June 2005 and reported to Fort Leonard Wood, MO for Army Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training MOS 12B (Combat Engineer). Upon graduation from AIT, he arrived at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, in Nov. 2005. He was assigned to 1st Special Forces Group Support Battalion, as a gunner. He deployed with the unit to Iraq from May 2008 to February 2009. In September 2009, he was assigned to the 38th Engineer Company as a team leader. He deployed to Iraq from February 2010 to September 2010. In November 2012, he deployed to Afghanistan, this time as a squad leader.

Staff Sgt. Battle’s civilian and military education includes a high school diploma (2005), Military Occupational Specialty 12B: Combat Engineer (2005), Combat Lifesaver and Tactical Combat Medical Care Courses (2006), Airborne School (2007), Combatives Level I (2007), Bus Drivers Course (2007), Warrior Leaders Course (2011), Information Assurance Certification Program (2011), Short Range Marksmanship Course (2011), Combatives Level 2 (2011), and the Advanced Leaders Course (2012).

His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with 2nd Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal (2nd award), National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with 3 campaign stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral “2”, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with Numeral “2”, Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge and Driver’s Badge.

On behalf of the 7th Infantry Division and the entire Joint Base Lewis-McChord military and civilian community, we extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Battle.

- Department of Defense

From The News Observer newsobserver.com 11/23/12:

Rocky Mount native killed in Afghanistan
Respected leader, 25, leaves behind a widow, young daughter
BY THOMAS GOLDSMITH
Staff Sgt. Rayvon Battle told relatives that he left Rocky Mount to serve in the Army in the Middle East to become a man.

By all accounts, he had succeeded, before he was killed last week trying to stop a devastating explosion in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.

Battle, 25, had become a well-liked, widely respected squad leader, according to his commanding officer, Capt. Jefferson D. Mason, of the 38th Engineer Company, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

“Staff Sgt. Battle lost his life fighting alongside his fellow squad leaders/brothers while attempting to stem an impending explosion of epic proportions,” Mason wrote in a tribute on an Army-sanctioned Facebook site. “Staff Sgt. Battle made a conscious choice to live by a code of ethics and a code of conduct, and he exemplified the perspective that I and many others admired and respected.”

Battle leaves behind a widow and young daughter, according to Dora Harris, the grandmother who raised him.

Known to family members as “Junior,” Battle was lauded by relatives and school officials as a young man determined to do what was needed, whether in the military or home in Nash County.

About six months before his graduation from Northern Nash High School in 2007, Harris said, Battle made up his mind to enter the military to continue the lessons she had taught him about becoming a man.

“From the time he was young, everything he did, he said, ‘Grandma, I got this,’” she said. “I already miss him a great deal. I miss him so much; it just breaks my heart that Junior will never come back to 634 Atlantic Ave.”

Battle’s life and death show the ongoing effects of the war in Afghanistan, scheduled to wind down by 2014, after a dozen years of fighting. Battle was the first soldier from his brigade to die during its deployment to Afghanistan, but 33 soldiers from his base, Lewis-McChord in Washington state, have died there this year. He had twice served in Iraq as a part of his duty of clearing mines from the paths of oncoming convoys.

“He was skeptical of going to Afghanistan; he was uneasy about it,” Harris said.

According to an account in the Tacoma News-Tribune, Battle was continuing his training last year in Yakima, Wash., practicing demolition techniques that were part of his area of expertise, along with making roads safe for approaching soldiers.

“It’s a balance of our job,” he was quoted in the newspaper. “With route clearance, we ... get movement for things and people to go places. Another part of our job is demolitions, which we don’t get to do a lot.”

According to the Army, Battle had earned awards and decorations including the Army Commendation Medal and Army Achievement Medal with 2nd Oak Leaf Cluster. Both in accounts from his people in Rocky Mount and from those who served alongside him thousands of miles away, Battle emerged as a leader regardless of acclaim.

He is remembered as someone who would do the right thing, no matter how difficult, as a result of upbringing and training.

“Staff Sgt. Battle was one of those rare Non-Commissioned Officers who just shined, a tremendous leader with an intrinsic ability to perform magnanimously under pressure,” said Mason, his commanding officer.

His grandmother put it more simply.

“Junior was a hero at whatever he did,” Harris said.

A funeral service will take place next Saturday in Rocky Mount, but the time and place have not been determined, Harris said. Arrangements are being handled by H.D. Hope Funeral Home. In addition, a service has been scheduled for Dec. 5 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

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