2/4 sergeant major killed in Iraq
By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
Posted : Sunday Feb 11, 2007 17:22:38 EST
OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Sgt. Maj. Joseph J. Ellis, the top enlisted man with a Camp Pendleton, Calif.-based infantry battalion, was killed Wednesday during combat operations in Iraq.
He was not killed in the CH-46E Sea Knight crash that killed seven servicemembers the same day, as was reported earlier by marinecorpstimes.com.
Ellis, 40, was the sergeant major for Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, which is operating in Iraq as the ground combat force for the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), Pentagon officials announced Friday.
Ellis, of Ashland, Ohio, graduated from boot camp in 1984 and trained as a radio operator. He served with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion and deployed in 1990 to Saudi Arabia with 1st Force Reconnaissance Company for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, according to his biography posted on the 15th MEU’s Web site. Over his 22-year career, he did several tours at the School of Infantry, was the battalion radio chief for 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment in Hawaii and worked as a canvassing recruiter in Cleveland, Ohio.
Ellis joined 2/4 in late 2003 and deployed to Iraq as the Headquarters and Service Company first sergeant. He became the battalion sergeant major Dec. 17, 2004.
Among his personal awards and decorations are the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal with combat “V” and two gold stars and two awards of the Combat Action Ribbon.