JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (12/13/2012) – Family, friends
and service members gathered to honor and celebrate the life of
Staff Sgt. Rayvon Battle, Jr., in a memorial ceremony at Lewis North
Chapel, Dec. 5.
Family, friends and service members gathered to honor and celebrate
the life of Staff Sgt. Rayvon Battle, Jr., in a memorial ceremony at
Lewis North Chapel, Dec. 5, 2012. Photo by Army Spc. Reese Von
Battle, a 25-year-old native of Rocky Mount, N.C., died Nov. 13
in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, while deployed in support of
Operation Enduring Freedom. He was assigned to the 38th Engineer
Company, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.
“Staff Sergeant Battle was one of those rare non-commissioned
officers who simply shined,” said 1st Lt. Marcus Forrester, rear
detachment commander of the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment,
4th SBCT, 2nd Inf. Div. who spoke on behalf of Capt. Jefferson D.
Mason, 38th Eng. Co. commander.
“A tremendous leader with an
intrinsic ability to perform magnanimously under pressure,”
continued Forrester, “[Battle] always displayed a positive attitude
and was a deeply respected leader in his platoon, the company, and
According to Mason, in the days and nights that followed the
tragic accident, he searched for the right words to convey the level
of positive influence and the impact Battle had made on the unit.
Throughout his career, Mason said he had heard individuals talk
of the intangible qualities of great leaders and Soldiers -
using words such as professionalism, dedication, and personal
continued acts of selfless service and sacrifice, I have
found these to be more than words. They are lifestyle
choices. They are the qualities that our country was founded
upon and they are the qualities that Staff Sergeant Battle
readily displayed,” said Mason.
“I first met Staff
Sergeant Battle when he came to the 38th Engineer Company
during our Iraq deployment in 2009 to 2010,” said Sgt.
George Fuller in a Soldier's tribute downrange.
Fuller said in the years following their deployment, him and
Battle became best friends.
“Staff Sergeant Battle
was the first person I would call with good news or bad,”
Fuller said. “We told each other everything. We had similar
childhoods growing up, so we could always relate to one
another. We even had a handshake to greet each other.”
Fuller said it feels like he has lost his right-hand
man; Battle was the first person he told that he was getting
“He was my witness [at my wedding] and held
my phone while the judge led the ceremony, so that my mother
could hear, Fuller recalled.
“Staff Sergeant Battle
was our brother, a brother-in-arms,” said Forrester on
behalf of Lt. Col. Thomas Feltey, 2-23 Inf. commander.
“A brother who helped regardless of the task, who
fearlessly led his men,” Forrester continued.
courageous,” he added. “He was our friend. He is already
missed but he will never be forgotten... May the road rise up
to meet you, may the wind always be at your back, may the
sun shine warmly on your face, and may the rain fall softly
upon your fields,”.
“Until we meet again, may God
hold you in the palm of His hand,” Forrester said.
Staff Sgt. Rayvon Battle, Jr., of Rocky Mount, N.C., was born
Aug. 28, 1987, and graduated from Northern Nash High School in 2005.
Following graduation, he attended Basic Training and Advanced
Individual Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., where he completed
his training in the military occupational specialty 12B, Combat
Following graduation, he arrived at Joint Base
Lewis-McChord in Nov. 2005, and 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 Sept. 2009, he was
assigned to 38th Eng. Co., 4th SBCT, 2nd Inf. Div., as a team
leader. He deployed to Iraq from February to September 2010. In
November 2012, he deployed to Afghanistan as a squad leader.
Battle told relatives that he left Rocky Mount to serve in the Army
in the Middle East to become a man. Known to family members as
“Junior”, he was lauded by relatives and school officials as a young
man determined to do what was needed, whether in the military or at
home in Nash County. He is remembered as someone who would do the
right thing, no matter how difficult, as a result of upbringing and
Battle's military education includes: Airborne
School (2007), Combatives Level I (2007), Warrior Leaders Course
(2011), Short Range Marksmanship Course (2011), Combatives Level 2
(2011) and the Advanced Leaders Course (2012).
awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Army
Commendation Medal with 1st Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Achievement Medal
with 2nd Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal, Army
Good Conduct Medal (2ndaward), 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”, the
NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge and Driver's
Battle is survived by his wife, Dorris Battle, father,
Rayvon Battle, Sr., and sister, Chiquita Waterman.
By Army Spc. Reese Von Rogatszry
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