KIA: April 3, 2003
Captain Russell B. Rippetoe was born July 21, 1975. A native of Colorado he was commissioned into the Army as a Field Artillery officer on August 9, 1999. He died in combat after a civilian vehicle exploded at a Coalition checkpoint 18 km southwest of Hadithah Dam in Iraq.
In April 2002, he was assigned to Company A, 3d Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga., where he served as a fire support officer. He was previously assigned to Battery C, 3rd Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment at Fort Bragg, N. C., where he had served as both a fire direction officer and a fire support officer.
Rippetoe’s military education includes the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course, the Basic Airborne Course, and Ranger School.
From October 2001 until January 2002, Rippetoe deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
His awards and decorations include two Army Commendation Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Ranger Tab and the Parachutist Badge. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal for valor and the Purple Heart.
Rippetoe is survived by his parents, Joe and Rita Rippetoe of Gaithersburg, Maryland. Joe Rippetoe is a retired Army Colonel. He is also survived by his sister, Rebecca, her husband, Tom Kim and their daughter.