Staff Sgt. James R. Patton, 23, was a squad leader assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga. He was born on April 23, 1986 in Fort Bragg, N.C.

Patton died April 18, 2010 while conducting a combat operation in northern Iraq when the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in which he was riding crashed.

He was on his seventh deployment in support of the War on Terror. He had previously deployed twice to Iraq and four times to Afghanistan.

After graduation from Spencer High School in Columbus, Ga., Staff Sgt. Patton enlisted in the U.S. Army in July 2004. He completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Ga. as an Infantryman. Then after graduating from the Basic Airborne Course, he was assigned to the Ranger Indoctrination Program also at Fort Benning.

Following graduation from the Ranger Indoctrination Program Patton was assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment in February 2005 where he served as a Grenadier, Fire Team Leader, Team Leader and Squad Leader.

His military education includes the Airborne Course, the Ranger Indoctrination Program, the U.S. Army Ranger Course, the Jumpmaster Course, the Master Breacher Course, the Mountain Warfare Course, the Warrior Leaders Course, and the Advanced Leaders Course.

His awards and decorations include the Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Expert Infantryman’s Badge and the Senior Parachutist Badge. He has also been awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon.

He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Meritorious Service Medal.

Patton is survived by his wife Beatriz and their daughter Cecilia of Columbus, Ga., and his parents Command Sgt.Maj. Gregory and Mrs. Sheila Patton of Indian Mound, Tenn.; brother Cliff Edward Patton and sister Megan Sue Marie.