• Command Sgt. Maj. James Pippin, with the 3rd Heavy Bde. Combat Team, 1st Cav. Div. from Archer City, Texas and the brigade's commanding officer Col. Gary Volesky, from Spokane Wash.,  pay their respects to the five individuals whose lives were lost after a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive attack detonated near their vehicle Feb. 9 in Mosul, Iraq during a memorial service at Forward Operating Base Marez.

    Command Sgt. Maj. James Pippin, with the 3rd...

    Command Sgt. Maj. James Pippin, with the 3rd Heavy Bde. Combat Team, 1st Cav. Div. from Archer City, Texas and the brigade's commanding officer Col. Gary Volesky, from Spokane Wash., pay their respects to the five individuals whose lives were lost...

  • Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Caffey, with the 3rd Bn., 8th Cav. Reg., 3rd Heavy Bde. Combat Team, 1st Cav. Div. from West Minister, Kan., and Maj. John Cogbill, the battalion's interim commander from Rochester Va., stand at the head of a receiving line after a memorial service honoring five individuals who were killed by a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device Feb. 9 in Mosul, Iraq. In his tribute to the fallen, Cogbill thanked attendees for coming out to celebrate the lives of the five noble and courageous men. 
	Explaining "Warhorse" courage, Cogbill talked about his unit's commitment, despite their loss, to continue working to destroy the insurgent network and rebuild Iraq. "We honor these men by honoring this mission: we will not tire, we will not rest, we will not fail. That is what our country has asked of us and that is what we will do, and we will do it with honor and courage," Cogbill said.

    Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Caffey, with the 3rd...

    Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Caffey, with the 3rd Bn., 8th Cav. Reg., 3rd Heavy Bde. Combat Team, 1st Cav. Div. from West Minister, Kan., and Maj. John Cogbill, the battalion's interim commander from Rochester Va., stand at the head of a receiving line after...

  • A memorial service was held Feb. 13 on Forward Operating Base Marez in Mosul, Iraq for four Soldiers and an interpreter that were killed when a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle Feb. 9. Among the fallen was Lt. Col. Gary Lt. Col. Derby, the commanding officer of 3rd Bn., 8th Cav. Reg., 3rd Heavy Bde. Combat Team, 1st Cav. Div.

    A memorial service was held Feb. 13 on Forward...

    A memorial service was held Feb. 13 on Forward Operating Base Marez in Mosul, Iraq for four Soldiers and an interpreter that were killed when a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle Feb. 9. Among the fallen was...

MOSUL, Iraq - A battalion commander and three of his personal security detachment with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Heavy "Greywolf" Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division were killed in Mosul, Iraq Feb. 9 when a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle. The interpreter for the battalion's command group also died as a result of the blast.

Soldiers Killed in the incident are:
Lt. Col. Gary Derby, 43, battalion commanding officer from Whitehall, Mont.
Sgt. Joshua Ward, 30, an armor crewman from Killeen, Texas.
Pfc. Jonathan Roberge, 22, an armor crewman from Leominster, Mass.
Pfc. Albert Jex, 23, a cavalry scout from Phoenix, Ariz.

Lt. Col. Derby and his troops were en route to a combat outpost in a western Mosul neighborhood to conduct a combined operations patrol with an Iraqi Security Forces unit when his vehicle was hit by the SVBIED.

No other individuals in the patrol were wounded as a result of the attack.

An investigation is being conducted to determine additional facts surrounding this incident.

Lt. Col. Derby initially enlisted as a cavalry scout in the Montana Army National Guard in 1985. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts Degree in physical education from the University of Montana as a Distinguished Military Graduate, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. Armor Officer in Dec. 1989. His first assignment was with the 3rd Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division out of Schweinfurt, Germany. After serving as a tank platoon leader, company level executive officer and later a battalion maintenance officer, Lt. Col. Derby attended the Armor Officer Advanced Course and was assigned to the Sacramento Recruiting Battalion in Sacramento, Calif. as the operations officer. Lt. Col. Derby served in Calif. for two years from 1993 to 1995. He was next assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division out of Ft. Steward, Ga. where he served as a tank and company commander for three years. Next, Lt. Col. Derby was assigned to Ft. Irwin, Calif. as a staff trainer and observer controller with the Tarantulas Light Infantry Task Force Trainers at the National Training Center there. Lt. Col. Derby then attended the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan. and after completion of the courses there was assigned to 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division in Ft. Hood, Texas and worked as the battalion's operations officer. Lt. Col. Derby deployed with 2nd BCT to Baqubah, Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom I and was reassigned as the brigade's executive officer. In 2005, Lt. Col. Derby worked as the 4th Infantry Division and Multi National Division - Baghdad Chief of Operations at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq. Lt. Col. Derby then served as 4th Infantry Division's Deputy Chief of Staff. His most recent assignment was as the commanding officer of 3rd Bn., 8th Cav. Reg., 3rd Heavy Bde. Combat Team, 1st Cav. Div. and deployed to Mosul, Iraq with the brigade in Dec. 2008 in support of OIF 08/10.

Lt. Col. Derby's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal on three occasions, the Purple Heart on two occasions, Army Meritorious Service Medal on four occasions, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal on seven occasions, National Defense Service Medal on two occasions, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge, the Order of Saint George Medallion, Order of Saint Maurice Medallion and the coveted Tarantula Belt Buckle #358.

Lt. Col. Derby was born on Jan. 26, 1965 and is survived by his wife Brenda and their three children Jennifer, Matthew and Benjamin.

Sgt. Ward enlisted as an armor crewman in 2002 and upon completion of One Station Unit Training at Ft. Knox, Ky., was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Co., 3rd Bn., 8th Cav. Reg., 3rd Heavy Bde. Combat Team, 1st Cav. Div. as the battalion commander's driver. He was later assigned to B Co., and was in the unit when it was reflagged as D Co. Sgt. Ward deployed with 3rd Bde. in support of OIF II and 06/08 as a loader and later a gunner on the M1A2 Abram. After being re-assigned to Headquarters, Headquarters and Co., Sgt. Ward was selected to work in the battalion's personal security detachment platoon in 2008, serving as a team leader. He deployed to Mosul, Iraq with the battalion in Dec. 2008 in support of OIF 08/10.

Sgt. Ward's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal on three occasions, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal on two occasions, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon on two occasions, the Combat Action Badge, and Driver Badges for wheeled and tracked vehicles.

Sgt. Ward was born on Oct. 23, 1978 and is survived by his wife Jenna of Killeen, Texas and his two sons Joshua and Zane of Scottsville, Ky.

Pfc. Jex enlisted as a cavalry scout in 2007 and upon completion of One Station Unit Training at Ft. Knox, Ky., he was assigned to the Scout Platoon, Headquarters and Headquarters Co., 3rd Bn., 8th Cav. Reg., 3rd Heavy Bde. Combat Team, 1st Cav. Div. In 2008, Pfc. Jex was selected to go to the battalion's personal security detachment as the gunner for the battalion's commanding officer. In Dec. 2008 Pfc. Jex deployed to Mosul, Iraq in support of OIF 08/10.

Pfc. Jex's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Badge, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

Pfc. Jex was born on Aug. 18, 1985 and is survived by his wife Monica of Phoenix, Ariz.

Pfc. Roberge enlisted as an armor crewman in 2008 and upon completion of One Station Unit Training at Ft. Knox, Ky., was assigned to D Co., 3rd Bn., 8th Cav. Reg., 3rd Heavy Bde. Combat Team, 1st Cav. Div. In July, Pfc. Roberge was moved to Headquarters and Headquarters Co. and worked in the personal security detachment as the battalion commander's driver. In Dec. 2008, Pfc. Roberge deployed to Mosul, Iraq in support of OIF 08/10.

Pfc. Roberge's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Badge, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

Pfc. Roberge was born on June 23, 1986 and is survived by his parents John and Pauline of Leominster, Mass.

The interpreter served with the Army for three years prior to working with 3rd Bn., 8th Cav. Reg., 3rd Heavy Bde. Combat Team, 1st Cav. Div. as the battalion command group's interpreter.

The interpreter was born on Aug. 20, 1981 and was scheduled to be sworn in as a U.S. citizen in May, 2009.

In the early morning hours of Feb. 10, over 1,500 Soldiers, with their unit colors in the lead, held a formation on the landing strip of the FOB Marez Airfield to honor their fallen comrades. The remains of the deceased were borne by servicemembers of 3rd Bn., 8th Cav. Reg. as they were loaded onto a C-130 Hercules aircraft for their departure out of theater.

A memorial service for the five whose lives were lost was held on FOB Marez on Feb. 13 at 10:00 a.m. Folding chairs were assembled behind the auditorium's seating to accommodate the overflow of Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces.

Col. Gary Volesky, the commanding officer of 3rd Heavy Bde. Combat Team, 1st Cav. Div. and several Soldiers with 3rd Bn., 8th Cav. Reg. honored the fallen with his sentiments.

"Today we honor Lt. Col. Derby and the members of his (personal security detachment) who made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of freedom for not only the people of Iraq but for the lives of our citizens in America as well," he said. "Of all the Soldiers I have known and lost during my time in the Army, I have never lost a closer friend than Gary Derby."

Page last updated Thu February 19th, 2009 at 11:59