203D MI Battalion loses Soldier in Bosnia
203d MI Battalion, 513th MI Brigade, distinctive unit insignia (courtesy graphic). (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL

By Fiona G. Holter, USAICoE Staff Historian

On July 15, 1997, Spec. Jeremy S. Brown, serving with Headquarters Company, 203d MI Battalion, 513th MI Brigade, died of injuries sustained in an accident near Sarajevo, Bosnia. He was one of very few soldiers lost during peace-keeping operations in the Balkans.

Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR began in December 1995 after the presidents of Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia signed the Dayton Peace Agreement. The peace-keeping operation was the first commitment of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces with Army intelligence showcasing its capabilities at the strategic, theater, and tactical levels. In December 1996, Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR transitioned into Operation JOINT GUARD after the implementation force (IFOR) mission to implement peace in Bosnia was completed.

In November 1996, the 203d MI Battalion left Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, for Bosnia in support of Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR and remained in Bosnia in 1997 for Operation JOINT GUARD. Their mission, as technical intelligence (TECHINT) analysts, was to provide warfighter commanders in Bosnia with information on foreign equipment and weapons systems. Under the stabilization force (SFOR) mission to stabilize peace in the Balkans, this meant the 203d MI Battalion exploited foreign weapons, equipment, and other materiel in the theater to provide direct TECHINT to soldiers.

Specialist Jeremy S. Brown enlisted in the Army on May 31, 1995 after graduating from Triad High School in Troy, Illinois. After completing basic and advanced individual training at Fort Leonard Wood, Brown deployed with the Transportation Company, 1st U.S. Support Battalion (Multi-National Observation Force) to Sinai, Egypt in August 1995. He returned to Aberdeen Proving Ground in November 1996 after fifteen months overseas. Two weeks later, on 30 November 1996, he deployed to Bosnia with the 203d MI Battalion.

On July 15, 1997, Specialists Brown and James Eastman were traveling in a five-ton vehicle between Banja Luka and Sarajevo when they were caught in a torrential downpour that limited their visibility. Their vehicle hydroplaned on the wet road and slid down an embankment, injuring both soldiers. Twenty-two-year-old Specialist Brown later succumbed to his injuries.

Col. John C. Green, commander of the 513th MI Brigade, remarked “Jeremy’s coworkers and leaders at his unit in Aberdeen remember him fondly.” Brown was known for his contagious smile and enthusiasm for his work. Colonel Green explained, “he was always there for his peers and he worked hard to exceed the standards set by his unit. We are all proud of Jeremy and grateful to him for the fidelity of his service.”