In memoriam

We salute the fallen men of the 1st Ranger Battalion, who have died serving our country. You will not be forgotten.
It has been said, that "a man never dies when his name remains spoken." We wish to keep these heroes memories alive and ensure that their sacrifice will never be forgotten. Therefore we created this space to tell each Ranger's story in a unique and more complete way. We know that these men were great Rangers, but they were also amazing fathers, sons, and brothers. Those stories should be told. Consequently, if you have a memory, photo or short story your wish to share about one of these warriors, please send an email and we can incorporate it into his page.

Private First Class Michael D. Rudess

SPC Michael D. Rudess was a platoon RTO assigned to Company A, 1st Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield, GA. He was born on 20 June 1986 in Oregon, OH.

SPC Rudess was fatally wounded during a live fire accident on 30 July 1986, while preparing for contingency operations in Libya to destroy coastal radar sites and the rescue of a downed pilot.

After graduating high school lettering in Football and Hockey, SPC Rudess enlisted in the Army in 30 July 1985. He completed basic training at Fort Jackson, SC. He then completed his MOS training at Fort Gordon, GA as a Communications Specialist. After the Graduation of Airborne School, he was assigned to the Ranger Indoctrination Program.

Following his graduation form the Ranger Indoctrination Program, SPC Rudess was assigned to Company A, 1st battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment where he served as Platoon RTO. SPC Rudess was later personally chosen to become the Platoon Leaders RTO. In this position he displayed exceptional maturity, technical skills and great poise. His actions always insured that the Platoon could communicate under all circumstances and under all environmental conditions. Based on his exceptional performance as Weapons Platoon RTO, SPC Rudess was detailed as RTO for the Company Commander. Again, he provided superior support in performance of these duties of increased responsibilities. SPC Rudess was further challenged by being assigned as fire direction center recorder in the Company Weapons Platoon. His responsible nature, positive attitude and High Esprit De Corps always insured affirmative, detailed and positive control of the indirect fire weapons of the Mortar Platoon.

His military education includes Communications Specials Course, Basic Airborne Course, the Ranger Indoctrination Program, and the U.S. Army Ranger Course.

His awards and decorations include the Ranger Tab, Parachutist Badge. He was also awarded the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon.

Throughout his service as a Ranger, SPC Rudess exemplified Duty, Honor, and Country that contributed significantly to the Unit’s combat readiness. SPC Rudess actions bring great credit upon himself the 75th Ranger Regiment and the United States Army.

He is survived by his Wife Nicholetta, and his Daughter Melinda.

-RANGERS LEAD THE WAY-

PFC Michael D. Rudess;

My father was killed in a training accident when I was only 8 months old.  Even though I was not blessed with the opportunity to get to know my father personally, his choice to become an Army Ranger has shaped my life beyond belief.  Knowing the pride my father had to be an Army Ranger, to be the best, has helped me to strive for the same thing.  One of my main goals is to be a person my father would be proud of and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him.   I have been given so many opportunities in life just due to the fact that my father chose to be an Army Ranger.  I have been put on an amazing path and sadly that does not include him being here physically but I will continue to keep his spirit alive everyday and in everything I do.  I will forever be proud to be his daughter, RLTW!  – Melinda

We salute the fallen men of the 1st Ranger Battalion, who have died serving our country. You will not be forgotten.