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First Name: Russell

Last Name: Collier

Birthplace: Crossett, AR, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Harrison, AR
Middle Name: Lee

Date of Birth: 28 April 1956

Date of Death: 03 October 2004

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served:
Russell Lee Collier

•  Gulf War (1990 - 1991)
•  Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom) (2003 - 2011)


Russell Lee Collier
Sergeant, U.S. Army

Sergeant Russell Lee Collier was federalized from the Arkansas National Guard. He had served 18 years in the Army, Navy and National Guard, and planned to retire after two more years of military service. His uncle, Army Sergeant Gilbert George Collier, was KIA in Korea and was awarded the Medal of Honor. [Honoree Record ID 1142]

On 3 October 2004, SGT Collier was serving as a Medical Aidman attached to Battery A, 1st Battalion, 103rd Field Artillery Brigade, attached to the 1st Battalion, 206th Field Artillery Regiment, 39th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

On that date, SGT Collier was traveling with the 4-howitzer section for the day along with another howitzer section from Battery A, 1st Battalion, 103rd Field Artillery Brigade, and an Iraqi National Guard Platoon. They were conducting traffic control points, route security and area reconnaissance along the Tigris River near the village of Al Mazurka, Taji, Iraq. While traveling on a road south of Camp Taji, the patrol came under small arms fire from the West. The Iraqi National Guard soldiers pursued the potential shooter as he ran east into a local housing area. The howitzer section established over-watching crew-served weapons positions with their gun trucks, while 5 Iraqi National Guard soldiers and 4 U.S. soldiers maneuvered to find the shooter. SGT Collier accompanied the fire team when the section came under significant direct fire contact. They continued fire and maneuver towards the enemy crew-served weapon position and SGT Collier waited his turn as the soldiers conducted buddy team maneuvers around the berm that was providing cover and concealment for the team. During this fire and maneuver, the section chief was mortally wounded and SGT Collier gave his M-4 to another soldier, instructed him to get his aid bag and left the protection provided by the berm to provide immediate first aid. SGT Collier made the ultimate sacrifice for his fellow soldier and for his country by exposing himself to hostile direct fire in an attempt to render first aid and save the life of one of his comrades in arms. SGT Collier’s selfless, courageous actions that day earned him, at the cost of his life, the U.S. Army's third highest award for valor, the Silver Star Medal.

Medals, Awards and Badges (Partial List)

Silver Star Medal
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart
Army Commendation Medal
Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal
National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star
Southwest Asia Service Medal with Bronze Star
Iraq Campaign Medal with Bronze Star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
Combat Medical Badge

Silver Star Medal Citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Sergeant Russell L. Collier, United States Army, for gallantry in actions against an enemy of the United States during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 3 October 2004, in the vicinity of Taji, Iraq. With his Squad Leader seriously wounded, Sergeant Collier, the Battery Medic for Battery A, 1st Battalion, 103d Field Artillery Brigade, attached to the 1st Battalion, 206th Field Artillery Regiment, 39th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, advanced under enemy fire in order to render first aid. His unselfish actions under direct enemy fire led to his own mortal wounds. By his outstanding bravery and courage Sergeant Collier served to inspire all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the Armed Forces. Sergeant Collier brings great credit upon himself, the 1st Cavalry Division, Multi-National Corps Iraq, and the United States Army.


Sergeant Russell Lee Collier, Jr., is buried at the Springfield National Cemetery in Springfield, Greene County, MO, in Section F, Site 331.


Honoree ID: 4708   Created by: MHOH




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