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First Name: William

Last Name: Wood

Birthplace: Lubbock, TX, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Panama City, FL
Middle Name: Wesley

Date of Birth: 12 October 1961

Date of Death: 27 October 2005

Rank: Colonel

Years Served: 1984 - 2005
William Wesley Wood

•  Kosovo War (1998 - 1999)
•  Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom) (2003 - 2011)


William Wesley Wood, the son of Jimmy L. and Frances M. Wood, was born on 12 October 1961 in Lubbock, TX, where his father (LTC Ret.) was serving in the U.S. Air Force. His Air Force family eventually ended up in Panama City, FL, where he attended Everitt Middle School and Rutherford High School, where he became a star wrestler. After graduation in 1979, he attended a local community college before enrolling at Florida State University and joining the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps Program (AROTC).

Wood was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry after graduating from FSU at Tallahassee on 20 May 1984. His first assignment was with the 3d Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment at Fort Benning, GA, where he served as a platoon leader, company executive officer, and assistant operations officer.

Following completion of the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, Wood was assigned to Baumholder, Germany, and served as a battalion motor officer and commanded two companies. His next assignment was as an observer/controller at the Combat Maneuver Training Center in Hohenfelds, Germany.

His next assignment returned him to Georgia as a senior Infantry trainer with the Georgia National Guard. After a year at Command & General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, KS, Wood’s next assignment was again in Germany, where he served as the Battalion Operations Officer for the 2d Battalion, 2d Infantry Regiment in Vilseck Germany. He was then selected to serve as the Deputy Division Operations Officer for the 1st Infantry Division, which deployed to Kosovo. He then served as the Brigade Operations Officer for the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.

Upon his return from Germany, Wood served as a Senior Maneuver Observer/Controller at Fort Leavenworth as part of the Battle Command Training Program. In June 2002, he assumed command of the 2d Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment at Fort Jackson, SC. During his two years in command, Wood was selected by the Commanding General of Fort Jackson, MG David W. Barno, to be the G3 for a Task Force comprised of over 31 different Army organizations that deployed to Tazar, Hungary. As the G3, he was responsible for the planning, coordination and execution of a strategic mission of training Free Iraqi Forces (FIF) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Following a successful battalion command, Wood was assigned to the 3d Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, GA, where he initially served as the Deputy Chief of Staff before joining the Spartan Brigade at the JRTC in September 2004. There he assumed duties as the first Deputy Commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team. Wood deployed with 2d Brigade to Eastern Baghdad as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom III, where he was instrumental in the brigade’s transition with the 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, security for the newly-elected Iraqi Government, and coordinating non-lethal effects throughout the brigade’s area of operations.

Colonel Wood was selected for a second battalion command in the 4th Brigade of the 3d Infantry Division, and assumed command of 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment, the “Nightstalkers,” in late July 2005. He was instrumental in the success of battalion surge operations leading up to the Iraqi Constitutional Referendum.

On 27 October 2005, COL Wood died while directing security operations after an improvised explosive device detonated, and a second device then exploded.

Medals, Awards & Badges

Bronze Star Medal with Combat Valor Device
Purple Heart
Meritorious Service Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters
Army Commendation Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters
Army Achievement Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star
Kosovo Campaign Medal
Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terror Service Medal
NATO ISAF Medal (Iraq)
Combat Infantryman Badge
Expert Infantryman Badge
Parachutist Badge


On Saturday, 5 November 2005, before the FSU Marching Chiefs intoned the National Anthem to open the football game between Florida State University and North Carolina State University, a moment of silence was observed in honor of Colonel William W Wood, a 'diehard Seminole fan.'

On Friday, 1 May 2009, the new COL William W. Wood classroom was dedicated inside the ROTC building on the Florida State University campus.

Personal Life

Bill Wood met his future wife, Nanci Kalyn, while stationed at Fort Benning. They were married on 29 October 1988. In 1992, his daughter, Rachel Katlyn Wood, was born in Kusel, Germany. Bill Wood was known to all as a devoted husband to Nanci, a loving father to Rachel, a die-hard Florida State Seminole fan, a passionate horseman, and a Soldier.

For additional photos, see the COL William W. Wood website at http://www.williamwwood.org/Pages/Photos.aspx.

Honoree ID: 5660   Created by: MHOH




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