CSM Joe Mattison
CSM Joe Mattison
was born to Ron and Earsol Mattison on April 16, 1955, in Bordeaux,
France while his father was station with the US Air Force at Chatearoux
Deols Air Base. Later when his dad was assigned in Alaska, Joe was sent
to live with his aunt and uncle, Rena and Down Cowels in Cuba, New York.
Later they relocated to Wellsville, New York, where Joe called home. He
graduated from Wellsville High School in 1974 where he participated in
varsity sports and was a member of the ski team. Joe enlisted in the US
Army as an infantryman under the then, Airborne Ranger option. CSM
Mattison was an original member of the 1st Battalion (Ranger) 75th
Infantry at Fort Stewart, Georgia. He was assigned to Bravo Company.
Approximately three years after the forming of the 1st Ranger Battalion,
Joe was reassigned to Alaska and the Northern Warfare Training Center.
He served as an instructor from 1977 to 1979. It was after this
assignment that Joe was transferred here to the 2nd Ranger Company as a
Ranger Instructor. Here he served with distinction from 1979 to 1984. Of
course, because of Joe's known leadership capabilities he was asked to
help form the cadre of the 3rd Ranger Battalion at Fort Benning. Joe
served in various capacities until Joe was returned to the 5th Ranger
Training Battalion at Camp Merrill where he served until July 1988. In
August of that same year, Joe was again reassigned to the 3rd Ranger
Battalion as the Alpha Company First Sergeant. While serving, he
participated in the combat jump into Panama as part of Operation Just
Cause. He also participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm
in southern Turkey and northern Iraq in 1991. When he left the Ranger
Regiment, Joe had served in every noncommissioned officer leadership
position from team leader to first sergeant.
Joe followed up this extensive experience with an assignment as
Operations NCO for the 3rd Battalion, 325th Infantry (Task Force Lion)
in Vincenza, Italy, from 1991 to 1993. He then attended the Sergeants
Major Course in Ft Bliss, Texas in 1993. His next assignment to 2nd
Squadron, 5th Cavalry, 1st Calvary Division, Ft Hood, Texas from 1993 to
1994. His next posting was the 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment,
25th Infantry Division, Fort Shafter, Hawaii from 1994 to 1996. It was
back here in Dahlonega, GA that CSM Mattison ended his distinguished
military career as the Command Sergeant Major for the Mountain Ranger
Camp in 1998.
His military awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service
Medal (4th award), Joint Services Commendation Medal, Army Achievement
Medal, Army Achievement Medal (5th award), Joint Meritorious Unit Award,
Army Good conduct Medal (8th award), National Defense Medal, Armed
Forces Expeditionary Medal with arrowhead device, Southwest Asia Service
Medal (with one Bronze star), Humanitarian Service Medal (2nd award),
Noncommissioned officer's Professional Development Ribbon with numeral
4, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, (3rd award) Expert
Infantryman Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge
(with one bronze combat Jump star), Pathfinder Badge and the Ranger Tab.
Joe had a matter-of-fact attitude and had come to be known as a
specialist in military data. He always had the answer to any question
when it came to protocol, weapons, administration and military history.
Early trivia master you might say. While serving as Command Sergeant
Major at Camp Merrill, Joe wrote a flattering piece that described a
Ranger Instructor as one who has no equal. He went on to say that "We
have done our best, to the best of our ability and ask for nothing more
except: Take over from here. Our students are alive and ready to be
moved on to the next phase of Ranger training. This is the signature of
a Mountain Ranger Instructor"!
CSM Joe Mattison is survived by his three Children, Samantha, Adam and
Shiloh, and his ex-wife Jan. Joe Mattison was a true Ranger with the
spirit of Robert Rogers in his soul. He commanded respect and earned it
through his care for his unit, his country and his Ranger brothers. He
upheld the high Esprit de Corp of the Ranger Regiment and will be sorely
missed throughout the Ranger community and the US Army. CSM Joe Mattison
was truly a Ranger by the Book.