|Joseph J. Fenty, Jr.|
Lieutenant Colonel Joseph J. Fenty, Jr., was among 10 soldiers killed when their Chinook helicopter crashed in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on 5 May 2006, while conducting combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He was the commander of 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division (LI), Fort Drum, New York. He was 41.
A native of New York, Fenty was commissioned an infantry officer in June 1986 after graduating from Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, NC. with a degree in business administration.
After completing the Infantry Officer Basic Course, he was assigned to the 506th Infantry Regiment at Fort Kobbe, Panama. In 1990, Fenty was assigned to Fort Wainwright, Alaska, where he served as a company commander and battalion staff officer. In June 1996, Fenty was reassigned to Fort Benning, Georgia, to the 14th Infantry Regiment and later to the 75th Ranger Regiment headquarters in July 1997.
Fenty was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division in 1997 and deployed to Bosnia is support of multi national operations. In March 2000, he was assigned to the Division's 2nd Brigade and later deployed with 2nd Brigade to Afghanistan. In June 2002, he was assigned to the U.S. Army's Human Resources Command in Alexandria, Virginia.
Fenty returned to the 10th Mountain Division in June 2004 and took command of the 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment.
In 1994, Fenty was selected to serve for two years as an exchange officer with the British Army as an instructor at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the United Kingdom's equivalent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Fenty's military education includes the Command General Staff College, Training Development Course, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, Infantry Officer Advanced Course, Pathfinder Course, Jumpmaster Course, Ranger School, Jungle Warfare School, Infantry Officer Basic Course and Infantry Mortar Platoon Officer Course.
In 1998, Fenty received a master's degree in education from Troy State University.
His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge and the Ranger Tab.
Lieutenant Colonel Joseph J. Fenty was born a soldier. And during his 20-year military career, his quiet passion inspired others to live the way he did. "We all wanted to be more like Joe Fenty," said Lieutenant Colonel Chris Gibson, who served with Fenty. "We all were in awe of him."
Friends said Fenty was an elite athlete, citing his remarkable marathon times (under three hours) and his proclivity for ultramarathons -- races of 60 to 70 miles. He was also a cross-country skier, mountain biker and kayaker. "If he wasn't in the Army, he could have been a professional endurance athlete," said Lieutenant Colonel Fred Johnson, a longtime running buddy. Johnson said Fenty's post-military plans incorporated his love of the outdoors. "He wanted to work in Outward Bound and teach kids to enjoy fitness as much as he did."
Fenty is survived by his wife, Kristin, his daughter Lauren and his parents.