Monday, March 10, 2008

Army Capt. Torre R. Mallard

Remember Our Heroes

Army Capt. Torre R. Mallard, 27, of Oklahoma

Capt. Mallard was assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas; died March 10, 2008 in Balad Ruz, Iraq, of wounds sustained when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Spc. Donald A. Burkett and Sgt. Phillip R. Anderson.

The Free Lance Star -- The son of a well-respected military instructor in Spotsylvania County was killed in Iraq this week.

Yet, few of retired Master Sgt. Mose Mallard's co-workers knew of his son's accomplishments, said Lee Browning, principal of the Spotsylvania Career and Technical Center.

Mallard has taught the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps at the center since 2006.

"He could have bragged about his son, but he was never the type to do that," Browning said of Mallard. "He's kind of a quiet man and he's highly regarded and respected."

Mallard left his Stafford County home this week for Fort Hood, Texas. His older son, Capt. Torre Mallard, was assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood.

The 27-year-old captain and two other soldiers from the unit were killed Monday by an improvised explosive device in Balad Ruz, Iraq.

Balad Ruz is a small village in the Diyala province northeast of Baghdad. Since last summer, it's been one of the deadliest places in Iraq for U.S. troops, according to

Mallard was proud his son had followed him into the military, said Sgt. Ed Fulmore, a fellow JROTC instructor at the center.

Mallard, who could not be reached for comment, served in the Gulf War, Fulmore said.

Torre Mallard was on his second tour of duty in Iraq, Fulmore said. In 2004, as a first lieutenant, he was photographed while searching for insurgents in Baghdad.

Just last month, the Army officer was quoted in a Multi-National Corps press release.

He and other soldiers were working with informants when an al-Qaida cell fired on them with rocket-propelled grenades.

No Americans were hurt, but six armed insurgents were killed, including the cell's leader, who organized kidnappings and the placement of explosive devices.

"The people in this area will definitely be a lot safer now," Torre Mallard said.

The Army officer graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2002. At his commissioning ceremony, he received his first salute from his father, according to the Anniston (Ala.) Star.

Torre Mallard's parents, Robin and Mose Mallard III, and his grandparents, Flora and Mose Mallard Jr., lived in Anniston at the time.

Despite the rigors of West Point, Torre Mallard played football for the Army and completed Airborne School at Fort Bragg. In July 2002, he served as company commander, the highest position in the cadet chain of command, according to the Anniston paper.

A memorial service is planned Wednesday in Anniston, with a funeral Friday at West Point.

A lot of Mose Mallard's fellow teachers have asked the principal of the Spotsylvania center how they can help. Torre Mallard is survived by a wife and two young sons, Torre Jr. and Joshua.

The family asked that expressions of sympathy be made in the name of the children, in care of Mose and Robin Mallard, and sent to: Spotsylvania Career and Technical Center, 6713 Smith Station Road, Spotsylvania, Va. 22553.

==Additional story==

The department said Capt. Torre R. Mallard, 27, was from Oklahoma but did not give a hometown. He, along with Spc. Donald A. Burkett, 24, of Comanche, Texas; and Sgt. Phillip R. Anderson, 28, of Everett, Wash., died after their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in Balad Ruz, Iraq.

They were assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment from Fort Hood, Texas, the department said.

Mallard lived in Lawton when his father, Mose Mallard III, was stationed at Fort Sill. The Mallards last maintained an Oklahoma address about five years ago.

Mallard's grandfather, Mose Mallard Jr., described Torre as the "finest young man in the world."

"It broke my heart when I heard it," the Anniston, Ala., resident told The Oklahoman. "He played football and baseball, and he was just an outstanding student. (He) always got good grades. I was proud of him."

Mose Mallard Jr. couldn't explain why the Department of Defense listed Torre Mallard's home state as Oklahoma. Mose Mallard III had a Lawton address briefly in 1986.

He graduated in May 1998 from Selmen High School in Slidell, La., and entered the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., that sum mer, according to a 2002 report by the Anniston (Ala.) Star.

He graduated from West Point on June 1, 2002, with a bachelor's degree in computer science, the newspaper reported.

During the spring semester of his sophomore year at the academy he served a four-month term as a company commander, one of the highest positions in the Cadet Chain of Command at the academy, the Star reported.

Mallard played sprint football for the Army and completed airborne training at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Army Capt. Torre R. Mallard was killed in action on 3/10/08.

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