Platoon leader

Then-2nd Lt. Matt Elledge sits on his Bradley Fighting Vehicle during Operation Desert Storm. Elledge retired as a colonel in 2015, after serving as Fort Hood's garrison commander.

In 1990, 2nd Lt. Matt Elledge had only been in the Army a few months when his division got the call to deploy to the Middle East.

Elledge, who retired last year after serving as Fort Hood’s garrison commander, was an infantry platoon leader during Operation Desert Storm.

In the fall of 1990, he deployed to Saudi Arabia with the 2nd Armored Division’s 1st Brigade, which was headquartered at Fort Hood at the time. The division was in the process of inactivating, but had still done a lot of training.

“We had the old M2 Bradley (Fighting Vehicles),” Elledge said.

However, Elledge’s platoon and others in the brigade got an early Christmas present on Dec. 22, 1990, when the unit was outfitted with newer model Bradleys.

On Feb. 24, 1991, Elledge and the rest of the brigade helped launch the ground attack, crossing the berm into Kuwait.

“Our battalion was the lead element for the brigade,” he said, adding incoming fire began almost immediately.

Elledge’s troops engaged enemy infantry and tanks, eventually crossing the infamous “Highway of Death,” where many enemy vehicles were destroyed.

Elledge earned the Silver Star for his actions during the 100-hour battle. When the dust settled, his platoon had no casualties — something he attributes to quality training.

“They did exactly as they were trained,” Elledge said.

Contact Jacob Brooks or (254) 501-7468

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