CPT Russell B. “Rusty” Rippetoe

CPT Russell B. “Rusty” Rippetoe

Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Death 3 Apr 2003 (aged 27)
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 60, Site 7860
Memorial ID 10929508 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Army Capt Rippetoe was assigned to A Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Georgia. Rippetoe, an Army Ranger, and two other soldiers were manning a checkpoint when a pregnant woman jumped from a car screaming in fear. What they didn't realize was that the woman was luring him and two other Rangers into the killing zone of a massive car bomb. The soldiers approached the car and it exploded, killing Rippetoe, two other soldiers, the woman and the driver. Rusty was born in Heidelberg, West Germany but the family eventually ended up in Colorado where he attended Broomfield High School in Broomfield. In school, he was captain of the soccer team. He broke a leg and his collarbone but as homecoming king, he refused to let the injury keep him from the big dance. He also attended graduation on crutches because of the broken femur. As a junior at Metro State College in Denver, he joined ROTC. He was a natural leader, quickly gained responsibilities in the unit and hoped for a career in law enforcement. He graduated from Metro in 1999 and joined the Army. He approached the Army with the same dedication as he did soccer, football, karate, wrestling or distance running. Not content just to be in the Army, he became a Ranger, "the cream of the crop". He won numerous commendations, including a Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars. He intended to join the FBI or Secret Service after the Army. Rusty was the kind of person who was always there for you. He was very outgoing, strong, sensitive and a person you always wanted to be around – he made you feel good. Before he left for Iraq, he taped a note to his locker, explaining what he wanted if his mission went wrong. The note said, "I want a military funeral, and I want it to be my people." While stunned by his death, people who knew him weren't surprised to learn of the way he died. He was always there for people and doing his best to help. Rusty was also loved, respected and inspired fierce loyalty in his men in Iraq. He was always a friend of those who weren't popular. On the day of his funeral, one of the soldiers injured in the bomb blast insisted on leaving his hospital bed despite having surgery scheduled that day – he attended the service in a wheelchair. When the wheelchair became bogged down in the Arlington mud, the Specialist lifted himself from the chair and limped to his commanding officer's grave.


In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees

Sponsored by Ancestry


  • Maintained by: Kevin Mansfield
  • Originally Created by: Brenda N
  • Added: 8 May 2005
  • Find a Grave Memorial 10929508
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for CPT Russell B. “Rusty” Rippetoe (21 Jul 1975–3 Apr 2003), Find a Grave Memorial no. 10929508, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Kevin Mansfield (contributor 47961294) .