FORT McCOY, Wis. –
Retired Sgt. Maj. Bobby E. King passed away after fighting a long battle with cancer. He served 29 years in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve. He is survived by his wife, Pam, son, Jeffrey, daughter, Kristin and two grandchildren, Eilze and Sanka.
“We are thankful we had the opportunity to serve with Bobby, and we are blessed as a brigade to have had him on the team,” said Col. David C. Woodruff, commander of the 181st MFTB. “ He will be missed.”
Retired Sgt. Maj. King served four years of active duty with the 82nd Airborne Division. He then joined the Army Reserve and entered the Active Guard Reserve program until his retirement in 2010. He worked as a contractor on Fort McCoy and then transferred in 2017 to work as a civilian for the 181st MFTB.
Walter Rakow, chief of operations for the 181st MFTB, who has known King since 2003, remembers working with a true leader who always ensured that Soldiers received the most effective training possible.
“As I worked alongside Bobby I was impressed by his willingness to respond quickly when asked to find, develop or refine some kind of training plan,” said Rakow. “He never said no and always produced valid and executable results.”
He served at all levels of leadership from team leader to sergeant major, earning recognition for his outstanding service.
“His awards and decorations are numerous,” said Rakow. “And fitting for someone who was a warrior his whole career.”
Retired Sgt. Maj. King’s awards and decorations include: Combat Infantry Badge; Expert Infantry Badge; Basic Airborne Badge; Legion of Merit Medal; Meritorious Service Medal(4); Army Commendation Medal(10); Army Achievement Medal(2); Army Good Conduct Medal(7), Army reserve Component Achievement Medal(2); National Defense Service Medal(2), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal of (Operation Urgent Fury); Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal; Armed Forces Reserve Medal with/M device and Silver Hour Glass; NCO Professional Development Ribbon(4); Army Service Ribbon; Army Overseas Service ribbon and Multi-national Forces and Observers Medal.
The ceremony concluded as the 181st MFTB conducted one last roll call, followed by a rifle volley, honoring retired Sgt. Maj. Bobby E. King.