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NEWS | April 26, 2024

Fort Belvoir reserve center named for counterintelligence agent

By Maj. Joshua Frye Military Intelligence Readiness Command

The U.S. Army Reserve, 99th Readiness Division, and Military Intelligence Readiness Command (MIRC) held a memorialization ceremony in honor of Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr., April 23, 2024.

The U.S. Army Reserve center, located off John J. Kingman Road, now bears Eaton’s name. Dignitaries, general officers, soldiers, and other guests attended the ceremony held just in front of the building’s steps.

Eaton was a noncommissioned officer, serving as a counterintelligence special agent. He died of heat-related injuries on August 12, 2003, following a firefight in Al-Hit, Iraq. Eaton was assigned to B Company, 323rd Military Intelligence Battalion. The battalion is now part of the Military Intelligence Readiness Command, U.S. Army Reserve.

The reserve center is the only DOD building named for an Army counterintelligence special agent. The ceremony included an unveiling of a bronze plaque featuring Eaton.

In her speech, Brig. Gen. Melissa Adamski, commanding general of the Military Intelligence Readiness Command, highlighted aspects of Eaton’s service and life that made the memorialization fitting. She noted that Eaton was previously a contractor that supported the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for Intelligence – G2 – at the Pentagon and U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command at Fort Belvoir. Eaton resided in Northern Virginia.

“Staff Sgt. Eaton represents the citizen soldier and the Army Reserve,” said Adamski. “Out of the pain and sacrifice that accompanied the loss of Staff Sgt. Eaton, and this memorialization, I hope that many can find comfort in knowing that we will and do remember.”

Maj. Gen. Deborah Kotulich, Deputy Chief of Army Reserve, also spoke at the event. She contextualized the memorialization of the building. Kotulich previously served as chief of staff for Army support to the Naming Commission.

As part of the commission, she coordinated and facilitated the congressionally mandated effort directed at providing naming, renaming, and removal recommendations for all DOD items that commemorate the Confederate States of America. The reserve center previously bore the name of confederate officer John Singleton Mosby.

Eaton’s mother, Sharon Noble Eaton, travelled to Virginia from Connecticut to attend the memorialization. “The honor is not only my son’s but also belongs to all Army counterintelligence agents who work silently worldwide always out front with courage, integrity and perseverance,” remarked the elder Eaton.

“I’m grateful that Rick and his service did positively influence the arc of history. May the military intelligence and counterintelligence soldiers training in the Military Intelligence Readiness Command flourish as they work in this land of the free because of the brave.”