Michael J. Palacio, 23
Described as a quiet professional, he relished his role as a noncommissioned officer, commanders said. Though he was young, he was often put out in front of the construction team because of his courage and ability to lead. He died defending Route Tiffany in Afghanistan's Helmand province. His support battalion, many of its members now bearing tattoos in his memory, have dedicated themselves to completing the route.
Sources: Times research, Defense Department, iCasualties.org