Military Order of the Purple Heart

Texas Capital Chapter 1919 Austin, Texas







Requested removal 4-5-2010



1st Cavalry Division

"The First Team"

Shoulder Patch

9th Cavalry

Regimental Crest

James M. Modlin, Jr.

PATRIOT, Chapter 1919

U.S. Army, IRAQ


James M. Modlin, Jr. was born in 1979 when his father was serving at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and this younger James Modlin claims with some pride, “I am an “Army brat” that attended public and private schools in the many places that my father was assigned while I was growing up.  I graduated from Red Bank Catholic High School in Red Bank, New Jersey in the Spring of 1998.”


Three weeks later, Jim entered the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.  He graduated from West Point with the Class of 2002, and was commissioned Second Lieutenant, Infantry.  Shortly after graduation he married Kelly Howard (on June 21, 2002) who had also been a Cadet in that same graduating class and she had been commissioned in the Adjutant General Corps.


James Modlin went through the Infantry Officers Basic Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, immediately following which in April 2003, he reported for duty at Fort Hood, Texas where he was further assigned as a Rifle Platoon Leader in Company B, 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division.  Meanwhile, Kelly Modlin had attended the Adjutant Generals Corps Officers Basic Course at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, following which she also was ordered to Fort Hood where she served in the 4th Infantry Division.


Jim’s battalion deployed to Iraq in September 2003, ahead of the rest of the division, and they were quickly engaged in operational missions.  He was wounded twice during his tour of duty in Iraq, the first time on September 23rd, then again on November 13, 2003.  Jim says, “The first time I was hit, it was a round in the leg.  I was lucky and the medic was able to pull it out and the doc sewed it up for me.  The wound was so sore that I had limited mobility for a few weeks, but we were in Humvee’s for the most part so that didn’t really matter.  The second time, in Nov ’03, I was on an Outpost when we were attacked by insurgents in Khalidiyah, a town on the Euphrates between Ramadi and Fallujah.  One of the insurgents fired a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) at my Humvee and missed, hitting the ground in front of me.  I was outside the vehicle at the time and was hit in the arm, hand, and face by fragmentation from the blast.  But, it was nothing serious, I got a few stitches here and there, and was returned to duty within the week.” 


The 1st Cavalry Division’s units began returning home to Fort Hood in January 2005. In a ceremony on February 27th the 1st Cavalry Division formally passed control of “Task Force Baghdad” over to the 3rd Infantry Division, and by the end of March the major elements of the division were back on station at Fort Hood.  By the time he left Iraq, 1st Lt. James Modlin had been awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Bronze Star for Valor with oak leaf cluster, and the Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster.  Back at Fort Hood, he requested and received a branch transfer from Infantry to Armor.


Lieutenant James Modlin had moved up from Platoon Leader to Executive Officer in B Company before completing his tour with the division in May 2005, at which time he left Fort Hood to attend the Armor Officers Career Course in Fort Knox, Kentucky.  At this writing, Captain James Modlin is finishing up a second training course at Fort Knox, the Cavalry Leaders Course, and will soon be enroute to Hawaii with orders to report to the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 25th Infantry Division at Fort Shafter. 


Meanwhile, Mrs. Modlin, now aka Captain Kelly Modlin, who also had a tour in Iraq (when she was in the 4th Infantry Division), and who has most recently been attending the Adjutant Generals Corps Officer Career Course, has also secured assignment orders for Hawaii and so the two of them are looking forward to being together again soon while serving in challenging jobs at one of the all-time prize duty stations in the Army.


Lt. Modlin's Platoon Leader's Vehicle

Company B, 1-9 Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division


James and Kelly Modlin after their Wedding Ceremony

June 21, 2002


Top Photo


Lieutenant James M. Modlin, Jr.


After His Return From Iraq to Fort Hood January 10, 2005


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