Clarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University is Reserve Officers’ Training Corpscelebrating its 50th year. To mark the occasion, each month through the end of the year, we’ll share one story of a Governor’s Guard alumni or former leader.
This month, we share the story of APSU alumnus 2nd Lt. Richard Torres, who was killed in action on October 6th, 2003, in Iraq.
He is the only Austin Peay State University ROTC graduate to be killed in action since the University launched the program in 1971.
Torres died when a homemade explosive hit his convoy. Torres was assigned to 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York.
Torres was a New Jersey native and attended high school at Passaic High School, where he graduated in 1996. Upon graduation, Torres joined the Army as a combat engineer, which led him to be stationed in the 326th Engineer Battalion at Fort Campbell. Here, Torres quickly rose in rank and held the position of sergeant.
Torres enrolled at Austin Peay State University in 1999 after earning a three-year Green to Gold Army ROTC scholarship. Torres graduated in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in history with cum laude honors and was commissioned in the active Army as an infantry officer.
After graduating, Torres served at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he took part in the Infantry Officer Basic Course. Torres was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York. Torres trained in urban operations for Afghanistan for a month and was then deployed with his unit to Iraq.
Torres has been awarded many medals for his service. The awards he has received include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with 4 OLC, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge and Air Assault Badge.