Sergeant Marshall Edgerton died Dec. 11, 2003 while doing a force protection shift on Combat Outpost Champion Main in Ar Ramadi, Iraqi. Edgerton volunteered to escort an incoming vehicle so that his fellow soldier could finish his meal. Once he entered the vehicle, Edgerton noticed something was wrong and alerted his fellow soldiers before the driver detonated an explosive device. Edgerton’s son and namesake, Sgt. Marshall Edgerton, is currently assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, the same division his father served in. He was only seven when his father died, but he remembers how big of a family man he was. “He was a family-oriented guy,” Edgerton said. “We were always doing stuff as a family and that was the big focus. Even though he was working all the time and gone, a lot, we were together as a family.” He already knew he wanted to join the Army, but his father’s death sealed the deal. He said he has run into countless people at the 82nd who knew and served along with his father, but he can never compare himself to him. “You can compare me and him all you want, I’m never going to fill those shoes. He did something that most of us can’t even fathom doing for anybody,” he said.
The building now named after Edgerton has 300 barracks rooms capable of housing 900 soldiers, who are attending individual training and completing the transition from civilian life to professional signal soldiers. Over the course of a year, 1,500 soldiers are expected to walk through the halls. Brig. Gen. Christopher Eubank, Fort Gordon Chief of Signal and Commandant of the Signal School, hopes they can learn from Edgerton’s courage and sacrifice. “As soldiers come through Edgerton Barracks, they will read his story and see the impact they can have as a signal soldier,” Eubank said. “Sgt. Edgerton demonstrates what we hope all our soldiers become; selfless leaders.”
Edgerton joined the Army in May 2000 and attended basic combat training at Fort Knox, Ky. He graduated from advanced individual training at Fort Gordon in November 2000 before being assigned with Alpha Company to the 82nd Signal Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. He deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from July 2002 to January 2003 before volunteering to deploy with his unit and fellow soldiers in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from August 2003 until his death in December 2003. He received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart posthumous, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Basic Parachutist Badge, and the Signal Regimental Association’s Gold Order of Mercury.