Fallen hero inducted into University of Rhode Island ROTC Hall of Fame

KINGSTON, R.I., Dec. 11, 2013 – The University of Rhode Island Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) alumni chapter recently inducted Army 2nd Lt. Joseph D. Fortin into the ROTC Hall of Fame. Fortin was killed in action in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2009, and is the first inductee from Roger Williams University. He was honored for his courage, patriotism, devotion to duty and his accomplishments in Iraq.

Other inductees included Rhode Island Army National Guard Maj. Gen. Kevin R. McBride, Maj. Gen. John H. Capalbo, U.S. Army Reserve (retired) and Army Brig. Gen. Charles A. Flynn.

Fortin, a St. Johnsbury, Vt., native and graduate of St. Johnsbury Academy, graduated from Roger Williams University in 2008, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Field Artillery through the ROTC program at URI.

The URI ROTC program is known as Cramer’s Saber Battalion and consists of students from URI, Roger Williams University, and Salve Regina University.

Fortin’s parents, Martin and Betsy Fortin of St. Johnsbury, and two sisters, Jennifer McKinney and Jocelyn Fortin, attended the ceremony on URI’s Kingston campus. Fortin’s wife, Nicquelle, accepted the award on his behalf.

According to the citation, Fortin deployed to Iraq in early summer 2009, and was assigned to Joint Security Station Istiqual, Iraq where he served as a fire support officer for the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment of the Army’s 1st Cavalry Division. Fortin and his soldiers were responsible for protecting the local farmers, improving the infrastructure, and assisting in developing the local governments along the Tigris River.

On August 23, 2009, Fortin was leading a combat patrol when his vehicle, the first in the convoy, was struck by an improvised explosive device while traveling along the Baghdad-Diyala Highway. Fortin was killed instantly.

Gen. (retired) Leon LaPorte, representing the ROTC Alumni Chapter, read Fortin’s Hall of Fame induction narrative and presented the award.

“Second Lieutenant Fortin’s performance of duty, exemplary leadership and personal courage reflect great credit upon himself, his family and Roger Williams University,” said LaPorte.

Fortin was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Action Badge. He was buried with full military honors in Mount Cavalry Cemetery, St Johnsbury.

Pictured above: Martin and Betsy Fortin of St. Johnsbury, Vt. pose with their daughters Jennifer McKinney and Jocelyn Fortin along with Gen. (Retired) Leon and Judy LaPorte (right) following the University of Rhode Island ROTC Alumni Hall of Fame induction ceremony for their son, Lt. Joseph Fortin. Lt. Fortin was killed in combat in Iraq in 2009 and was honored for his courage, patriotism, devotion to duty and his accomplishments in Iraq.

Marketing &Communications photo by Michael Salerno Photography.