Robert Reeves grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana, and attended Caddo Magnet High School. Reeves attended Louisiana State University for a year before attending basic training at the Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, Illinois. He took additional training at the Fleet Combat Training Center in Dam Neck, Virginia, from November 1998 to January 1999.
Reeves next attended Basic Underwater Demolition/Sea Land training at NAB Coronado, California, from February to December 1999. After becoming a Navy SEAL, Reeves went to Jump School at Fort Benning, Georgia, for a month before transferring to SEAL Team 5. He served with the team from February 2000 to June 2001, and then transferred to SEAL Team Seven in June 2001.
Reeves served with SEAL Team 7 from June 2001 to April 2004, and deployed with them to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After completing his tour, he began the highly selective process of joining the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU). In April 2004, he began serving DEVGRU’s Gold Squadron.
On April 4, 2010, DEVGRU conducted a nighttime direct-action raid against a high-value Taliban target. During the raid, Reeves, acting as the squadron’s sniper, climbed onto the roof of the target building to protect his teammates. A rocket-propelled grenade hit underneath his firing position. The back blast caused the roof to collapse internally. Reeves fell directly onto five Taliban insurgents. After escaping the building, Reeves threw a fragmentation grenade into the house and killed the fighters.
In 2011, Reeves deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. On Aug. 5, the battalion conducted a direct-action raid in the village of Jaw-e-Mekh Zareen, in Wardak. Their target was a Taliban insurgent Qari Tahir. The battalion secured the compound but was unable to take out Tahir.
On Aug. 6. Reeves was on a CH-47D Chinook helicopter with other team members returning to base, call sign “Extortion 17.” A rocket-propelled grenade round hit the aft-rotor assembly and sent the helicopter to the ground. All onboard died.
Reeves’ decorations include four Bronze Star Medals with “V” device for valor, a Joint Service Commendation Medal with “V” device, and a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with “V” device. He also posthumously received a fifth Bronze Star Medal with “V” device, a Defense Meritorious Service Medal and a Purple Heart.
Reeves was buried at sea off the coast of Virginia Aug. 24, 2011
We honor his service.
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