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Special Online Exhibit: A New Generation of Warriors The Objects & Artifacts

We extend our heartfelt thanks to the Ellis family for the temporary loan of CPL Jessica Ellis’ military service mementos and artifacts. Their generous offer was the inspirations for the exhibit and made this important exhibit possible. To read about Jessica’s life and service, read her biographical sketch in the poster text section of this online exhibit.

Army Combat Uniform (ACU) and Combat Boots

The nylon and cotton ACU is the Army’s current combat uniform. Its digital camouflage pattern, known as Universal Camouflage Pattern, is designed for desert, woodland and urban environments. The collar is worn up in combat to fit with a body armor vest, and worn down otherwise. While a subdued infrared US flag is authorized, all shoulder sleeve insignia must be subdued. Only pin-on skills badges are authorized for wear on the ACU. Jessica’s shoulder insignia is for the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and she earned both the Combat Medic Badge, awarded during her first Iraq tour, and the Combat Action Badge.


Uniform, Jessica A. Ellis Collection, Gift of Steve and Linda Ellis. Combat Boots, on loan from the Jessica A. Ellis Family.
Women’s Memorial Foundation Photo


Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH)

The advanced combat helmet (ACH), made of Kevlar, a lighter synthetic material replacing steel, is designed to provide soldiers ballistic and impact protection. Its five basic components include the helmet shell, a pad suspension system (interior cushion pads), a retention system (chinstrap/napestrap), helmet cover and eye strap. A night vision goggle mount is attached to the front of the helmet.

Jessica’s ACH helmet cover features the Army Combat Uniform digital camouflage pattern called the Universal Camouflage Pattern. The black heart patch on both sides of the helmet identified her as a member of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team and 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). The helmet band, known as a “Cat’s Eye” band because of two yellow reflector squares on the back of the band, includes tabs with her last name, blood type and “battle number.” The small black squares found on the top, sides and back of the helmet are infrared IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) squares. When night vision devices are used, they help identify friendly personnel. Velcro tabs cover the squares when not in use.

On loan from the Jessica A. Ellis Family.
Women’s Memorial Foundation Photo


Stethoscope

Jessica’s mother, a nurse practitioner, presented her with this stethoscope upon her graduation from combat medic training at the Army Medical Department Center and School, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, in 2005. Jessica used it during both of her deployments to Iraq. When not participating in route clearance missions, Jessica, who was trained in all aspects of emergency medicine, often worked in Camp Liberty’s Riva Ridge clinic, teaching soldiers first aid techniques.

On loan from the Jessica A. Ellis Family.
Women’s Memorial Foundation Photo


Bronze Star and Purple Heart Medals


Promoted to corporal posthumously, Jessica was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals.
Her Bronze Star citation states it was given for “meritorious service from 17 October 2007 to 11 May 2008.” The citation also reads, “No greater honor can be demonstrated by her ultimate sacrifice and she will be forever remembered for her actions. Corporal Ellis’ duty performance and selfless service are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon herself, the Multi-National Corps-Iraq, and the United States Army.” Her Purple Heart was awarded “for wounds received in action on 11 May 2008.”

An Oregon Army National Guard general presented the awards to Jessica’s family at her Baker City, Ore., funeral. The engraved plaques were courtesy of J. Tabor Jewelers of Baker City. Each presentation case includes the full-size medal, ribbon and a lapel pin.

Note: Images of medals are representative of the CPL Ellis’ medals on display at the Women’s Memorial.


101st Airborne Lapel Pin

This pin features the insignia of 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), known as the “Screaming Eagles.”

On loan from the Jessica A. Ellis Family.
Women’s Memorial Foundation Photo


2nd Brigade Combat Team Challenge Coin

2nd Brigade Combat Team and 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Commander and Command Sergeant Major’s Operation Iraqi Freedom 07-09 Challenge Coin. This coin is presented to soldiers for excellence in combat.

On loan from the Jessica A. Ellis Family
Women’s Memorial Foundation Photo


101st Airborne (Air Assault) Challenge Coin


101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Challenge Coin with Silver Parachute and Air Assault Wings. The 101st’s motto, “Rendezvous with Destiny,” which dates back to World War II, is featured on the reverse of the coin, along with the campaigns/operations in which the 101st has participated since World War II, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

On loan from the Jessica A. Ellis Family.
Women’s Memorial Foundation Photo


Combat Medic Challenge Coin

Operation Iraqi Freedom Combat Medic Challenge Coin. This coin is engraved with Jessica’s nickname “Doc Ellis.”

On loan from the Jessica A. Ellis Family
Women’s Memorial Foundation Photo