YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — A 2nd Brigade Combat Team soldier has been killed in Iraq, the Pentagon confirmed late Friday, bringing the brigade’s casualty total to at least 17 since its deployment began in late August.

All but two of the deaths have been combat related.

According to the Pentagon, Sgt. John B. Trotter, 25, was killed Nov. 9 in Ramadi when his patrol came under attack by enemy small-arms fire. Trotter was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, which deployed from Camp Howze, South Korea.

Trotter was from Marble Falls, Texas, the Pentagon said.

As thousands of soldiers and Marines fight from house to house in Fallujah, news reports from Iraq have said U.S. Army units have cordoned off Ramadi, where the 2nd Brigade has been operating since arriving in Iraq.

U.S. commanders frequently have linked Ramadi and Fallujah as centers of the insurgency in central Iraq, saying fighters have moved back and forth between the two cities carrying weapons, supplies and plans for attacking American troops.

In a news release sent to Stars and Stripes last week, 2nd Brigade officials touted their success in raids to confiscate weapons and bomb-making materials in Ramadi.

According to media reports from his hometown, Trotter’s death shook the small, central Texas town where he grew up. His death was reported the same day as those of four other Texans, pushing that state’s death toll in Iraq past 100, the Associated Press reported.

Trotter is the second casualty from the 1st of the 503rd, according to Pentagon records. Pfc. Jason Lee Sparks, 19, was killed by a sniper Sept. 8 in Fallujah.

2nd Infantry Division officials this week said they will hold a memorial service later this month in South Korea for all of the brigade’s casualties.

In a historic shift of forces this August, the 2nd Brigade became the first American unit sent from South Korea directly to a combat zone. Until then, the brigade was part of the 2nd ID; when its yearlong deployment is complete, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team will head to Fort Carson, Colo., before being sent to a permanent home base, the Army has said.

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