The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two Soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died March 19 in the Shah Wali Kot District, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when they were allegedly shot with small arms fire by an individual from a military security group. The incident is under investigation. They were assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 4th Squadron, 2nd Stryker Calvary Regiment, Rose Barracks, Vilseck, Germany.

Killed were:

Cpl. Donald R. Mickler Jr., 29, of Trotwood, Ohio; and

Pfc. Rudy A. Acosta, 19, of Canyon Country, California.

A memorial ceremony has been scheduled for 31 March 2011 at 1000 hours in the Rose Barracks Cavalry Chapel. Please join us in honoring the service and memory of CPL Mickler and SPC Acosta.

For more information, media should contact the U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs office at 011-49-6221-57-5816 or by e-mail at

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)

On the Web:
Media Contact: +1 (703) 697-5131/697-5132
Public Contact: or +1 (703) 428-0711 +1


  1. PFC Jurena

    PFC Acosta, Rudy-type,
    I couldn’t believe the news battle when I heard it. You are a great young man, and an even better soldier. You had a smile and a laugh that was infectious. You made the ultimate sacrifice, Acosta. Saying I am grateful isn’t even enough. You will never be forgotten. God bless you and your family.


    RIP Donald Mickler! I will always remember you as a good dude, classmate and fellow soldier. Class of 1999 Trotwood Running Rams lost a good friend. GOD bless you and yours always!

    SPC Robinson 7-17 CAV

  3. Erica Cano

    SGT Mickler is what I remember you as. I will dare to speak for 1st Military Police Company, right about now, and say that we shall forever miss you and never forget you. We are all sharing moments in which we spent with you–on Facebook– and every single comment starts with a sigh and ends with a smile. You shall always be the untouchable, determined, generous, caring, loyal, enjoyable,and selfless soldier and leader that we remember; we are all proud and honored to have served and worked with you. You shall forever live in our hearts and memories. God bless you and your family.

  4. We love you and miss you Donald! You will forever remain a Blessing in our hearts. Our hearts go out to Pfc. Rudy A. Acosta and your family. God Bless our men and women who put so much on the line, for the things we may view as free, should be handed to us, or dont appreciate the cost of having. Freedom is not free, but our love for one another is priceless! God Bless those whom we lost, Those whom are here, and Those to come!

  5. Rudy was one of our daughter’s high school ‘posse’ and was a good friend. We watched him play football, volleyball, act in plays, a myriad of other activities – what could this young man NOT do? We didn’t fully understand his decision while still in high school to serve his country and be of service to others. In the midst of our loss, we are learning to understand now. Rudy had a courage at 19 that most adults do not have – myself included. I didn’t know that a joyful, prankster 19 year old could teach me so much about deep life values and what being a true Christian really meant. Rudy was a wonderful friend and family member, and would defend his loved ones to the death. Rudy loved America and valued freedom enough to give his life for her. For us. I will be forever grateful for his loving, ultimate sacrifice. Rudy’s attitude and courage is gradually becoming a part of my outlook now; he has made such an impact on me personally. We miss him so much – but as believers in Christ and in heaven, we know that he is still with us and guiding us so we can be with him again. The waiting is the hardest part. Rest in peace, good soldier and wonderful friend – we will never forget you.

  6. Kimberly Green

    Rest in Peace Rudy and Donald. I hope that your circumstances will cause the military to revamp the way security is contracted for our soldiers. We have enough to guard our own. Bless you both and thank you for your service and sacrifice for all of us.

  7. Richard Watson

    I was planning on seeing when you got home. I now live less than 50 miles away from you. I thank you for your service and you will always be a friend and fellow soldier to me.

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