Return To Honor Roll Page
Click on any thumbnail photographs to enlarge for viewing.

If you have any questions, additional biographical information, personal remembrances, or photographs you would like to contribute, please contact the History Project Manager via this Email Link.


2LT Matthew S. Coutu
64th MP Company, 720th MP Battalion
, 89th MP Brigade

Killed In Action ~ 27 June 2005 ~ Iraq


They Say,
our deaths are not ours,
they are yours,
they will mean what
you make of them.

They say,
we leave you our deaths,
give them some

Archibald MacLeish
poet and WWI

There is no contact information for the next of kin.

        2LT Matthew S. Coutu is the first officer to become a Battalion Casualty since it was formed in 1942.

        2LT Coutu, 2nd Platoon Leader, 64th MP Company, was killed in action on 27 June 2005 by small arms fire while investigating a roadside bombing in Baghdad, Iraq.

        A New Jersey native, Coutu moved to the Chicago area when his father changed jobs. He attended high school in Lake Forest, Ill., before entering the ROTC program at the University of Maine.

        Michael Coutu father, a Vietnam veteran and North Hampton resident, said his Matthew knew early on that the military was in his future. His grandfather had fought in World War II, and Matthew dreamt of parlaying his military duty into a career in the Secret Service or FBI, his father said.

        "We’re the type of family that puts value on God and country," Michael Coutu said from his home Wednesday. "From that standpoint, I thought it was admirable that he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father and my father. "But, from another standpoint, what parent wants their child to be in harm’s way?"


"A humble young man and natural leader"

2004 University of Maine ROTC Program

In 2004, upon his graduation from the University of Maine, Coutu was the cadet commander of the Army ROTC Battalion and won the George C. Marshall award, given to the top cadet in the ROTC program. Coutu had to complete rigorous leadership training to qualify for the award."In these circumstances, you tend to find superlatives to describe the person," said Captain Jeffrey Weston, the ROTC commander at the University of Maine.

"This is one of those examples that truly matches up to that. The thing about Matt is that he was all that, but he was also a very humble young man, a natural leader who inspired confidence and served as a mentor to the younger cadets."

Matt Flagg, an ROTC cadet who was one year behind Coutu, said his friend had all the attributes of a good leader.

"He acted like a big brother when he needed to be," Flagg said. "He also took the time to get to know you outside of training."
Courtesy of the 720th MP Battalion

Coutu graduated on May 8 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant the same day, according to his father. He was assigned to the 64th Military Police Company, 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, in Fort Hood, Texas.

His father said that Matthew never shied away from his desire to serve as the nation prepared for war in Iraq. "Obviously, through the middle course of his ROTC training, Iraq came on the radar screen as a real possibility. That did not deter him."

"What can a father say about a boy? He did what he thought was right, and he made the ultimate sacrifice."

Earlier this year, kindergarten students at North Hampton School had each written a letter to Coutu while he was stationed in Iraq. The students included the soldier’s 5-year-old half-brother, Andrew, who Michael Coutu has from another marriage. Matthew Coutu’s mother, Donna Coutu, lives in North Kingstown, R.I.


"Memorial Speech by Captain Meeks, 64th MP Company"

        "Soldiers of the 64th Military Police Company, Guardians, and other distinguished visitors, welcome. This is a dreaded day that no commander ever wants to come, however, here I stand before you to salute my lieutenant, my Soldier, and my friend.

        This is really an impossible task. Our good times, our challenges, and our successes; putting these into words? Not. People get paid big bucks to do the same and their books still suck. Tributes don’t have to be pretty they just have to tell a story, well, today’s story is about an incredible American hero Matthew Coutu.

        This story begins last year when a bright-eyed ambitious LT reported to me. I immediately gained a sense of pride because he was so eager to learn and lead that I got silly knowing that he was on my team, how'd I get so damn lucky! This was just the beginning. I would quickly learn that he had tremendous energy to serve the Army and his Soldiers. He exuded the passion to lead his Soldiers in combat and he cared for them immensely. We'd come to know each other well. I would make it a point to teach him everything I could. This became a daunting task because he never tired. He'd ask for more and more, I soon became tapped and would have to tell him to seek out his platoon sergeant for knowledge. I depended on him and could always safely assume mission accomplishment. Moreover, I'd know that a job given to Wolfpack 6 was always completed with the highest degree of professionalism. Matt inspired confidence, his drive was infectious; this held true even in the most exigent situations. What a gosh darn honor it has been serving with Matthew and to work with such an exceptional young officer. He was an inspiration for all, especially his peers, the other platoon leaders. He loved the Army, the Guardians, and his Soldiers. He reminded us everyday that he was committed to being the best and that he took care of the Wolfpack. His dogged will to succeed inspired leaders at every level. He maintained the same intensity day in and day out of this deployment, he did not waver one bit. While doing so he paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. For that, I am humbled and honored to have known and served with him.

        The best I can do to wrap this up and describe how much 2LT Matthew S. Coutu meant to the Guardians is to tell you that simply put, we loved Matt. He was a heroic person, a remarkable Soldier, and a dedicated friend. I haven’t quite said it enough, we loved Matt. We will do everything that we can to make sure that your life is celebrated, honored, and never forgotten."

CPT Donald R. Meeks, 64th MP Company, 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Brigade. , 1 July 05



Use Your Browser Button To Return