Andrew “Drew” Patrick Ross was born in Lexington, VA, the son of Elizabeth Jones and Stephen Ross. Growing up, Drew loved playing sports, mostly soccer. He graduated from Rockbridge County High School in 2007 and would go on to study and train at The United States Military Academy at West Point. Drew received a congressional nomination to the Academy from Congressman Robert Goodlatte of the 6th District of Virginia.
Drew excelled at physical fitness as a cadet, regularly exceeding a perfect score (300) on the Army Physical Fitness Test. He was on the Army West Point soccer team his plebe year and then was a member of the strength team for the remainder of his time as a cadet, where he helped corps squad athletes build strength in the weight room. Most of his classmates would probably say that Drew loved physical fitness so much because of the mental toughness it required. He loved to persevere through challenges.
Drew was a member of F-2, the Zoo, his plebe year, and then was scrambled into F-4, Go Frogs! He loved his company mates. In the spring semester of firstie year, Drew was the cadet company commander of F-4 (Frog 6). To hone his leadership skills, he majored in Management. During his summers, Drew completed Airborne School and attended Cadet Troop Leader Training in Korea.
He graduated on May 21, 2011, and commissioned as an armor officer. After graduation, he went to Fort Benning, GA where he graduated from the Armor Basic Officer Leaders Course, the Army Reconnaissance Course, and Ranger School. Drew was then assigned to 3rd Platoon, Bravo Troop, 6-8 Cavalry Squadron out of Fort Stewart, GA. During the weekends, Drew loved to go to the beach at Hilton Head Island, SC, and pal around with his late pup Betsy. In that time, he also became an avid CrossFitter. Drew and 6-8 Cavalry Squadron deployed to Logar, Afghanistan in 2013 for nine months, where Drew conducted combat operations with his platoon. Most importantly, Drew met his wife Felicia while he was at Fort Stewart.
Shortly after returning from Afghanistan, Drew helped train the West Point Classes of 2015 and 2016 during Cadet Leader Development Training at Camp Buckner. He provided invaluable insight to the cadets based on his very recent combat experience.
Drew then went on to complete the Special Forces Qualification Course, which was no surprise to anyone who knew him. He earned the coveted Green Beret and went on to be a team leader in Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, his dream job.
Drew married his wife, Felicia on February 17, 2018. Their love was built upon their mutual care for each other and those who entered their lives. Not only was Drew a devoted husband, he was a true family man in every sense. He was a phenomenal son, brother, and most of all, Uncle. His family was never limited to bloodline and he cultivated strong and long-lasting relationships with those around him.
Drew and his team (SFOD-A 3126) deployed to Afghanistan in August of 2018. On November 27, 2018, Drew was killed in action with three of his Soldiers when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations. He was interred to Section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery in January of 2019.
He is preceded in death by his brother, Daniel Matthew Ross. He is survived by his wife, Felicia Ross, and their beloved dogs, Bubba and Dolly. He is also survived by his mother, Beth Gerschick of Richmond, VA, (Joseph Gerschick), his father, Stephen Ross of Richmond, VA., (Kerry Torres), his sister, Sarah Ross Geisen, her husband, United States Marine Corps Maj. Brian Geisen, Stafford, VA, nephews John Geisen, Michael Geisen, Andrew Geisen, and Daniel Geisen of Stafford, VA, grandparents, Leonard and Margaret Ross of Richmond, VA., and Rowan and Geraldine Jones of Portsmouth, VA.
Drew’s awards include the Bronze Star Medal (2nd award), Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Combat Action Badge, Combat Infantry Badge, and Military Free Fall Parachutist Badge. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, and the Combat Infantry Badge.
“He was just the very best. The best husband, son, brother, uncle, grandson, nephew, cousin, friend, teammate, and soldier. Just the absolute best. I challenge each of you to strive to be a little more like Drew each day. Spend more time with your families and love them hard. Push yourself harder. Smile more. Laugh with your whole body. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Make the time to keep in touch with people and cultivate good friendships. Never accept mediocrity.”
© Copyright 2023 Drew Ross Memorial Foundation