Command Sgt. Maj.
Jimmie W. Spencer, USA, Ret.
Director, Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier Programs
Some people seem larger than life itself and Eddie has always seemed to fit this category. I recall vividly his positive energy when I first met him almost 20 years ago at Fort Benning on one of my first visits. I join with all his many friends and fellow Soldiers in reflecting on his years of devoted service to our Nation, our Army and AUSA.
CSM Eddie Roberts was a positive example for all to follow: farewell good and faithful comrade. My prayers are with you and your family. You will be missed.
Command Sgt. Maj. Eddie Roberts, USA, Ret., suffered an apparent heart attack July 6 while driving between home and work. All efforts to revive him failed and he died without regaining consciousness.
His passing was unexpected, sudden and left us all with a feeling of loss. He was, as Gen. Sullivan said, "larger than life" and a major force in the Columbus, Ga., community and AUSA’s Chattahoochee Valley – Fort Benning Chapter.
Eddie was a distinguished soldier and a well respected mentor and role model for soldiers at Fort Benning, Ga.
I feel as if I have known Eddie all my life. Despite the fact that we never served in the same unit together, we traveled in the same circles while on active duty.
Over the years, we developed a strong professional relationship. All that changed about 20 years ago.
I was visiting the 3rd Ranger Battalion at Benning during this unit’s organization day celebration one summer day in the early 1990s.
The Rangers – being Rangers – spent most of the day boxing. In the middle of the parade field they had placed a boxing ring with bleachers on all sides. It was their idea of fun to put on boxing gloves and pound away at each other from first light to sundown.
I was enjoying the show when I looked up to see – to my astonishment – none other than Don King.
I was surprised to see him and impressed that the Rangers could get a celebrity to attend their organization day. He was, as you would expect, the center of attention: hair standing straight up with a touch of gray, double breasted suit, money sticking out of his pockets and hugging the Rangers proclaiming in a loud voice, "Only in America, only in America!"
It took me about 10 minutes to figure out that it wasn’t Don King after all, it was the Infantry Center’s command sergeant major, Eddie Roberts.
After I stopped laughing I decided that Eddie Roberts was my kind of guy. From that day, from that very moment Eddie Roberts and I have been friends.
Eddie was a great soldier whose service to the nation, to the Army and his beloved soldiers did not end when he took off his uniform for the last time. His selfless service to the nation continued with his involvement in many civic organizations.
He was a model citizen and community leader. One of the many awards he received after retirement from active duty included the AUSA Sergeant Major of the Army William Bainbridge Medal for Distinguished Service.
Eddie was my friend and Don Thomas and I, along with his family and his many friends, will miss him.
The Fort Benning and Columbus, Ga., communities have lost one of its true treasures.
Eddie did it all, he did it well and he did it his way.
Farewell my friend, you will be missed.