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Troops mourn ultimate Army man


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POSTED: Friday, March 13, 2009

A Schofield Barracks lieutenant killed in Iraq won praise from his commanders and fellow soldiers yesterday as an officer destined for greatness.

;  1st Lt. Daniel B. Hyde, 24, was killed by a rocket-propelled grenade Saturday while on patrol in Iraq. He was remembered by members of his 25th Infantry Division unit at a service yesterday at Forward Operating Base Brassfield-Mora in Tikrit.

Hyde, of Modesto, Calif., was serving his first combat deployment after graduating from West Point in 2007. He was serving as a platoon leader assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team's 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment.

While at West Point he served as one of four cadet regimental commanders and graduated 23rd in his class.

At the memorial service, Maj. Gen. Robert Caslen, the commander of the 25th Division who also was superintendent at West Point when Hyde was a student there, said: “;Dan was a great soldier, leader and human being, a natural leader who had an immediate and profound impact on everyone he came in contact with. One of the top cadets in his entire class, he was known and respected by every cadet, and the entire staff and faculty at West Point.

“;In his unit, he already asserted himself as one of the top lieutenants. He loved his soldiers and they knew it. He was one of those officers who you knew was destined for greatness. He lived and exemplified in every way the values of West Point: duty, honor, country.”;

Hyde's battalion commander, Lt. Col. Samuel Whitehurst, recalled telling Hyde when he joined the Cacti Battalion that there was a waiting list for the position of platoon leader.

“;I expected him to be disappointed - all lieutenants want to be platoon leaders, and I expected Dan to be no different - but Dan was different,”; Whitehurst added. “;That was the first time I was introduced to Dan's customary smile as he shrugged off the initial disappointment and said, 'Sir, I'm ready to serve wherever you need me.' Right then I knew that Dan was a special person and a special man.”;

First Lt. Daniel Hwang, who met Hyde when they were both cadets at West Point, said he knew when he first met him that “;he was meant for greatness.”;

Fellow platoon leader 1st Lt. Ronald Colwell added that Hyde “;always wants to shoulder a little bit more than his share of burdens, if it meant the other guy would get some relief. He embodies the idea that attitude is the difference between adversity and adventure - for Dan everything is an adventure.”;