In 2004, Brown reclassified as an infantry soldier and deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His first tour in Iraq was two years and he participated in multiple combat patrols. He was deployed to Iraq again in 2009 as a platoon sergeant, supervising 48 soldiers in the 72nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion. During this second tour, he was appointed Commander of the Guard responsible for over 400 detainees and he was also responsible for completing 120 zone searches with Military Police, without incident or injury to any of his men.
When Brown returned from Iraq permanently, he eventually became First Sergeant of Bravo Company, 949th Brigade Support Battalion.
There he was instrumental in preparing his unit of more than 90 soldiers for mobilization in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His training proved flawless, as his unit provided safe movement for more than 2,000 combat infantry soldiers traveling over 800 miles in vehicle convoys from home station to Fort Bliss.
Brown’s award narrative had this to say:
“First Sergeant Kevin J. Brown’s actions over 32 years of military service are a testament to his character as a leader and soldier. First Sergeant Brown was a high caliber noncommissioned officer that exemplified the Army values and displayed outstanding leadership.”
Staff Sergeant Robert Davis became close friends with Brown over the course of 13 to 14 years that they worked together. Although Davis and Brown were in different units, Davis thought very highly of Brown and said he only wished Brown could be alive to receive his most recent award.
“He was more or less a mentor to half of us,” Davis said. “He was the kind of guy that would give you the shirt off his back. If you messed up, he’d put you in the right direction. If you were in trying times, he’d lend a hand. When I went through my divorce, he was there for me.”