Kenneth B. Elwell was born 15 March 1978 in Philadelphia, PA, one of five children and the youngest son of Janice Smith Elwell.
A 1997 graduate of Council Rock High School, he was an accomplished Varsity Soccer Player since the 9th Grade. He was a member
of the Ukrainian Nationals Team, Fox Chase and Northampton Soccer Clubs and competed in the Keystone State Games and Inner County
Soccer tournaments. In 1997, Ken enlisted in the United States Army.
He served at Fort Riley, Kansas, South Korea and Fort Benning, Georgia before arriving at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, in March 2011.
While at Fort Benning, GA, 1SG Elwell performed the duties as a Drill Sergeant and Senior Drill Sergeant with Echo Company,
1st Battalion, 50th Infantry "Fix Bayonets" from June 2006 to June 2008. Upon completion of his Drill Sergeant duties, ISG Elwell
continued serving Fort Benning, GA as a BN Master Gunner in 2-69 Armor. 1SG Elwell deployed to Bosnia and served two tours in Iraq
before deploying to Afghanistan with the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division,
Fort Wainwright, Alaska.
On 17 July 2011, at the age of 33, 1SG Elwell died heroically in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan of wounds suffered when enemy
forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star. His sincere desire to bring
peace and stability to a foreign nation is an example of what all American Soldiers should strive to achieve. In addition to two
Bronze Stars, his awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, The Army Achievement Medal and other
various campaign awards as well as the Alaska Decoration of Honor.
1SG Elwell is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA. He was survived by his mother, wife of nine years, Kristen A. Mirabella Elwell,
two children, Elise (6) and Nickolas (4), three brothers, Michael J. Elwell, Mahlon D. Elwell, and Scott A. Elwell, and sister, Susan A. Burkhard.
The Alaska State Legislature passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 20 on 5 April 2012, honoring 25 service members killed in the line of duty.
1SG Elwell was one of those honored and a medal as a token of appreciation and respect for the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice was presented to family members.
On 2 May 2013, the Headquarter Building of the 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry was named "Elwell Hall" in honor of 1SG Kenneth B. Elwell. His wife Kristen and children Elise and Nickolas
were present at the dedication to unveil a plaque that will be placed inside the HQ Building and to accept a Certificate of Dedication.