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Missing Soldier Is Promoted

By Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 16, 2005; Page A16

The only Army soldier listed as missing and captured in Iraq was promoted this month to the rank of sergeant, as Army officials vowed to keep searching for him.

Sgt. Keith "Matt" Maupin of Batavia, Ohio, went unaccounted for after his fuel-truck convoy was ambushed on April 9, 2004, in a western suburb of Baghdad. The attack killed another member of Maupin's reserve unit, the 724th Transportation Company from Bartonville, Ill., and three U.S. contractors. Another contractor was captured but later escaped.

Sgt. Keith Maupin

Militants released a blurry videotape last summer that purportedly showed Maupin, blindfolded, being shot in the back of the head in front of a hole dug in the ground. Army officials have said that although the video appears to show a U.S. soldier being killed, the victim's identity was unclear and the videotape's validity is questionable. U.S. forces have not recovered a body.

The Army announced yesterday that Maupin had been promoted effective April 1. Col. Joseph Curtin, an Army spokesman, said that Maupin remains in captured status after an Army board of inquiry reviewed the case last week. A key tenet of the Army's ethos is that a soldier will never leave a fallen comrade.

"They continue to search for him, and he is not forgotten," Curtin said.

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