Easy Company (Band of Brothers)

The reality of war is that it’s a grueling and harrowing experience. War presents the opportunity for us to come together in an environment where we are forced to overcome adversity, but without easy company (Band of Brothers) soldiers would die on their own.
Due to this, Easy Company was created by Eric Kocher with many other veterans who had served during World War II. The group holds annual reunions each year at Gettysburg which serve as a reminder how much hard work and sacrifice went into winning the war.

Easy Company (Band of Brothers) is a band that was formed during World War II by United States Army Air Forces. The group is mainly known for their actions in the Battle of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. Read more in detail here: easy company band of brothers cast.

Robert Rader standing in military dress with helmet.

Editor’s note: We’ll be releasing a three-part series of brief biographies written by Marcus Brotherton on the soldiers of WWII’s Easy Company in the weeks leading up to Veteran’s Day in the United States. Brotherton has written a number of novels on the infamous Band of Brothers.

His life was straightforward. Robert J. Rader was neither an industry captain nor a global leader. He was devoted to his family. He was a strong supporter of his community. He gave his life for his nation. He completed his task. Robert, on the other hand, could not be matched when it came to his dedication to his local area of influence.

What can we learn from a guy like this?

Robert was born in 1923 and grew up through the Great Depression. His father, who was injured in WWI, worked as a stone cutter for burial markers. For a family with six children, times were tough. They lived near a road, so if a vehicle struck someone’s rooster, the kids rushed to get it for the supper pot. Robert and his elder brothers enrolled in the National Guard while still in high school. They’d be able to eat while the remainder of the family’s meals went to the kids.

When the Guard realized Robert was under the age of 18, he was ejected. Thankfully, he was given an honorable discharge, which exempted him from additional military duty. Regardless, Robert enlisted in the 101st. Robert’s father offered him plain counsel before he went to war: “Just do your job and return home.”

Robert was shaken by wars on the other side of the world. His team came into a troop of Hitler’s Youth near Carentan. “I will die for the Fuehrer,” the children yelled as they started fire on the adults. The team retaliated. Robert glanced at the dead remains of both young German soldiers and Americans after the fighting. Robert swore at that point to spend the rest of his life to assisting children.

Robert’s body was covered with scars when he was released in November 1945. He’d been hit in the elbow and hip with a bullet. Various nicks and scrapes from errant shrapnel bits crisscrossed his torso. He was offered a Purple Heart by the Army, but he declined. “How could I accept it when so many others were severely injured?” he wondered. For his gallantry, he received two Bronze Stars.

Robert followed through on his promise to serve children by becoming a teacher and coach. He taught at the California School for Boys before moving to San Miguel and finally Paso Robles. He retired after 25 years of teaching in the Paso Robles School District.

He had two jobs at the beginning. He taught school throughout the week. He fuelled aircraft at the Paso Robles Airport on weekends. He desired Social Security for himself and his family. In those days, the teaching job didn’t provide it. It was the airport.

Robert was known as a rigorous yet fair instructor who would not tolerate any foolishness. Children that other instructors couldn’t handle were entrusted to him. He was noted for throwing an eraser against a blackboard to catch a child’s attention. He once grabbed a boisterous adolescent and shoved him out the door. His previous pupils still believe that a hard hand was just what they needed.


Later on, Robert began instructing pupils who were academically challenged. He became a lot softer, and he stopped flinging erasers.

Robert served on the town’s volunteer fire department for ten years. A major hotel caught fire one night. Robert stayed up all night fighting the fire, then returned home in the morning, showered, ate breakfast, and went to school for the day.

Robert was a cross-country and basketball coach. Seven of his teams advanced to the state finals during his 10 years as a cross country coach. He was ecstatic to have two All-Americans, brothers Eric and Ivan Huff, running for him.

Robert liked fishing and golfing once he retired. He wrote a lot of letters to his Easy Company comrades, and he always signed them off with: Robert J. Rader, here. Be a decent person. Take care. Sleep in a warm environment. He was a big sports fan and had two TVs installed in his living room so he could watch two games at once.

Robert’s health began to decline gradually. He required dialysis when his kidneys failed. Lucille, his wife, left the hospital early on his last day because she was exhausted. His son Donald drove her home, leaving him alone in the hospital room with his daughter Robin. Robert and Robin discussed movie trivia while watching Rio Bravo, a John Wayne film. Robert inquired about his wife’s well-being. He closed his eyes and went away once he was reassured.

His modest existence was not overlooked.

A bridge in Paso Robles was renamed in Robert’s honor a few years after his death, thanks to the efforts of Frank Mecham, a former student of Robert’s and then-mayor.

The ceremony was attended by the whole town. Former school district coworkers, fire department buddies, former pupils, civic leaders, family friends, and relatives were among the attendees. The event drew a total of nine Easy Company veterans. The Robert J. Rader Memorial Bridge is a must-see for anybody visiting Paso Robles today.

Aside from monuments, how would the Rader family want Robert Rader to be remembered? He was a guy who performed his duty in the face of adversity and did it quietly and with humility.

“He was a decent guy until the end,” his son Donald said plainly.

Part 1 of The Men of Easy Company: Warren “Skip” Muck Robert Rader (Part 2) Ron Speirs (Part III)

Part 1 of The Men of Easy Company: Warren “Skip” Muck Robert Rader (Part 2) Ron Speirs (Part III)

A COMPANY OF HEROES, Marcus Brotherton’s most recent book, was based on interviews with family of dead E Co soldiers.




The “easy company ww2 map” is a map of Easy Company during World War II. It was created by the author Stephen Ambrose and released in 1992.

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