Corporal Jake Hartley has been hailed as an inspiring young man who was “all young soldiers should aspire to be”.
Cpl Hartley, known as JJ, from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, would have been 21 tomorrow.
Company commander Major Edward Colver said: “Corporal Hartley was quite simply one of the best non-commissioned officers I have ever had the privilege of working with.”
He said Cpl Hartley excelled as a soldier but was also the company’s physical training instructor, winning medals in football and rugby league.
Cpl Hartley joined 3 Yorks in December 2008.
Platoon commander Lieutenant Daniel Brennan said: “Cpl Hartley was a unique and charismatic personality who had the ability to inspire those around him.”
Sgt Stewart Watts said: “He wasn’t just a soldier to me, he was a good mate, someone I could trust with anything. He was just one of those lads that brought morale anywhere he went.”
Cpl Hartley has left behind his mother and stepfather, Nathalie and Mark Taylor, brother Ethan, 12, and uncle and best friend, Luke, also 20.