20 April 2006: Jump Platoon IED Attack

Jason Ramseyer

Jason Ramseyer

A patrol from Headquarters and Service Company’s Jump Platoon encountered an improvised explosive device, resulting in one Marine killed and two wounded in action.


On April 20, 2006, SSgt. Ramseyer was in the lead vehicle of a five-vehicle convoy. As the convoy moved through Dam Village on a security patrol, SSgt. Ramseyer spotted a suspicious object in the road. He immediately called to halt the vehicles and had his men dismount and conduct 5 and 25 meter checks around the area. The Marines attempted to identify the object but were unable, so SSgt. Ramseyer decided to conduct a V-shaped sweep forward. As they moved forward, SSgt. Ramseyer assumed the critical position at the apex of the V while he pushed his men out on the flanks to threaten a possible trigger man. SSgt. Ramseyer realized it was an improvised explosive device and instinctively turned and warned his Marines to get back. A split second later, the device was detonated, wounding the Staff Sergeant, and two other Marines. Although hit in his femoral artery, he attempted to turn and run to another wounded Marine to try and render first aid, but was overcome by his own wounds. He repeatedly refused medical treatment until his fellow Marines were looked after, and continued to issue directions for casualty evacuation and security. His last second warning to his Marines undoubtedly saved their lives and prevented more serious injuries. SSgt. Ramseyer was evacuated by helicopter from the site. While on the helicopter receiving medical care, he ignored his own mortal injury and repeatedly asked for assurance that his Marines were alright. Before that helicopter touched down again, SSgt. Jason Carroll Ramseyer was dead. He was 29 years old, leaving behind a wife and two daughters.

Source: Paul Szoldra, BlackFive.Net


News

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 347-06
April 24, 2006
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Staff Sgt. Jason C. Ramseyer, 28, of Lenoir, N.C., died April 20 while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

Media with questions about this Marine can call the Hawaii Public Affairs Office at (808) 257-8870/71.

Source: Department of Defense


Two Kane’ohe Marines killed in separate missions in Iraq

By Eloise Aguiar | Advertiser Windward O’ahu Writer | Tuesday, April 25, 2006

KANE’OHE — Two Hawai’i-based Marines were killed last week in separate incidents while on duty in the Al Anbar province of Iraq.

Staff Sgt. Jason C. Ramseyer, 28, of Lenoir, N.C., and Cpl. Eric Lueken, 23, of Dubois, Ind., were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawai’i.

Their families yesterday recalled the pride both men took in serving as Marines and how each had been eagerly making plans for the future.

Ramseyer was set to re-enlist in a post that would allow him to spend more time with his wife and two girls, ages 2 and 3. Lueken was engaged to marry upon return in October.

Lueken and Ramseyer were deployed to Iraq in March, nine months after returning from a deployment to Afghanistan that went from November 2004 to June 2005.

Lueken, a field radio operator, was mortally wounded Saturday by an improvised device while in a convoy. Ramseyer was on a foot patrol, said 2nd Lt. Binford Strickland of the Marine Corps base.

A total of 54 Marines and three sailors based at Kane’ohe Bay have been killed in the Middle East since 2004, Strickland said.

Mandy Ramseyer, 28, of Kailua, yesterday said her husband was killed Thursday after he got out of a vehicle to check on an object that appeared to be a roadside bomb.

“He was within 30 meters of it and he knew it was one but by the time he turned around to tell everyone to get back, someone with a remote detonator set it off,” she said.

She said the seven-month deployment under way was to be her husband’s last for a while. “The last time he called was two days before it happened, and he told me he had talked to a career planner about where we were going next and … he wouldn’t have to leave us again for four years,” Ramseyer said. “He just seemed really happy and in high hopes.”

PRIDE, HONOR, RESPECT

Jason Ramseyer, born in West Palm Beach, Fla., moved to Lenoir, N.C., when he was 12. He signed up to serve as a Marine in 1996 before graduating from high school, said his mother, Cindy Hicks of Claremont, N.C. She said her son graduated with honors and was among 20 students selected for the high school’s hall of fame for students who excel and are proven leaders.

Hicks said her son’s height — about 5 feet, 7 inches — spurred him to play hard in baseball, soccer, wrestling and other endeavors.

“He was a very fierce competitor and he wanted to make sure his size didn’t make him any less of a person, athlete or Marine,” she said. “He had no reservation about serving his country.”

When he was heading for Afghanistan, she came to Hawai’i to see him off and recalled how he wanted his wife and mother to learn exactly how his medals should be placed on his uniform if he should die, Hicks recalled. He had a display box and had lined them up in the proper order, but neither his wife nor Hicks wanted to discuss the issue.

“He said, ‘No you need to know where these go,’ ” she said. “It was very important to him. He had so much pride in his job, so much honor and so much respect.”

REMAINING COMMITTED

Lt. Col. Norm Cooling, commanding officer of the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, also known as the “American Battalion,” described both Ramseyer and Lueken as “very proficient and popular” Marines.

“To lose them in two separate missions and in two different areas, yet so closely together in time, makes it even more difficult for all of us. But we have a mission to do and they would want us to see it through,” Cooling said yesterday by e-mail.

“We are committed to reducing violence in this area while creating self-sufficient Iraqi Security Forces to eventually take the place of Coalition Forces here. Our hearts and prayers go out to the Ramseyer and Lueken families,” he said.

Copyright © Honolulu Advertiser 2006


Military Was Early Calling for Marine

Arianne Aryanpur | Washington Post Staff Writer |Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Staff Sgt. Jason C. Ramseyer wanted all his life to be a Marine. He wanted it so badly that he couldn’t wait for his 18th birthday, choosing instead to ask his mother to sign his enlistment papers.

And after he made it through boot camp, he would come back to his high school in Lenoir, N.C., from time to time, proudly wearing his Marine uniform and sharing stories of life in the military.

Yesterday, after a decade in the corps that took him to wartime assignments in Afghanistan and Iraq, he was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. He was 28.

Ramseyer was killed April 20 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee in Iraq’s Anbar province, according to the Defense Department. He was the 228th person killed in the Iraq war to be buried at Arlington.

About 30 friends and relatives gathered yesterday to honor him. Three wreaths, fastened with red, white and yellow flowers, sat near a box holding Ramseyer’s ashes. Uniformed Marines folded a U.S. flag and handed it to his wife, Amanda. Ramseyer is also survived by two daughters, Rylee and Kadence.

After Navy Chaplain Lt. Ron Nordan delivered a sermon, Marines fired three volleys and a bugler played taps.

Ramseyer was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. A corporal in his battalion, Eric R. Lueken, 23, of Dubois, Ind., died two days after Ramseyer in the same area.

Ramseyer was born in Florida and moved with his family to North Carolina in 1990.

“He stood out because he had great manners, a lot of respect and a lot of pride. Few have that,” recalled Sharon Watts, an administrator at West Caldwell High School in Lenoir, a town of about 20,000 at the northwest foothills of North Carolina.

Ramseyer is the first person from Lenoir to die in Iraq, said Edward Terry, editor of the town’s newspaper, the News-Topic. Flags in Lenoir have flown at half-staff since last week, when the Pentagon announced his death, Terry said. On Saturday, about 400 mourners gathered in the town to remember a local hero.

Ramseyer, who played soccer and baseball at West Caldwell High, wanted to join the Marines from an early age, his mother, Cynthia Hicks, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel last week. Once he enlisted, he never questioned the demands of his profession.

“He was proud to go, proud to serve his country,” Hicks said.

In online postings, friends and relatives recalled a similar sense of purpose in Ramseyer.

“Unfortunately [I had] only known Ram for about 7 months, but the first time I saw him I thought to myself, now there is a ‘Marine’s Marine,’ ” wrote Staff Sgt. Newt Sanson of Kailua, Hawaii.

“He is certainly going to be missed by the Marine Corps and the Marines that knew him. He had something that just made Marines want to follow him.”

Copyright © Washington Post 2006


Awards

Bronze Star with Combat Distinguishing Device

Jason Ramseyer (Posthumous)

Bronze Star with VFor heroic achievement in connection with combat operations involving conflict with an opposing force while serving as Platoon Commander, Jump Platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, Regimental Combat Team-7, I Marine Expeditionary Force Forward, from 15 March to 20 April 2006, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Demonstrating an undying commitment to excellence and mission accomplishment, Staff Sergeant Ramseyer consistently performed his demanding duties in an exceptional manner. Recognized as a master of his profession, his devotion to duty, tactical expertise, and his ability to elicit maximum effort from those around him earned the respect and admiration of all Marines with whom he served. While conducting a mounted security patrol in support of Operation RESTORE TRUST, Staff Sergeant Ramseyer alertly identified a suspicious object that posed a threat to his patrol. While maneuvering with his Marines to secure the area, he instinctively recognized the object to be an improvised explosive device and warned his Marines to move back. A moment later, the device detonated, mortally wounding Staff Sergeant Ramseyer and seriously wounding two other Marines. Although grievously wounded and sensing the extent of his injuries, Staff Sergeant Ramseyer repeatedly directed that medical treatment be given to his fellow Marines first. Staff Sergeant Ramseyer’s disregard for his own personal safety, coupled with the ability to make critical and timely decisions, saved the lives of his fellow Marines. By his zealous initiative, courageous actions, and exceptional dedication to duty, Staff Sergeant Ramseyer reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device

Timothy McCree

Navy CommHeroic achievement in the superior performance of his duties while serving as Platoon Sergeant, Jump Platoon, Headquarters And Service Company, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, Regimental Combat Team-7, I Marine Expeditionary Force Forward, on 20 April 2006, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. During the conduct of a mounted patrol, Marines in the lead vehicle spotted a suspicious looking object on the road. The convoy stopped and Sergeant McCree, along with four other Marines, dismounted and moved forward to conduct a “v” sweep and cordon around the possible improvised explosive device. After moving forward a short distance, Sergeant McCree sensed danger and immediately began moving the dismounted Marines away from the area. With little regard for his personal safety and fearing for his Marines’ lives, Sergeant McCree positioned himself directly in front of his Marines just as the suspected improvised explosive device detonated, becoming seriously wounded. Sergeant McCree’s initiative, perseverance, and total dedication to duty reflected credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device

Stuart Clark

NAMHeroic achievement in the superior performance of his duties while serving as Vehicle Commander, Jump Platoon, Headquarters And Service Company, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, Regimental Combat Team-7, I Marine Expeditionary Force Forward, on 20 April 2006, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. On this day, Corporal Clark demonstrated exceptional leadership and undying devotion to his fellow Marines following an improvised explosive device attack that grievously wounded one Marine and seriously wounded two others. With two key leaders incapacitated, Corporal Clark immediately stepped forward and took control of a chaotic situation. He calmly directed the actions of the platoon as he ensured proper security was established to prevent follow-on attacks, while simultaneously orchestrating an intense lifesaving effort. He expertly organized aid and litter teams to address all of the casualties and coordinated for an air medical evacuation. His calm demeanor and decisive actions undoubtedly saved the lives of his fellow Marines. Corporal Clark’s initiative, perseverance, and total dedication to duty reflected credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

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