James C. Edge
Captain, United States Marine Corps
RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense
April 18, 2005
Media Contact: Marine Corps Public Affairs - (703) 614-4309 Public/Industry Contact: (703)428-0711
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Captain James C. Edge, 31, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, was killed April 14, 2005, by enemy small-arms fire while conducting combat operations in Ramadi, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California. During Operation Iraq Freedom, Edge was attached to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).
Media with questions about this Marine can
call the Camp Pendleton Public Affairs Office at (760) 725-5044.
Captain James "Jamie" Edge of Virginia Beach was killed by small-arms fire in Iraq last week, the Pentagon said Monday.
A 1996 graduate of Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Edge is to be buried with honors next week in Arlington National Cemetery. He was 31.
"He loved VMI and he loved the Marine Corps," said VMI classmate Robert J. Singley Jr. "He was passionate about life. Everybody is at a loss for words. It's a shock."
Edge died Thursday while conducting combat operations in Ramadi, Iraq. Additional information about what happened will not be released, said Marine Corps spokesman Sergeant Mark Ledesma.
Edge was an infantry officer assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California. During the war, he was attached to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.
His mother, Janice Whorton of Norfolk, declined to comment.
A graduate of Green Run High School in Virginia Beach, Edge joined the Marine Corps on April 27, 1993.
His personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
Edge earned a bachelor's degree in international studies at VMI.
He was the sixth VMI graduate to die in Iraq.
He lived in San Clemente, California, with his wife and two children.
Singley, who lived next door to Edge when they attended VMI, remembered him as disciplined and focused, tall and athletic, one who truly enjoyed running the obstacle course.
He was also a bit of a cut-up at times. For example, then-Cadet Edge would dress up as the school's mascot in a hooded cape, appearing to be a spirit during pep rallies. He once hung a banner on the VMI smokestack, Singley recalled.
"He was well liked. He was a well-rounded cadet,"
said Singley, a commercial real estate broker in Williamsburg. "I can't
think of anybody who better embodied the VMI spirit."
James C. Edge didn't have to join the military, his father said.
He graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1996 with a degree in international studies and could easily have become a teacher.
If he insisted on joining the military, it didn't have to be the Marines, said his father, also named James, who had been in the Navy and considered it safer.
And if he was going to join the Marines, he could have chosen something safer than the infantry.
But the Virginia Beach native, called Jamie by his family, chose his own path, his father said, becoming a captain and serving two tours of duty in Iraq as an infantry officer.
"He wanted to be a part of it, one who made decisions," his father said from his home in North Carolina. "He was an action guy, and he didn't want to be in the back row, wondering what was going on in the front."
Edge was killed Thursday by small-arms fire while conducting combat operations in Ramadi, Iraq.
Edge, 31, was married and had two daughters, ages 7 and 3. His wife, Krissy, as well his mother, Janice T. Whorton, and two brothers, prepared a statement on his death, read yesterday by brother Thomas.
"He was a loving husband and father, devoted son and brother," the statement read in part. "He was the best of the best our country had to offer. We need to remember his sacrifice and honor his memory. He was known and loved by many people here in the Hampton Roads. He leaves a legacy of fierce love of God and country, the corps and family. His commitment to these was evident in how he lived his life."
Edge was utterly devoted to his daughters, spending every minute of leave time with them, his father said. "He was three times the father I was," he added.
Edge graduated from Green Run High School in Virginia Beach in 1992 and then went to VMI. As a senior, he served as executive officer of one of nine companies of cadets. He was also a member of the Rat Disciplinary Committee, a student group devoted to inculcating freshmen into military life. Cadets are chosen for the committee by their peers, and it is considered a high honor, a VMI spokesman said.
He spent his first tour with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment near Fallujah on the front lines of an attempt to take the city from insurgents.
In the wake of the assault, Edge, known as a commanding and eloquent officer, was chosen by senior leaders to train Iraqi civil defense forces to take over the restive city from Marines. At the conclusion of the first day of training, he gave Iraqi troops a pep talk. "We want the same thing as you -- that order is restored in Fallujah," he told them. "That way, you can go home to your families, and we can do the same thing."
The force was later replaced by the so-called Fallujah Brigade, composed of former members of the Iraqi military.
While it lasted, however, Edge's work earned
him the nickname "Lawrence of Arabia," a reference to the Englishman who
won the loyalty of Arabs while training them to fight on the Allied side
in World War I.
Photo Courtesy of Holly, 2 January 2006