James Michael Malachowski
Staff Sergeant, United States Marine Corps
Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 227-11
DOD Identifies Marine Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Staff Sergeant James M. Malachowski, 25, of
Westminster, Maryland, died March 20, 2011, while conducting combat operations
in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion,
8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force,
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
James was assigned to the 3rd Platoon, Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines. He was Platoon Sergeant.
Born August 21, 1985, in Westminster, Maryland, he was the son of James and Alison Davis Malachowski. He was the husband of Lindsay Winter Malachowski of South Carolina.
Raised in Hampstead, Maryland, he was a 2003 graduate of North Carroll High School. After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and was stationed at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. He served overseas in Iraq with 2nd Battalion 2nd Marines in 2004, 2005 and 2007. He was currently serving his 4th combat deployment as an infantryman. Jimmy was meritoriously promoted to Staff Sergeant on April 2, 2010 and concurrently earned the Distinguished Shooting Badge, which he earned in 13 months. He also earned numerous other marksmanship awards. He graduated from the Advanced Infantry Unit Leader's Course before he deployed to Afghanistan.
Some of his most distinguished accomplishments were that he earned a position on the Marine Corps Rifle Team and instructed over 50,000 recruits on the fundamentals of marksmanship at Marine Corps Depot, Parris Island. Jimmy enjoyed weight lifting, running, firearms, woodworking and his Gran Torino.
Surviving in addition to his wife and parents are sons, Vincent J. Malachowski and Evan M. Malachowski; and a sister, Brandy Malachowski.
The family will receive friends at the Eline Funeral Home, 934 S. Main St., Hampstead, Maryland, on Sunday from 3 to 9 p.m. Funeral services will be held Monday, March 28, 2011 at 1 p.m. at St. Bartholomew Catholic Church, 2930 Hanover Pike, Manchester, Maryland 21102. Burial with full military honors will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to help injured veterans be made to the Wounded Warrior Regiment, 3025 John Quick Road, MCB Quantico, Virginia 22134
A Maryland Marine was killed in combat in Afghanistan. Friends and family celebrated the soldier’s life Monday.
This young man was well-known for being both a proud soldier and a proud family man. He leaves behind a wife, two sons and a baby on the way.
On Monday afternoon, American flags lined the St. Bartholomew Roman Catholic Church in Manchester, paving the way for hundreds to say goodbye and honor Staff Sergeant James Malachowski, who was killed in Afghanistan last Sunday.
“I have never felt this much pain in my entire life. My son is gone. My little boy is dead,” said his mother, Alison Malachowski.
The 25-year-old father of two graduated from North Carroll High School in 2003. Even before that, he knew he wanted to join the Marines as soon as possible.
“He would set himself on a goal and he’d go get it. He did the Marines because it was the hardest thing he could find to do, the biggest challenge,” said Michael Guderjohn.
“He wanted to be remembered for what he did and the people looked up to him. Everyone who worked with him looked up to him,” said his father.
Even strangers looked up to him. Dozens gathered at the funeral to ensure a peaceful service and to pay their respects.
“He gave the ultimate sacrifice and how else can you say thank you,” said one.
Malachowski’s mother says her son wanted to go out serving his country. An improvised explosive device ended his life. It was his fourth combat tour.
“It’s the best way to go. He died doing what he loved and we should all be so lucky,” said one.
He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full honors.
Malachowski’s mother and sister also served in the military.
22 March 2011:
In life, Staff Sergeant James M. Malachowski made his family proud by maintaining a sense of humility even while earning a distinguished record of service in the Marines.
Now, in death, the fallen Marine has made his family even prouder.
"He said that if he ever went, he wanted to go out in combat," said his mother, Alison, on Tuesday at the family home in Westminster. "And that's how he went."
Malachowski, 25, was killed in action Sunday in Afghanistan by a homemade bomb. It was his first tour of duty in Afghanistan. He had previously served three deployments in Iraq.
Born and raised in Hampstead, "Jimmy" was remembered Tuesday as the life of his family, whose death has left a hole in family members' lives. His interests included weightlifting, running, firearms and wood-working.
He particularly enjoyed bodybuilding, his mother said. "If it was heavy, Jimmy would lift it."
She said she used to warn him that if he got any bigger, "he'd have to turn sideways to get through the door." He was running up to 10 miles a day by the time he left for Afghanistan.
Malachowski came from a military family; his mother is a retired Marine, and his sister is in the Army. He decided to join the Marines in his final year at North Carroll Senior High School, attracted to the challenge and sentimentality.
"It was the Marine Corps. It was the hardest thing to do and … his mom was in it," said his father, James Sr.
He left for boot camp the day after high school graduation in 2003.
Added his mother, "He has challenged himself and the Marine Corps has challenged him over the last six years. He's done very, very, very, very well at it, too, I must say. We're really proud of our little boy."
He had been awarded two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medals, two Marine Corps Good Conduct medals, a National Defense Service Medal, two Iraq Campaign medals, a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He was promoted to staff sergeant last April.
He earned a position on the Marine Corps Rifle Team and taught more than 50,000 recruits the fundamentals of marksmanship.
Family members said they only learned about some of his accomplishments since his death, which was just like him. Though he didn't like to brag, there was no doubting his courage, they said.
On his first tour in Iraq, his mother recalled asking him, "Just what do you all do over there?"
His reply: "We do what everyone else can't or won't do. That's when they call us."
His older sister, Brandy Malachowski, 28, said she was thrilled to get her first salute as a commissioned officer from her brother. And his parents said they hope that others will remember his sacrifice.
His father said, "We were proud of him on Saturday, and we're even prouder of him now."
"It was like a bright flame that burned very brightly, but very shortly," his mother said. "We really hope that everyone else in this country remembers this war. We still have these young men and women dying for this country."
Funeral arrangements are pending. His body is expected to arrive at Dover Air Force Base Wednesday morning, according to military officials.
Survivors include his parents and sister; his wife, Lindsay; and two sons, Vincent James and Evan Michael.
MALACHOWSKI, JAMES MICHAEL
Posted: 26 April 2011 Updated: 13 June 2011
Photos By Eileen Horan, June 2011
Photos By Eileen Horan, April 2011