Jason Richard Freiwald
Chief Petty Officer, United States Navy
Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 769-08
DoD Identifies Navy Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a sailor who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Chief Petty Officer (select) Jason Richard Freiwald, 30, of Armada, Michigan, died September 12, 2008, from injuries sustained while conducting combat operations in Afghanistan September 11, 2008. Freiwald was temporarily forward deployed from his assignment at Naval Special Warfare Development Group, Dam Neck, Virginia.
For further information related to this release, contact Naval Special Warfare Command Public Affairs at 619-522-2824.
Freiwald was born December 20, 1977 in Utica, Michigan where he later graduated from Armada Senior High School. He enlisted in the Navy on April 25, 1996 and reported to Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois, on November 5, 1996. After completing basic training he graduated from the Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center, Dam Neck, Virginia, before reporting to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training at Coronado, California. Upon graduating from BUD/S, Freiwald completed Basic Airborne School in Fort. Benning, Georgia.
He then reported to his first permanent duty station at SEAL Team 5 at Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado, California. He served at SEAL Team 5 for two years before transferring to SEAL Team 3 in Coronado. While at SEAL Teams 5 and 3 he completed numerous qualifications to prepare him for combat, including sniper training, Arabic, and tactical rock climbing, to name only a few.
Freiwald also distinguished himself during multiple combat deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In March 2005, Freiwald transferred from SEAL Team 3 and began the demanding selection and training program at NSWDG. Freiwald completed the arduous training and received orders to Naval Special Warfare Tactical Development and Evaluation Squadron 2.
Freiwald is a highly-decorated SEAL combat veteran including the Bronze Star medal with combat "V" distinguishing device; Joint Service Commendation Medal with combat "V" distinguishing device; two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal with combat "V" distinguishing device; the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal; Combat Action ribbon, and numerous personal, unit and campaign medals.
Freiwald is survived by his loving wife, Stacey;
his daughter, Jasmine; and his mother and father, Terri and Richard Freiwald.
At churches and homes in and around Armada on Sunday, the talk centered on a U.S. Navy SEAL from Macomb County who was killed last week in combat with heavily armed militants in Afghanistan.
Chief Petty Officer Jason Freiwald, 30, of Armada, and Senior Chief Petty Officer John Marcum, 34, of Flushing in Genesee County, were fatally shot Thursday night, the Defense Department said Sunday.
Freiwald, a 1996 graduate of Armada High School, the married father of one daughter, has one brother who also is a Navy SEAL, another training to become one and a third who is in college.
"Their whole family makes everyone in this area quite proud," said Nancy Moegle, a physical education teacher at Armada High School.
Commander Gregory Geisen of the Naval Special Warfare Command Public Affairs said Freiwald's family asked for privacy and did not wish to speak to the media Sunday.
Neighbors and people who know Freiwald's family described him as a well liked young man who came from a strong and active family. Priests at various churches on Sunday asked parishioners to pray for him and his family.
Freiwald is one of four brothers all of whom have strong athletic
backgrounds, especially in wrestling. Their father, Richard, is the former president of the Armada Athletic Boosters.
"They are a very close family, no doubt, just real good people," said Ken Keding, a longtime area resident, who visited the Freiwald family to pay their respects along with his wife, who made them meat loaf and potatoes.
Freiwald and Marcum, who died two days after the seventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, were forward deployed to Afghanistan from their assignments at the Naval Special Warfare Development Group in Virginia Beach, Va.
"They died while taking the fight to the enemy, going in harm's way with the selflessness that resonated in their character and made them giants among men," said Capt. Scott Moore, commanding officer of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, in a statement.
Freiwald, who was born in Utica, enlisted in the U.S. Navy on April 25, 1996, and reported to Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill., on Nov. 5, 1996.
He graduated from the Navy after completing basic training and went through the Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center in Virginia before reporting to basic underwater demolition/SEAL training in Coronado, Calif.
According to the Defense Department, Freiwald's initial duties were with SEAL teams in California where he completed qualifications to prepare him for combat including sniper training, Arabic, and tactical rock climbing. He also distinguished himself during numerous combat deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Freiwald was a highly decorated SEAL combat veteran who was honored with awards including the Bronze Star with combat "V" distinguishing service; Joint Service Commendation Medal with combat "V"; two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medals; and others.
In addition to his brothers, he is survived
by his wife, Stacey; daughter, Jasmine; and parents, Terri and Richard
LANSING, Mich. -- Gov. Jennifer Granholm has
ordered U.S. flags be flown at half-staff Monday to honor a Navy SEAL from
Macomb County killed in fighting in Afghanistan.
Chief Petty Officer Jason Freiwald of Armada was injured Sept. 11 and died the next day. The 30-year-old is being buried Monday at Arlington National Cemetery.
Freiwald was part of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, based at Dam Neck, Virginia. He was born in Utica, Michigan, and graduated from Armada Senior High School before enlisting in the Navy.
FREIWALD, JASON RICHARD
Posted: 25 September 2008 Updated: 26 February 2009 Updated: 19 April 2009
Photos By Holly, April 2009
Photos By Holly, September 2008