Joseph Trane McCloud
Lieutenant Colonel, United States Marine Corps
RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 1243-06 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 6, 2006
Media Contact: (703) 697-5131/697-5132
DoD Identifies Marine Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of two Marines who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Major Joseph T. McCloud, 39, of Grosse Pointe
Both Marines died December 3, 2006, when the CH-46 helicopter they were in crashed in Al Anbar province, Iraq. They were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Media with questions about these Marines can
call the Hawaii public affairs office at (808) 257-8870.
In the photograph, Major Joseph T. McCloud is standing at the crest of a hydroelectric dam on the Euphrates River. The picture, e-mailed last month to family and friends, captured a brief moment during McCloud's tour of duty in Iraq, where the Marine served as an operations officer.
While the snapshot revealed little about McCloud's mission, his broad, picture-postcard smile telegraphed home a sense of calm.
A few weeks later, on December 3, 2006, McCloud, 39, who considered Alexandria, Virginia, home, was killed when the CH-46 helicopter he was traveling in malfunctioned and was forced to make an emergency landing on Lake Qadisiyah -- behind the dam where the photograph was taken, friends said.
Twelve service members survived the crash; McCloud and three other men, including Marine Corporal Joshua C. Sticklen, 24, of Virginia Beach, Virignia, were killed.
Yesterday, hundreds of mourners gathered at Arlington National Cemetery to honor the career Marine they hailed as a man proud to wear the uniform.
"He was fully committed and believed whole-heartedly in what he was doing," said Wade Hutchens, who has been friends with McCloud, known by his middle name, "Trane," since they both pledged a fraternity in 1985 at the University of Tennessee. "There was never a shred of doubt with anything he did, going all the way back to college."
During yesterday's full-honors service, McCloud's flag-draped coffin was delivered to the grave site by a horse-drawn caisson, and the Marine Corps Band played a slow, mournful version of the Marine Corps Hymn.
McCloud was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, where he reported in April. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1990 and was commissioned in April 1992. He was promoted posthumously to Lieutenant Colonel.
Thursday would have been McCloud's 40th birthday. He leaves behind his wife, Maggie McCloud, and three young children.
"He was the love of my life," Maggie McCloud told The Washington Post shortly after her husband's death. "I'm so devastated that my children are not going to grow up with him, because he was a man of character and honor."
McCloud attended high school in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, outside Detroit, and later graduated from the University of Tennessee, where he studied liberal arts and history. According to news reports, he enlisted in the Marine Corps just in time for Desert Storm and served on the USS Missouri. It was the ship's captain who encouraged him to attend Officer Candidate School.
During his career, McCloud worked at the Pentagon, did a fellowship on Capitol Hill and served as an instructor at the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School in Quantico. He and his wife moved from Alexandria to Hawaii this year.
Marine Major Pat Zaleski first met McCloud 13 years ago when they served together at Camp Lejeune. They later served together on the staff at Officer Candidate School and remained close friends. Yesterday, he escorted McCloud's remains to Arlington National Cemetery.
"There were very few things he loved more than
the Marines, but things he did love more were his wife and children," Zaleski
said. "As good a Marine as he was, he was a much better husband and father.
. . . He was an absolutely selfless and humble man. Those are the best
A caisson carries the remains of Marine Corps Major Joseph T. McCloud during
funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery Friday, December 15, 2006.
Posted: 17 December 2006 Updated: 1 January 2007 Updated: 4 February 2007 Updated: 11 November 2007
Photos Courtesy of Holly, February 2007
Photo Courtesy of Holly, January 2007