Jeremy Graczyk, Major
august 29, 1977-july 12, 2011
Jeremy Graczyk was born on August 29, 1977 at Bon Secours Hospital in Methuen MA. He was a resident of Atkinson, New Hampshire for his entire childhood, which led to his lifelong fondness for the state. During his formative years he made many friends whom he continued to keep in contact with during his adult years.
Jeremy graduated from Timberlane Regional High school in 1995. He lettered in varsity basketball and soccer, served in multiple school organizations, received the 1995 outstanding senior award, and was the valedictorian of his class. Following graduation from Timberlane he attended the US Naval Academy in Annapolis MD. Jeremy graduated with distinction from the US Naval Academy in 1999 with a degree in Systems Engineering and a minor in Spanish. He served on the Brigade Staff his senior year as the Brigade Adjutant. Jeremy was also the Rugby Team President and was a Collegiate All American in 1998 and 1999. Upon his graduation he was commissioned as a second Lieutenant in the Marine Corp.
After graduation from the US Naval Academy and temporary assigned duty with the Brigade of Midshipman supervising plebe indoctrination, Jeremy attended The Basic School Class Fox 1999 where he graduated 12th in his class and was assigned the military occupational specialty Infantry. Upon completion of the Infantry Officer’s Course, Jeremy was recognized by his peers and selected for the General Wheeler Leadership Award.
Jeremy’s first assignment in August 2000 was the Rifle Platoon Commander, I Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines where he completed the Combined Arms Exercise and Unit Deployment to Okinawa to include Jungle Warfare Training Center, Exercise Cobra Gold in Thailand, Exercise Balikatan in the Philippines on board LST 1125. These duties included multiple combined live fire training exercises and jungle patrolling exercises with both nations. Additionally his company participated in Non Combatant Evacuation (NEO) training Guam and Tinian.
After a year as Rifle Platoon commander, Jeremy was assigned duties as 81mm Mortar Platoon Commander where he would serve for the next two years. Jeremy subsequently deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF) to Kuwait in January 2003. Initially conducting security outpost and patrolling operations in defense of Regimental Combat Team 7(RCT7)’s Living Support Area on the Iraqi border, his battalion made final preparations for the subsequent invasion. As a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003 his platoon supported the initial assault into Safwan and subsequent battles in Numanaya, Diwaniya, Salman Pak, and the final assault to secure Baghdad. His platoon fired over 3000 rounds throughout this period and conducted multiple raids, and assaults killing and capturing members of the Iraqi Army and later Saddam Fedayeen in Baghdad. His battalion remained in Iraq during the initial security and sustainment operations in Karbala. Throughout this period he was personally responsible for the town of Hindiyah and engaged with the local leadership to conduct security operations against the rising insurgent threat. This included combat security and reconnaissance patrols, raids, civil engagement, and police training. For his service in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) I, then Captain Graczyk was awarded the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
Before deployment to Iraq, Captain Graczyk had successfully completed the 1st Force Reconnaissance Company Screening and Indoctrination where he was subsequently assigned 5th Platoon Commander, 1st Force Reconnaissance Company in September of 2003. Captain Graczyk redeployed to Iraq as 5th Platoon Commander in support of RCT7. His Platoon conducted long range reconnaissance patrols to counter foreign fighter infiltration, extensive urban reconnaissance in support of Task Force 3/7 and Task Force 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR). His platoon conducted over fifty direct action raids to kill/capture task force High Value Targets (HVT’s), as well as counter sniper and counter IED ambushes. His platoon participated in the April 17th Battle of Husaybah. One of his teams was able to secure the wounded Marine’s body and all remaining enemies in the building. Capt Graczyk was Awarded Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal with combat distinguishing device for his deployment.
Returning to Camp Pendleton and additional schooling he sustained his service as 5thPlatoon Commander, and was assigned duties with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Special Operations Capable (MEU/SOC). His platoon qualified Close Quarters Combat (CQB) and conducted multiple Direct Action Raid and Long Range Reconnaissance training missions in support of the 11th MEU work up and Special Operations Combat Exercise (SOCEX). His Platoon completed the Advanced High Altitude High Opening training thus qualifying the entire platoon for standoff parachute operations. He captained the 11th MEU Rugby Team in various port calls before deploying in support of Combined Task Force North Arabian Gulf (CTF NAG) where he led a mobile training team for Iraqi Marines in Multi-National Division-Southeast (MND-SE). Supporting the Combined British Naval Command at SPOE Um Qasr, Jeremy’s team trained over 600 Iraqi Marine Recruits and security personnel. His team also provided Personal Security Detail for the US Deputy Ambassador to Iraq’s visit to Um Qasr. Captain Graczyk was subsequently awarded the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
In December of 2006, Captain Graczyk was reassigned to Company B as Commander Officer. The 1stBattalion 4th Marines returned from the 11th MEU(SOC) and quickly made preparations for OIF 06-08 on compressed timeline to support the troop surge. Captain Graczyk led his company in Exercise Mojave Viper and deployed to Iraq in April 2006. His company was detached to support Task Force 1st LAR in Anah, Reyanah, and Sagrah Iraq conducting sustained Counter Insurgency (COIN) partnered with 2-3-7 Iraqi Army (IA) and Anah Iraqi Police District
In the June 2009 Jeremy took on an assignment in Washington DC as a special liaison between the Marine Corp and various intelligence agencies within the US government. During this assignment he spent much time overseas in many different countries. During this assignment in August 2009, Jeremy was promoted to Major. His promotion ceremony was held at the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington DC.
Jeremy’s awards and commendations during his career included the following.
For his tours in Iraq and Afghanistan he earned three Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medals, one Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, two Combat Action Ribbons, two National Defense Service Medals, two Afghanistan Campaign Medals, five Iraq Campaign Medals, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Presidential Unit Citation, a Meritorious Unit Citation and seven Sea Service Deployment Ribbons. Subsequent to his passing he also received a Bronze Star and a Bronze Star with Valor.
While in the Marine Corp Jeremy completed the following qualifications:
SERE C, Basic Airborne, Marine Combatant Dive, USAF JTAC Joint Fire Power Course, I MEF SOTG CQB, Legion Protective Service High Risk Personnel PSD Course, MC-5 Static Line Transition Parachute Course, SF10 Parachute Transitioned, International Tactical Training Seminars Carbine/Pistol Qual, Western Adventures Off Road Driving qualification, Multi Mission Freefall Parachutist
Jeremy was a Guest Lecturer at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business on the topic of “Managing Chaos”.
All Marine Rugby 2003, 2005, 2006 All Combined Services Team 2003, 2006
Avid Rock Climber, Mountaineer, Skier, Snowboarder, surfer. Traveled extensively to Argentina, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Mexico, Spain, Ireland, South Africa, Austria, France, Italy, Switzerland, Canada, Thailand.
Jeremy died in a BASE jumping accident in Switzerland.