3rd Special Forces Group honors fallen comrade


running up that hill
Jan 3, 2007
in Wonderland, with my Alice

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, July 18, 2008) – Members of Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) honored a fallen comrade, memorialized his memory and thanked his wife for her sacrifice during a Silver Star Medal ceremony July 14.

Sgt. 1st Class Justin S. Monschke, a Special Forces weapons sergeant, was killed in action on October 14, 2007, just days before his 29th birthday. He was killed by an improvised explosive device during a dismounted movement to a suspected enemy position in the south Baghdad region of Arab Jabour, Iraq.

Prior to his death, Monschke distinguished himself on the field of battle by killing 10 enemy combatants and saving the lives of his fellow Soldiers, as well as the lives of the Iraqi soldiers with them, during an August 1, 2007 battle. For those actions, Monschke was awarded the Silver Star Medal, which was presented to his wife and their three children during a ceremony in front of Monschke’s company area at Fort Bragg, N.C.

“This is an incredible award, given only to those who have displayed the highest degree of gallantry in service and honor,” said Lt. Gen. Robert W. Wagner, commanding general, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, who spoke at the award ceremony.

Monschke was serving as the point man during the August 1, 2007 operation with the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Force. When the assault force lead by Monschke received small arms fire from four terrorists, he immediately returned fire, aggressively charged forward and closed the distance as he killed three terrorists and wounded a fourth by accurately firing while on the move. Monschke rallied the ICTF element with him to assault the target building. As his group entered the building, they were fired upon and Monschke returned fire, killing two more terrorists.

Monschke then lead the assault force of Iraqis into the fourth target building. As the assault force was entering the building a vehicle stopped just short of them. Two terrorists exited the vehicle and began firing on the Iraqi assault force, which was outside without cover. Through the open doorway Monschke killed the two terrorists and their driver, who was also attempting to shoot at them.

A second vehicle, containing four terrorists with weapons poised to kill, approached their position. Monschke again fired his M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon, effectively stopping the vehicle and killing all four terrorists, before they were able to harm any of his team.

“When I see these awards I look at how many times did a person make conscious acts of valor, to influence the situation when somebody else might not have done that and might not have been able to figure out what to do,” said Wagner who noted Monschke’s continued, unhesitating response to the repeated enemy assaults.

Brig. Gen. Michael S. Repass, commanding general, U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne), also spoke during the ceremony of Monschke’s selfless acts of courage.

“Our exploits as Special Forces operators are rarely known to the public and somewhat tragically, I would say it’s relatively unknown to our own families,” Repass said. “It’s only on occasions like this that the curtain is pulled back and the bright light is shined on our operators, what they have done and what they mean to other people. It’s perhaps the downside of being a quiet professional, but we have shined the light, none the less on a great operator.”
In addition to being presented her husband’s Silver Star Medal, Melissa accepted a dozen red roses which she then laid at the base of a memorial plaque for her husband.

“I think we can all find a great degree of satisfaction knowing that Justin knew he was going to receive this award,” said Wagner about Monschkes knowledge regarding his potential Silver Star Medal. “It’s reassuring to know that he knew that.”

“To the family, I want to say thanks for raising such a great American,” Repass said to Monschke’s wife, children, parents, and brother who were present. “I do not know where we get such men, but our lives are lessened by their untimely departure from our ranks.”

As Melissa and her three children laid the red roses on his memorial stone she spoke softly to them, telling them they would all return to the site in order to pay homage to their hero father, and remember him and his sacrifice.


Lt. Gen. Robert L. Wagner, commanding general, U.S. Army Special Forces Command passes the Silver Star Medal certificate to Melissa Menschke and her children, whose father was killed in Iraq, October 14, 2007. photo by Spc. Michael S. Creech
Goddess blessings to his his wife and children. RIP soldier, you won't be forgotten, your immortality lives in your children and our country.
RIP. It's sad looking at that pic and realizing that those three little kids will be growing up without their dad.