Military Wiki
Jeff Struecker
Jeff Struecker, March 2009
Born 1969 (age 51–52)
Place of birth Fort Dodge, Iowa
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Department of the Army Seal.svg United States Army
Years of service 1987–2011
Rank US-O4 insignia.svg Major
Unit 75th Ranger Regiment

Operation Just Cause
Persian Gulf War

Battle of Mogadishu
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom
Awards Bronze Star with V device and two oak leaf clusters

Jeffrey D. Struecker[1] (born 1969 in Fort Dodge, Iowa)[2] is an author and former U.S. Army Ranger who was involved in the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993.[2][3][4] He also participated in the 1989 invasion of Panama (Operation Just Cause)[2][3] and in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm.[2][3] Struecker has co-authored five published books.[5]

Enlisted service[]

SPC Isaac Gmazel and SSG Jeff Struecker upon winning the 1996 Best Ranger Competition at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Enlisted in the Army in September 1987[2] at the age of 18, Struecker served ten years in the 75th Ranger Regiment in positions ranging from Ranger Reconnaissance Specialist to Platoon Sergeant. He would go on to win the Best Ranger Competition in 1996 with partner SPC Isaac Gmazel.[4][6]

Struecker was also recognized in 1998 with the U.S. Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.[7]

Battle of Mogadishu[]

In the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu, Struecker was a 24-year-old Sergeant and squad leader assigned to Task Force Ranger as a part of the 75th Ranger Regiment. It was he who led the 3-vehicle convoy that returned, through intense fire, wounded Ranger Pvt. Todd Blackburn to base. In the film based on the battle, Black Hawk Down, Struecker is portrayed by Brian Van Holt.[8]

Commissioned service[]

After his enlisted service ended in April 2000,[2] Struecker went on to graduate from seminary and became commissioned as a Chaplain.[3][9] As Chaplain, Struecker served multiple tours in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.[7] Struecker's final military assignment was Chaplain with the Regimental Special Troops Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment.[10][11] Struecker retired from active military service at the end of January 2011.[10]

Awards and decorations[]

Some of Struecker's military awards and decorations include the Combat Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Master Military Freefall Parachutist Badge, Bronze Star with Valor device and two oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with bronze service star, Southwest Asia Service Medal with bronze service star, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with bronze service star, Iraq Campaign Medal with bronze service star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Superior Unit Award, Ranger Tab, and the German Parachutist Badge. Other awards not shown below include British Parachutist Wings and Thai Parachutist Wings.:[2][12]

Combat Infantry Badge.svg
Master Parachutist badge (United States).svg Pathfinder.gif US Military Master Free Fall Parachutist Badge.jpg
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
RangerTab TIoH.gif Fallschirmspringerabzeichen der Bundeswehr in Bronze.jpg

Post-military career[]

Immediately following his retirement from the military, Struecker became an Associate Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Columbus, Georgia,[7][10] a church where he and his family had been members since 2007.[7] Struecker has also continued to author books[5] and he speaks regularly to audiences across the United States about his experiences and about his Christian faith.[13]

Return to Mogadishu[]

In March 2013 Struecker returned to Mogadishu with a film crew to shoot a short film Return to Mogadishu: Remembering Black Hawk Down which debuted in October 2013 on the 20th anniversary of the battle. Struecker and country singer Keni Thomas relived the battle as they drove through the Bakaara Market in armored vehicles and visited the Wolcott crash site.

Education and personal life[]

Struecker earned a Master of Divinity Degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky,[3] and a Bachelor of Science Degree and Associate of Science Degree from Troy State University in Troy, Alabama.

He is married to his wife Dawn and has five children.[3]

Published books[]


  1. Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation 2010 Annual Report,; retrieved May 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Congressional Record 107th Congress (2001-2002),; retrieved February 2011
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Kelly, Clint; "Facing Fear", HomeLife Magazine, March 2007
  4. 4.0 4.1 'Black Hawk Down' hero urges Gator Bowl teams to trust Christ,; retrieved December 2010
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Books > Jeff Strueker,; retrieved December 2010
  6. Best Ranger Competition - Previous Winners,; retrieved December 2010
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Struecker...Joins Staff at Local Church,; retrieved January 2011
  8. Brian Van Holt Credits,; retrieved December 2010
  9. Jeff Strueker,; retrieved December 2010
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Army Chaplain Joins Staff of Local Church". WRBL. Archived from the original on 30 September 2013. Retrieved January 2011. 
  11. "Face of Defense: Chaplain Helps Others Fight Stress". DOD. 9 November 2009. 
  12. Chaplain (Maj.) Jeff Struecker to speak...,; retrieved January 2011
  13. A List of Evangelistic Speakers,; retrieved December 2010

External links[]

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