WESTMINSTER, MD, US
U. S. Marine Corps
SSGT, 2D BN 8TH MAR, (RCT-1, I MEF FWD), 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC
03/20/2011, HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
Staff Sergeant James M Malachowski was killed in action in Marjah, Afghanistan on Sunday, March 20, 2011, by an Improvised Exploding Device. He was a Platoon Leader assigned to the 3rd Platoon, Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, North Carolina. He was twenty-five years old. It was his first tour of duty in Afghanistan. He had previously served three deployments in Iraq.
Malachowski came from a military family. His mother is a retired Marine, and his sister is in the Army. He decided to join the Marines in his final year at North Carroll Senior High School, attracted to the challenge and tradition. In 2003, he graduated from high school and was bound for boot camp.
Staff Sergeant Malachowski was awarded two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medals, two Marine Corps Good Conduct medals, a National Defense Service Medal, two Iraq Campaign medals, a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He was promoted to staff sergeant last April. He earned a position on the Marine Corps Rifle Team and taught more than 50,000 recruits the fundamentals of marksmanship. “He said that if he ever went, he wanted to go out in combat,” said his mother, Alison, “And that’s how he went.”
Born and raised in Hampstead, North Carolina, just outside of Camp Lejeune he was known as “Jimmy”, but his Marine buddies called him “Ski”. His interests included weightlifting, running, firearms, wood-working, and working on his Gran Torino. He particularly enjoyed bodybuilding and his mother said. “If it was heavy, Jimmy would lift it.” She also said she used to warn him that if he got any bigger, “he’d have to turn sideways to get through the door.” He was running up to 10 miles a day by the time he left for Afghanistan. The Marine Corps was his heart and soul. As his father, James Sr. once said, “It was the Marine Corps. It was the hardest thing to do and … his mom was in it,” He was infantry all the way… a Marine’s Marine.
James Malachowski’s , friends and his Marine Corps recognize the intense challenges he turned into a distinguished record and accomplishments. His sense of humility and humor added to their pride and appreciation. “He was like a bright flame that burned very brightly, but very shortly,” his mother said. He leaves behind his wife Lindsay, sons Vincent and Evan, parents James and Alison Malachowski and his sister Brandy Malachowski.