CRYSTAL FALLS, MI, USA
PO2, SEAL TEAM FOUR, VIRGINIA BEACH, VA
BALAD, IRAQ 04/06/2007
Navy Petty Officer Second Class (Special Operations 2) Joseph Clark Schwedler, 27, died from enemy fire while assaulting a fortified Enemy position in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq.
Joseph Schwedler was part of a dedicated team fighting the insurgency in Iraq, as part of the larger U.S. effort to bring peace and stability to that country. On April 6, 2007, he was killed by enemy fire while participating in his team’s assault on a home occupied by terrorists who were involved in the recent downing of a Coalition helicopter. Schwedler first served in Iraq in 2005, and reenlisted in the Navy while over there. He deployed on his second tour to Iraq in 2006.
Joseph Schwedler, known as “Clark” by his friends and family, was an avid outdoorsman and athlete, and a stand- out football and basketball player throughout high school. In government class, he spoke about the importance of public service and giving back to the community. He was a bright student, focused and goal-oriented.
Following two years study at Michigan State University, Schwedler enlisted in the Navy, and graduated from BUD/S training in 2003. His shipmates said that it was the SEALs’ embodiment of the Navy’s core values of honor, courage, and commitment that drew him to volunteer for SEAL training.
In July 2004, Schwedler was assigned to SEAL Team FOUR, where his tireless work ethic and ability to accomplish any task established him as one of the top junior enlisted at the command. He constantly sought ways to improve himself and his teammates.
In 2006, Schwedler was assigned to Naval Special Warfare Task Unit Fallujah, where he served as a team leader, sensitive site exploitation officer and combat advisor to the Iraqi Army, Second Brigade. He took part in 108 combat missions from October 2006 to April 2007, and was a driving factor in the Task Unit’s successes.
By virtue of his courage, commitment and sacrifice, Clark Schwedler has earned the highest respect and gratitude of his fellow SEALs, the Navy, and our nation.
The Commodore of Naval Special Warfare Group TWO, (who oversees SEAL Teams 2, 4, 8, and 10), remembered Schwedler warmly and with gratitude: “He was a great warrior, teammate and friend to so many of us in the Naval Special Warfare community, and his spirit and sacrifice will live on in each of us as we continue to fight the global war on terrorism.
Petty Officer Schwedler lived by the SEAL Code, and time and again his actions in training and on the battlefield embodied the physical agility and mental toughness that characterizes the best of Naval Special Warfare. He will surely be missed and certainly not forgotten.”
A former high school football coach recalled Schwedler’s commitment and determination: When told to lift weights three times a week, he did it five days a week instead. “That was his dream – to be a Navy SEAL.”
Clark Schwedler’s SEAL Team FOUR comrades remember him as a hard working, loyal, and loving teammate, who met each challenge with unwavering enthusiasm, and set the example for all his SEAL brothers. He was dedicated to his friends, family, and the service of his country