Joseph C. Shwedler
Navy SEAL Killed, Two Others Wounded in Iraq
Story Number: NNS070409-04
Release Date: 4/9/2007 3:18:00 PM
From Naval Special Warfare Group 2 Public Affairs
NORFOLK (NNS) — Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Joseph C. Schwedler, Sea, Air, Land (SEAL), 27, of Crystal Falls, Mich., was killed by enemy fire while conducting combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in the Al Anbar province of Iraq April 5.
Two additional SEALs were also wounded in this attack; their names are being withheld pending next of kin notification.
“Our hearts go out to the family, friends, and teammates of Petty Officer Schwedler in this very difficult time. 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,” said Capt. Chaz Heron, Naval Special Warfare Group 2’s commander.
“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.”
Schwedler enlisted in the Navy on March 25, 2002, and graduated from boot camp at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill., in October. In November 2002, Schwedler entered Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training in Coronado, Calif., Class 246. It was the SEALs’ embodiment of the Navy’s core values of honor, courage, and commitment that his shipmates said drew Schwedler to volunteer for SEAL training.
Following graduation from BUD/S, Schwedler completed advanced SEAL training courses including parachute training at Basic Airborne School, Fort Benning, Ga., six months of SEAL Qualifications Training in Coronado and cold weather combat training in Kodiak, Alaska. He was assigned to an East Coast-based SEAL team in July of 2004 and was subsequently promoted to petty officer second class in December of 2004. In the ensuing months, Schwedler participated in specialized training in preparation for his SEAL Team’s deployment to the Central Command area of operations late last year in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
His awards and decorations include the Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Sea Service Deployment ribbon.
Schwedler is survived by his father, mother, brother, sister and Naval Special Warfare teammates.
For more news from Naval Special Warfare Group 2 visit www.news.navy.mil/local/nswgtwo.
Navy SEAL from Little Creek is killed in combat in Iraq
By LOUIS HANSEN, The Virginian-Pilot
© April 9, 2007 | Last updated 11:32 PM Apr. 9
VIRGINIA BEACH — When his high school football coach asked the players to lift weights three times a week, Clark Schwedler pumped iron five days a week.
When his government teacher taught about public service, Schwedler spoke persuasively about the need to give back to the community.
Schwedler’s fitness and service were tested as a Navy SEAL during two deployments, the latest one to Iraq. On Thursday, Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph Clark Schwedler was killed by enemy fire in Iraq’s Anbar province.
Two other East Coast-based SEALs were wounded in the attack, the Department of Defense announced. Schwedler is the 37th service member with local ties to die in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan since war began in 2002.
“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 terror,” Capt. Chaz Heron, commodore of Naval Special Warfare Group Two, said in a statement.
Schwedler grew up in Crystal Falls, Mich., a town of about 1,700 residents where the major industries are logging and tourism. His father, Joseph Schwedler, is a judge on the Iron County Trial Court, friends said Monday.
Schwedler played football and basketball and ran track at Forest Park High School in a community devoted to its school sports teams.
Bill St. John, a retired teacher, said Schwedler was a bright student, focused and goal- oriented. He spoke about public service and giving back to the community during class, St. John said.
Jim Nocerini, a retired teacher and coach, said Schwedler was quiet but made the room shine. “Any time you met Clarkie,” he said, calling him by his nickname, “he had a smile on his face.”
Schwedler graduated from high school in 1998 and attended Michigan State University. A career in Navy special warfare attracted him.
“This was his dream – to be a Navy SEAL,” Nocerini said.
According to the Navy, Schwedler enlisted in March 2002. Eight months later, he entered Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALs training at Coronado Naval Amphibious base in California and graduated from Class 246.
Schwedler was assigned to SEAL Team Four at Norfolk Little Creek Naval Amphibious base in July 2004. He was deployed twice, said Lt. David Luckett, spokesman for Naval Special Warfare Group Two at Little Creek.
Schwedler lived in a brick ranch home off Rosemont Road in Virginia Beach. Neighbor Howard Perry said Monday that the two would often help each other with yard work.
Perry, a retired Marine Corps master gunnery sergeant, said the two talked about military service and the common bond between Marines and SEALs.
The neighbors had a small going-away party before Schwedler was deployed in August. Perry said his neighbor was ready for the deployment. “You’ve got a job to do,” Perry said, “you’ve got to do it.”
Schwedler earned the Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, the Navy said.
The ribbons tell only part of the story of the work being done by SEALs overseas. Since the wars began, 11 locally based SEALs have been killed. Schwedler was the first to die in combat in Iraq, the Navy confirmed.
The SEALs were fighting in Anbar province, a Sunni-dominated region that includes the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi. The region has been a focal point of insurgents against U.S. troops and the Iraqi government.
Schwedler is survived by his parents, Joseph and Susan Schwedler, a brother and a sister.
Crystal Falls will hold a public funeral Saturday in the Forest Park High School gymnasium. Workers polished the hardwood basketball floor and the 1,000 seats in preparation for the ceremony. Nocerini expects most of the town to crowd into the gymnasium and honor their fallen soldier.
“This is what he wanted to be,” he said. “And he gave his life for it.”
• Reach Louis Hansen at (757) 446-2322 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Body of fallen Navy SEAL to return to U.P.
By Pete Frecchio
Iron Mountain Daily News
CRYSTAL FALLS — A Navy SEAL from the Upper Peninsula, killed in combat in Iraq, is being remembered by his comrades.
Joseph Clark Schwedler, 27, Crystal Falls, was killed Thursday by enemy fire while conducting combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in the Al Anbar province of Iraq.
Two other SEALs were also wounded in the attack. Their names are being withheld, a Defense Department news release said.
Schwedler is the sixth U.P. serviceman to die while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Schwedler’s leaves behind his parents, Joseph and Susan Schwedler, one brother and one sister.
Joseph Schwedler is the district court judge in Iron County.
“Our hearts go out to the family, friends and teammates of Petty Officer Schwedler in this very difficult time,” said Capt. Chaz Heron, at Norfolk, Va.
“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 Terror,” Capt. Heron said in a statement.
Schwedler was a 1997 graduate of Forest Park High School.
He enlisted in the Navy March 25, 2002, and graduated from boot camp at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill., in October 2002.
The following month Schwedler entered Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training in Coronado, Calif.
Schwedler’s body should be back in the U.P. within four to seven days.
Schwedler’s awards and decorations include the Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Sea Service Deployment ribbon.