Jeff Struecker

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Jeff Struecker
Jeff Struecker.jpg
Jeff Struecker, March 2009
Born (1969-03-07) March 7, 1969 (age 48)
Fort Dodge, Iowa, United States
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch Emblem of the United States Department of the Army.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 March 7, 1969 in Fort Dodge, Iowa)[2] is an author, pastor, 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[edit]

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[6] 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][7]

Struecker was also recognized in 1998 with the U.S. Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.[8]

Battle of Mogadishu[edit]

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. He 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.[9]

Commissioned service[edit]

After his enlisted service ended in April 2000,[2] Struecker went on to graduate from seminary and became commissioned as a Chaplain.[3][10] As Chaplain, Struecker served multiple tours in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.[8] Struecker's final military assignment was Chaplain with the Regimental Special Troops Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment.[11][12] Struecker retired from active military service at the end of January 2011.[11]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Combat Infantry Badge.svg Master Parachutist badge (United States).svg
Ranger Tab.svg Pathfinder.gif US Military Master Free Fall Parachutist Badge.jpg
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Silver oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Joint Service Achievement Medal ribbon.svg
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Award numeral 4.png
Fallschirmspringerabzeichen der Bundeswehr in Bronze.jpg Wings badge.JPG
75th Ranger Regiment CSIB.svg

Post-military career[edit]

Immediately following his retirement from the military, Struecker joined the staff of Calvary Baptist Church in Columbus, Georgia[8][11] and became its lead pastor in April 2014.[14] Struecker and his family had been members of the church since 2007.[8] 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.[15]

Return to Mogadishu[edit]

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 fellow veteran-turned-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[edit]

Struecker earned the Doctor of Philosophy from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, 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[edit]


  1. ^ 2010 Annual Report, Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation; retrieved May 2012
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Congressional Record 107th Congress (2001-2002),; retrieved February 2011
  3. ^ a b c d e f Kelly, Clint; "Facing Fear", HomeLife Magazine, March 2007
  4. ^ a b 'Black Hawk Down' hero urges Gator Bowl teams to trust Christ,; retrieved December 2010
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Books > Jeff Strueker,; retrieved December 2010
  6. ^ "The Fight of Faith: lives and testimonies from the battlefield" Bray,P./Claydon,M. (Eds) Ch 2 p10 (Merill,D./Struecker,J.): London, Panoplia, 2013 ISBN 978-0-9576089-0-0
  7. ^ Best Ranger Competition - Previous Winners,; retrieved December 2010
  8. ^ a b c d Struecker...Joins Staff at Local Church,; retrieved January 2011
  9. ^ Brian Van Holt Credits,; retrieved December 2010
  10. ^ Jeff Strueker,; retrieved December 2010
  11. ^ a b c "Army Chaplain Joins Staff of Local Church". WRBL. Archived from the original on 15 January 2011. Retrieved January 2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  12. ^ "Face of Defense: Chaplain Helps Others Fight Stress". DOD. 9 November 2009. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. 
  13. ^ Chaplain (Maj.) Jeff Struecker to speak...,; retrieved January 2011
  14. ^ Wilhite Ending 40 Years at Calvary Baptist Church,; retrieved May 2014
  15. ^ A List of Evangelistic Speakers,; retrieved December 2010

External links[edit]