12/20/1977 - 9/11/2008
Special Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Jason Freiwald was born in Michigan and grew up in the small town of Armada. He was a good athlete and a better than average student. He enjoyed baseball and wrestling when he was young. After graduating from Armada High School in 1996 he was accepted to attend Michigan State University but chose to pursue a career in the Navy as a SEAL. On November 5, 1996 he began basic training in Chicago. After basic training he began Intelligence Specialist training in Dam Neck Virginia from January to June 1997. He then attended BUD/S at NAB Coronado California, Class 215. After 6 months of the most grueling and demanding training in the world he graduated and reported to Basic Airborne School in Ft. Benning, GA.
Jason’s first assignment was with SEAL Team Five for two years and then SEAL Team Three, both at Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado, Cal. During his time on the west coast, he had multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. In March 2005 he transferred from Team 3 and began the demanding selection and training program at NSWDG. SOC Freiwald received orders to Naval Special Warfare Tactical Development and Evaluation Squadron 2. He had deployed five times conducting combat operations with a Joint Task Force as Lead Breacher.
Special Operations Chief Freiwald is a highly decorated combat veteran including the Silver & Bronze Star medals with combat “V” distinguishing device; Joint Service Commendation medal with combat “V” distinguishing device; two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medals with combat “V” distinguishing device; the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal; Combat Action ribbon, and numerous personal, unit and campaign medals.
His Bronze Star Medal w/Valor Citation reads:
“For heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy as Assault Team Member and Cross Functional Team Leader, Joint Task Force, in a direct support of operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM from 11 January to 5 April 2007, and 5 October 2007 to 12 January 2008. Petty Officer Freiwald led a Joint Task Force that executed complex combat operations in Afghanistan. He provided planning initiatives in his area of operations to restrict the enemy’s freedom to maneuver and to maintain a constant task force presence. On one occasion, he led his team to relieve a small outpost that was under attack by 150 enemy fighters. With complete disregard for his safety Petty Officer Freiwald repeatedly moved to a position open to sniper and machine-gun fire to effectively coordinate artillery and multiple close air support bombing runs. His heroic efforts and combat leadership resulted in the elimination of the enemy fighters and prevented the outpost from being overrun. By his extraordinary guidance, zealous initiative, and total dedication to duty, Petty Officer Freiwald reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
Jason loved what he did for the Navy and died doing what he loved. He had a base in Al Asad, Iraq named in his honor and a forward operating base near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border named after him. Jason was always a leader when he was a kid and continued that into his time in the Teams. He is truly missed by all that got to know him.