Army shooter fallen
MSG Jared Van Aalst, who won the service rifle competition at the 2005 All-Army Small Arms Championship while serving with the sniper platoon, 3rd Ranger Battalion, and later with the USAMU and then NCOIC of the sniper school at Ft. Benning, will be escorted home to Ft. Benning from Dover AFB by SFC Emil Praslick on Saturday.
Rest in Peace brother. We have the watch now.
I looked for a casualty release after seeing this. I have not seen one yet. Very very sad news.
Staff Sgt. Jared N. Van Aalst of the Sniper Platoon, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, reloads during service-rifle competition, part of the All-Army Small Arms Championship March 12-24 at Fort Benning, Ga. Van Aalst beat 147 Soldiers to win the service-rifle championship by 28 points more than the second-place finisher. Van Aalst also had other wins and placings in different categories of the competition.
Rest easy, brother.
DOD Identifies Army Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Master Sgt. Jared N. Van Aalst, 34, of Laconia, N.H., died Aug. 4 in
Kunduz province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered while his unit was
conducting combat operations. He was assigned to the U.S. Army Special
Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.
ETA: His bio from Special Operations Command
MASTER SGT. JARED N. VAN AALST Died August 4, 2010
Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan
Master Sgt. Jared Van Aalst was born in Laconia, N.H., on Sept. 1, 1975.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army as a signal support systems specialist on
Aug. 17, 1995.
He graduated in 1993 from Plymouth Regional High School in Plymouth, N.H.
After completing Basic Training, the Signal Support Systems Specialist
Course, and Basic Airborne School, Van Aalst was assigned to
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort
Benning, Ga., for the Ranger Indoctrination Program.
After completion, he was assigned to HHC, 3rd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment,
also at Fort Benning, where he served as a signal systems specialist.
In the summer of 1997, Van Aalst graduated from Ranger School and
returned to 3rd Bn., where he continued his duties for another year
before reclassifying into the infantryman military occupational
In August 1998, Van Aalst attended Sniper School then returned to HHC,
3rd Bn., as a sniper team leader later transitioning to squad leader in
August 1999. After serving for two years as a squad leader, he was
selected as an instructor and a shooter in the U.S. Army Marksmanship
Unit at Fort Benning. He served in that position for two years before
returning in September 2003 to HHC, 3rd Bn., as a sniper platoon
Shortly thereafter, he deployed on his first combat rotation to
Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, then to Operation Iraqi
Freedom in Iraq before moving in 2005 to Co. A, 3rd Bn., to serve as a
platoon sergeant. As a platoon sergeant, he deployed twice to Iraq in
2005 and again to Afghanistan in 2006.
Van Aalst returned to HHC, 3rd Bn., as the noncommissioned officer
in-charge of the Reconnaissance, Sniper and Technical Surveillance
Detachment. He deployed to Afghanistan again in 2006, for his fifth
In July 2007, Van Aalst was assigned as the chief instructor and writer
to 'C' Co, 2nd Bn., 29th Infantry, at Fort Benning, where he served for
one year before being selected in 2008 as a special operations team
member, U. S. Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N. C.
His military education includes the Basic Airborne Course, Ranger
School, Sniper School, Warrior Leader Course, Static Line Jumpmaster,
the Combat Lifesaver Course, Special Operations Target Interdiction
Course, Infantry Advanced Leaderâ€™s Course, Survival, Evasion, Resistance
and Escape Course, Infantry Senior Leaderâ€™s Course, Pathfinder Course,
the Advanced Land Navigation Course, and the Military Free-Fall Course.
He was posthumously recognized with a second Bronze Star Medal, a third
Purple Heart Medal, and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.
His other awards include two Meritorious Service Medals, two Joint
Service Commendation Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, seven Army
Achievement Medals, five Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service
Medal with Bronze Service Star, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two
Bronze Service Stars, the Iraq Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service
Stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on
Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional
Development Ribbon with Numeral 3, Army Service Ribbon, Combat
Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Master
Parachutist Badge, Distinguished Pistol Shooting Badge, Distinguished
Rifleman Badge, Excellence in Competition (Pistol) Badge, and the Ranger
Tab. He also earned five Overseas Service Bars.
Van Aalst is survived by his wife, Katie Van Aalst, daughters Kaylie and
Ava all of Pinehurst, N.C.; and his parents, Neville and Nancy Van
Aalst of Hawthorne, Fla.
Sine Pari: Without Equal
Terribly sad news. What a huge loss RIP.
Rangers Lead The Way
I got the privleage of shooting against Jared along with MSG Tung Nguyen (3rd SFGA) at both the 05' and 06' All Army Matches at Benning. They both kicked my butt and both have been KIA down range. Sleep well brothers and prayers sent for the family.
MSG Jared Van Aalst will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday. SFC Emil Praslick of the USAMU delivered the following eulogy at Ft. Benning this past weekend:
Not quite a year ago, I stood before a crowd of people; in fact many
of the same people here today, to say some words about Jared. It was
October 17th, 2009, and I was at Jared's wedding. Like today, even
though I knew the occasion was approaching, I struggled to find words or
sentiments pithy and meaningful enough to accurately represent my love
for both him and Katie.
Yet as I looked around the room and saw the undisguised looks of
love and adoration on the faces of all those present, it all became
clear to me. And the words I spoke that night described the singular
quality present in that man and woman; that all those who entered their
life, however briefly, were touched in such a way that it forever
changed them. So I find myself here today, asking that same question,
and having the same answer revealed to me.
The love Jared inspired is plain to me after looking at how the
emotions ranging from anguish to tenderness play across peoples faces as
they remember times they shared with him. They had been changed,
richer for having been fortunate to cross paths with Jared Van Aalst.
Jared had many parts that he played in this life: loving husband,
caring father, dutiful son, loyal friend, fearless warrior, teacher,
student, musician, and artist. To each of you, he may have filled one
or more of those roles. You will never forget the impact he made upon
your life, nor should you. You are one of the fortunate ones who have
seen that rare combination of qualities that separates a man from his
fellows, even among the extraordinary men Jared worked and went to war
Our friend Jason St John put it best when he said that Jared was
"the best of us." He embodied the sentiment of the Roman general,
Sulla, who said, "No friend ever served me, and no enemy ever wronged
me, whom I have not repaid in full." Today mourn the loss of a man
taken too soon, who accomplished more in his short 34 years than most
men dream of. What heights could Jared have reached if he had been
allowed to reach his potential? We will never know but he will always
cast a long shadow in our lives.
Joyce Kilmer was a soldier in the American Expeditionary Forces in
World War I. He was killed in action, but before he died he wrote these
words. This is from his poem, Rouge Bouquet.
The Bugle sings:
"Go to sleep!
Go to sleep!
Slumber well where the shells
screamed and fell.
Let your rifles rest on the muddy floor,
You will not need them any more.
Now at last,
Go to sleep."
was my best friend and my brother. I will miss him for all time. I
will cherish and love the family he left behind. I know you will as
well. We love you, Jared. Danger's past. Go to sleep.
God Bless.... to him and his family.....Yes a sad day.
Unfortunately another member of Jared's unit is KIA in Afghanistan, SFC Ronald A. Grider, HHC, USSOCOM, was killed by enemy fire on September 18th, his 30th birthday. He is survived by his new wife (married in March) and a five year old daughter from a previous marriage.
This is very sad news... RIP Soldier.....
Thats some sad news, I shot in the 2005 All-Army as a Cadet, I remember him from the pre-competition safety briefings and seeing him up on stage. Real squared away Soldier who knew how to handle a rifle.... anyone know the particulars? I hope he was holding a hot rifle next to a pile of brass when went down.
yeah, that unit has taken alot of casualties. we should all thank these men for their huge sacrifice. they are the tip of the spear. RLTW
Sleep well Soldier.