MARINE IN BAGHDAD
Stars Fighter Awarded Bronze Star for Heroism in Combat!
Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Lt. Jerry Roeder, right)
the late 1990's, then sergeant Jerry Roeder was assigned to the Marine
Corps officer training program at the University of Colorado in
Boulder. Not content to only improve academically, he also sought
to improve that most basic of military skills, hand to hand
During this time, Jerry joined the
Stars Training Center
where he quickly became a top student, fighter, and instructor in the
Pancrase mixed martial arts
training program. Jerry taught, fought, and sparred with many of
world's best professional fighters including King of Pancrase Nate
Marquardt, K-1 and UFC fighter Duane Ludwig, Pride veteran Larry Parker,
and his good friend Ron "The H20Man" Waterman.
During one of his infamous
received an almost certain career ending knee injury, or so we
thought. Somehow, through will of mind, Jerry made a miraculous
recovery and went on to receive his commission as a 2nd lieutenant.
to soon Jerry's time with us in Colorado was over. He went on to
other military schools and was eventually assigned
to a Marine Combat Engineer platoon at Camp Lejeune, North
Carolina. While there, Jerry continued his martial arts training and even found
time to establish his own club and Pancrase MMA competition team.
2003, world events led to the war with Iraq and Jerry's Marine unit was deployed as the lead element in the coalition forces drive to
take Baghdad. The rest is history.
Friday, 1st Lieutenant Jerry Roeder was honored in a special ceremony at
Camp Lejeune, N.C. with
one of the nation's highest awards for heroism in combat,
the Bronze Star with "V" device for valor.
Congratulations Jerry! We salute you.
& family) (Jerry with new friends in Iraq)
For heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the
enemy while serving as Platoon Commander, Engineer Platoon, 1st
Battalion, 4th Marines... on 7 April 2003, in support of Operation Iraqi
Freedom. Tasked with locating and reconnoitering river crossing
sites, First Lieutenant Roeder led a three-man engineer
reconnaissance team across the Nahr Diyala River to find a suitable
crossing site for amphibious vehicles. With elements of the
battalion in contact one kilometer north of his position, he
demonstrated complete disregard for his own safety by stripping off his
gear and swimming across the 100-meter wide river into enemy held
territory. Armed only with a 9mm pistol, he conducted a
reconnaissance of the immediate area... Discovering enemy
revetments in the area, he quickly cleared them. Determining the
site was suitable, he completed a detailed exit point and assembly area
survey and swam back to the friendly side of the river with the exchange
of fire intensifying to the north. His bold, decisive, action and
meticulous attention to detail directly contributed to the combat
assault amphibian crossing of two infantry battalions and allowed the
division to maintain its momentum and to pressure Baghdad from the west.