Friday, August 19, 2011

Military honors for CTR1(EXW) Michael Joseph Strange in Pennsylvania

RDML Leigher presents flags to Mike's family.
Rear Admiral Bill Leigher, OPNAV N2N6F and the Information Warfare/Cryptologic community leader, traveled to Philadelphia on 18 August to remember Cryptologic Technician Collection First Class (CTR1) Expeditionary Warfare Specialist (EXW) Michael Strange (who was killed on 6 August in Afghanistan) and pay his respects and those of a grateful Navy and Nation to Michael's family.  RDML Leigher described Mike's DEVGRU teammates as "rocks". Together with the Navy Information Operations Command Maryland color guard, his teammates presented a memorable military honors ceremony after the funeral mass.


Info Warrior said...

In a ceremony Thursday afternoon next to the Swann Fountain at Logan Square, Navy Petty Officer First Class Michael J. Strange was given a gunfire salute by a seven-member rifle party firing three volleys.

Folded U.S. flags were presented by Rear Adm. William E. Leigher to Elizabeth Strange, his mother; Charles Strange Jr., his father; and Breanna Hostetler, his fiancée.

His mother, a Philadelphia police officer, also was handed a wood box containing her son's ashes.

Michael Strange, 25, assigned to a SEAL team as a cryptologic technician, was among 30 U.S. service members killed Aug. 6 when their Ch-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down in eastern Afghanistan. It was the deadliest day for the U.S. military in Afghanistan since the war started in 2001.

Petty Officer First Class Ian Regnier, who described Strange as his best friend, told the gathering that Strange was "always the one to push the limit," whether in physical training or having fun with his friends.

"He never made you feel that he was on a different level," Regnier said, "even though he was on a different level from us all."

Strange grew up in the Wissinoming section of Philadelphia and graduated from North Catholic High School in 2004. That summer, he enlisted in the Navy. He met Hostetler, who also was in the service, during their first tour of duty.

He was selected in 2009 for duty with the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, often referred to by the name of a predecessor unit, SEAL Team Six. A biography given to those who attended the funeral said that Strange was assigned to TACDEVRON Three as an information operations operator.

His commendations include the Purple Heart.

Strange lived in Virginia Beach, Va., where many SEALs are based.

The military honors ceremony followed a Funeral Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul. Cardinal Justin Rigali delivered the homily.

"The circumstances of his death reveal again how the young, the innocent, the peace-loving of this generation are so deeply affected by the violent conflicts of the world that find their origin in the reality of evil, in the mystery of iniquity," Rigali said.

Just before the funeral, about two dozen members of the volunteer group Warriors' Watch flanked the cathedral's entry. Each carried an American flag. Members of the group were there much of the day, said Ed Thomas, 66, of Oreland. As they stood in the bright sunlight, uniformed members of the armed services filed past them into the church along with hundreds of civilian mourners.

The group was founded about 31/2 years ago. It provides motorcycle escorts to troops landing at Philadelphia International Airport from overseas deployments, and at funerals for veterans from all wars.

Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...

Michael Joseph Strange

Cryptologic Technician Collection 1st Class, Expeditionary Warfare Specialist (EXW) United States Navy

Petty Officer 1st Class Strange, 25, was a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the United States Navy in September, 2004.

After graduating from Recruit Training Command at Great Lakes, Illinois in November, 2004, he reported to the Center for Information Dominance Corry Station at Pensacola, Florida. He completed his training at the Center for Information Dominance in April, 2005, and reported to Navy Information Operations Command, Kunia, Hawaii. In May 2009, he checked into his East Coast based SEAL Team.

Petty Officer Strange’s awards include Joint Service Commendation Medal (2) one with “V” device for valor, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Good Conduct Medal (2), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (2), Rifleman Marksmanship Medal, and Pistol Marksmanship Medal.