Fallen Soldier: Jonathan W. Gifford

Jonathan W. Gifford
Dates: Died July 20, 2012
Hometown: Palm Bay, FL
Branch of Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Gunnery Sergeant
Player: Rim Imni

Gunnery Sergeant Jonathan W. Gifford, 34, of Palm Bay, Fla., was assigned to the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion at Camp Lejeune, N.C. On July 20, 2012, GySgt. Gifford was killed while conducting combat operations in Badghis province, Afghanistan.

GySgt. Gifford had completed nearly fifteen years of service at the time of his death. He retired from the Corps in July 2001 but re-enlisted as the war in Afghanistan was beginning. GySgt. Gifford joined MARSOC (Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command) in 2006, working as a chief instructor of the advanced sniper course before becoming a team chief.

Extraordinary heroism, decisive actions, bold initiative, and dedication to duty led GySgt. Gifford to be posthumously awarded the nation’s second-highest award for valor in combat, the Navy Cross. “When you recognize a stellar Marine and his exceptional courageousness and bravery, I’m not sure you can ever go above and beyond, and the Navy Cross is truly deserving and worthy of GySgt. Gifford and his sacrifices,” said General John M. Paxton.

Four of Gy. Sgt. Gifford’s sons are Folds of Honor Scholarship recipients.