Soldier Honored: Joshua M. Gavulic
Branch of Service: Air Force
Rank: Master Sergeant
Master Sergeant Joshua M. Gavulic, 34, of Oklahoma City, Okla., was a Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) member assigned to the 17th Special Tactics Squadron at Fort Benning, Ga. With more than 16 years of service, MSgt. Gavulic was a Special Tactics Operator, a highly trained Jumpmaster and Ranger. On February 21, 2014, while on a free-fall training mission, MSgt. Gavulic died in a parachute accident in Eloy, Arizona.
Joining the Air Force in June of 1998, MSgt. Gavulic was a Freefall HALO Jump Master. During the War on Terrorism, he deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq a total of 10 times between 2001 and 2014. He completed Army Airborne School, Army Military Free Fall School, Army Static Line Jumpmaster Course, Army Military Free Fall Jumpmaster Course, Army Pathfinder School and Army Ranger School. MSgt. Gavulic earned three Bronze Stars, two Joint Service Commendation Medals with Valor, two Air Force Commendation Medals and an Army Commendation Medal.
“Josh was a man you felt could do anything,” said Maj. Ben Couchman, a 17th STS teammate. “He was never overwhelmed, and he was inspirational.”
“We talked frequently of the responsibilities we hold as husbands and fathers,” said Lt. Col. John Traxler, 17th STS commander. “He believed above all he was to be an example to his children. He was a tremendous warrior and American.”
One of MSgt. Gavulic’s sons is a Folds of Honor Scholarship recipient.