Gifford, Jonathan William, GySgt

 Service Photo 
 Service Details
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Last Rank
Gunnery Sergeant
Last Primary MOS
0372-Critical Skills Operator
Last MOSGroup
Primary Unit
2009-2012, 0372, Marine Special Operations Regt/2nd MSOB
Service Years
1996 - 2012
Official/Unofficial USMC Certificates
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom

Gunnery Sergeant

Three Hash Marks


 Last Photo 
 Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SgtMaj Chris Garza to remember Marine GySgt Jonathan William Gifford.

If you knew or served with this Marine and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Palm Bay
Last Address
Palm Bay

Casualty Date
Jul 29, 2012
Hostile, Died of Wounds
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Operation Enduring Freedom/OEF-Afghanistan
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 60, Grave 10184

 Official Badges 


 Unofficial Badges 

Military Freefall Parachutist

 Military Association Memberships
OIF/OEF Fallen
  2012, OIF/OEF Fallen

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combatant Diver Badge
Navy/Marine Parachutist
Rifle Expert 6th AwardPistol Expert 7th Award

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1996, Boot Camp (Parris Island, SC)
 Unit Assignments
School of Infantry  EAST (SOI East)3rd Bn, 6th Marine Regiment (3/6)USMC (United States Marine Corps)/Formal Schools2nd Force Recon Co
Marine Special Operations School (MSOS)Marine Special Operations Regt/2nd MSOB
  1996-1997, 0311, School of Infantry EAST (SOI East)
  1997-1997, 0311, 3rd Bn, 6th Marine Regiment (3/6)
  1997-1997, 0321, Basic Recon Course
  1997-2006, 0326, 2nd Force Recon Co
  2006-2009, 0372, Marine Special Operations School (MSOS)
  2009-2012, 0372, Marine Special Operations Regt/2nd MSOB
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  2006-2006 Operation Iraqi Freedom
  2010-2010 Operation Enduring Freedom/OEF-Afghanistan
  2012-2012 Operation Enduring Freedom
 Colleges Attended
Saint Leo University
  1995-1996, Saint Leo University
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
During a morning patrol on July 29, 2012 near the town of Bala Bokan, he saw three of the Afghan special operations commandos he was advising hit by enemy small arms fire.  Immediately, he got behind the wheel of an all-terrain vehicle, roaring across 800 meters of ground unprotected to come to the aid of the wounded commandos. With the help of another Marine, he performed first aid on the Afghan soldiers and moved them to a landing zone so a helicopter could extract them for medical care.  Then, he crossed back over the same open terrain to help the other Afghan commandos in the unit, who were now under enemy fire.  During the attack he led, he took out an insurgent who was firing from a window and climbed a building housing enemy fighters, dropping a grenade down the chiney chimney.  He kept pressing the attack until he fell mortally wounded by enemy machine gun fire.

Navy Cross
SYNOPSIS: Gunnery Sergeant Jonathan Gifford, United States Marine Corps, was awarded the Navy Cross (Posthumously) for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with the 2d Marine Special Operations Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan on 29 July 2012.  Action Date: July 29, 2012
Gunnery Sergeant Gifford was born in Fall River, MA.  At the age of 5 his family moved to Palm Bay, FL where he spent the remainder of his childhood.   He attended high school at Melbourne Central Catholic and upon graduation elected to attend Saint Leo University.  After one year of college, he decided to enlist in the United States Marine Corps.  Gunnery Sergeant Gifford graduated from recruit training at MCRD Parris Island, SC in November of 1996.  In January 1997, then Private First Class Gifford graduated from the School of Infantry and received orders to 3d Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2d Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, NC.  During check-in, he volunteered to take the 2d Reconnaissance Battalion Indoctrination.  After selection, he was assigned to 2d Force Reconnaissance Company, II MEF where he deployed with the 22d and 24th Marine Expeditionary Units (MEU).  In July 2001, then Corporal Gifford decided to separate from the Marine Corps and return to his home of residence in FL. In October 2002, Corporal Gifford was reactivated in the Marine Corps Reserves and in February 2003 received orders back to 2d Force Reconnaissance Company.  He deployed to Afghanistan as part of the 22d MEU, where he was promoted to sergeant.  Sergeant Gifford assumed responsibilities as a team leader for the company deployment in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM 04-06.  During the deployment, Sergeant Gifford was combat meritoriously promoted to the rank of staff sergeant.  In July 2006, Staff Sergeant Gifford received orders to the Marine Special Operations School at Camp Lejeune, NC.  He was assigned as the chief instructor of the MARSOC Advanced Sniper Course and taught the curriculum to five deployed Marine Special Operations Teams.  In May 2009, Staff Sergeant Gifford received orders to 2d Marine Special Operations Battalion and assumed duties as the team chief for Team 8232, MSOC H.  He was then promoted to gunnery sergeant on 1 November 2009.  Gunnery Sergeant Gifford deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in 2010 and again in 2012.
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