Chaplain (Major) Jeff Struecker was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa. He entered the Army as an enlisted soldier in September 1987 and remained on active duty until April 2000 when he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army Reserve as a Chaplain Candidate. He confessed Christ as Savior as a teenager and was called to the ministry while serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment in Ft. Benning, Georgia.
He served for ten years in the 75th Ranger Regiment in positions from Ranger Reconnaissance Specialist to Platoon Sergeant. While serving in the 75th Ranger Regiment, Chaplain Struecker competed in the David L. Grange Best Ranger Competition for three consecutive years. His efforts culminated with a first place finish in 1996. He also served as an Assistant Instructor of Military Science at the University of Louisville and was recognized in 1998 as the US Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Noncommissioned Officer of the year.
Throughout his career Chaplain Struecker has attended numerous professional military schools and has received many awards and commendations. Some of his awards include the Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman's Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Master Parachutists Wings, Military Freefall Master Parachutist Wings, British Parachutist Wings, Thai Parachutist Wings, German Parachutist Wings, and German Sports Efficiency Badge. He has been awarded other commendations and decorations for successful completion of professional military schools throughout his military career.
His combat experience includes participation in Operation Just Cause in Panama, Operation Iris Gold in Kuwait, Operation Gothic Serpent, in Mogadishu, Somalia, and multiple tours in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards for actions in these imminent danger zones include the Southwest Asia Service Medal (1 Service Star), Kuwaiti Liberation Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (2d award), National Defense Service Medal and the Bronze Star Medal (with "V" Device for valor, 3rd award). He has received other medals as recognition for his service in the United States Army.
Chaplain Struecker holds a Master of Divinity Degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, a Bachelor of Science Degree and Associate of Science Degree from Troy University in Alabama.
Chaplain Struecker and his wife, Dawn, have five children: Aaron, Jacob, Joseph, Abigail and Lydia.
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