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    1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) Honors Former Leader

    1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) Honors Former Leader

    Photo By Spc. Austin Pope | JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Washington –The family of the late Sgt. Maj. Walter...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Austin Pope 

    1st Special Forces Group (Airborne)

    JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Washington – Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), honored a former leader, Sgt. Maj. Walter M. Hetzler, September 21, by dedicating part of a building in his name. Hetzler served as company sergeant major for six years, the longest running company sergeant major in 1st SFG (A) history.

    “I feel honored and privileged to dedicate our hallway to him,” said Sgt. Maj. Christopher King, Bravo company sergeant major 2nd Bn, 1st SFG (A). “As a company sergeant major he was a hero and a legend.”

    Hetzler’s wife and family were present for the dedication. At the end of the ceremony, Hetzler’s plaque was unveiled and carried by his family into the newly named section of the building. As his family walked the hallway they were greeted by a line of 2nd battalion Green Berets standing in honor of Hetzler and greeting his family. After the final Green Beret paid his respects, they hung the plaque and the hallway officially became Hetzler Hallway.
    “Each day you come walk through that hall, be the noncommissioned officer Sgt. Maj. Hetzler would expect you to be,” said Lt. Col. Benjamin Jahn, commander of 2nd Bn, 1st SFG (A) after the placing of Hetzler’s plaque. “Be the officer he’d expect you to be.”

    Hetzler began his career with the military in the Marine Corps before joining the Army in 1965, becoming a Special Forces Medic. After completing the Special Forces Qualification course he was assigned to 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and served two tours in Vietnam. After returning from Vietnam, Hetzler joined the 1st SFG (A) team, serving on an operational detachment with 2nd Battalion. Hetzler officially retired from the military in 1993 after 31 years of service.

    Throughout his career, Hetzler was awarded the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and a Navy Commendation Medal. Hetzler passed away at the age of 78 on 2 June 2017 after a battle with cancer.

    Hetzler’s plaque will hang in the hallway now bearing his name, and dedicated in his honor as a constant reminder of his service to both the 1st SFG (A) and the United States of America.



    Date Taken: 09.21.2018
    Date Posted: 09.26.2018 18:37
    Story ID: 294550

    Web Views: 596
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