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Papa Zero Three
05-22-2010, 10:32
Yesterday I found out that my good friend, Joe Andrzejewski passed away from a medical condition. Joe was the Commander of the "HALO Committee," the old name for the MFF Schoolhouse when it was located at Ft. Bragg. I am very sad to see him go. In memory of MAJ (Ret.) "Jumpin Joe" Andrzejewski, D8826 Blue Skies, Black Death.


Below is an article written by Joe for the American Legion "Veteran's Corner" column in 2005. The bolded part is something Joe said that I think is pretty important and reflects the true character of a Special Forces Soldier.


In 1956, Captain Jacques-Andre Istel envisioned a “skydiving” method that would “place men silently, unobserved and accurately in enemy-held territory”. The Commander of the Special Warfare Center, Fort Bragg, NC approved Istel’s training concept and in March 1957, members of the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) attended the first Basic Free Fall Parachuting Course, conducted at Fort Bragg, NC. MAJ Lucien Conein, a former OSS (Office of Strategic Services) operative and French speaking Commander of FC-1, served as project officer and became the first officer in charge of MFF (military free fall) training within the Special Warfare Center.

The history of this advanced infiltration technique includes many impressive achievements, from the first combat HALO (high altitude low opening) insertions into Laos during the Vietnam War to the recent successful MFF operations into Afghanistan and Iraq by SOF (special operations forces). In 1995, the USSOCOM (US Special Operations Command) directed all MFF training to be consolidated and further directed the US Army to move the training site to Yuma Proving Ground, AZ. To date there have been over 35,000 parachutists trained.

On 24 September, the Military Freefall School hosted the 10th Annual Ball for instructors, friends and family. I was honored to have been requested to attend as the guest speaker, after having served as the commander from 1984 to 1986 at Fort Bragg. It was a critical period for the school, where the course expanded from a cadre of 22 to 70+ instructors to accommodate a threefold increase in student attendance. The school adopted two exceptional training techniques leveraged from the civilian skydiving community; accelerated freefall and tandem training, in what proved to be a very successful effort at improving the quality of instruction and increasing the graduation rate for the SOF community. It was also the period where the first proposal was submitted to move the school to Yuma, AZ where the weather and airspace availability provided a training environment conducive to year round high altitude training.

The landscape, facilities and equipment have changed over the years, but the instructors remain some of the most professional, dedicated and highly proficient practitioners of the art of high altitude parachuting. It is fitting, because an instructor affects minds and hearts for an eternity; no one knows how far his influence goes, for those he trains influence others they meet.

Joe Andrzejewski (aka Gonzo), MAJ (Ret), US Army Special Forces
Inducted as a lifetime member in the “Brotherhood and Lineage” of the US Army Military Free Fall School, September 24, 2005


Joe was quite accomplished, but so unassuming that he didn't tout his accomplishments - rather he valued the contributions he made to the many groups and communities he was a part of.

From the acknowledgements page of Clive Cussler's "Atlantis Found" (1999):


"I am very grateful to Major (Retired) Joe Andrzejewski for his generous and valuable advice on the Special Forces"


I am honored to have known Joe and to be able to call him my friend.




Funeral Services are as follows:



Place:

Bradley Funeral Home

601 Route 73 South
Marlton, NJ 08053
856.983.1005



http://www.bradleyfuneralhome-marlton.com/



Date/Time:



Thursday May 27, 2010

Viewing: 1200-1400 hrs.

Funeral services immediately following the viewing. There will be no burial. He will be cremated.



The obituary will not be posted until Tuesday in the Courier Post (the local South Jersey Newspaper) http://www.courierpostonline.com/



Gillian has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations in Joe’s name be made to the DAV or any veterans organization of your choice.


The link to Joe's Obituary where you can leave comments can be found HERE (http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/courierpostonline/obituary.aspx?n=joseph-a-andrzejewski&pid=143102796)


ANDRZEJEWSKI, Joseph A., Major (Retired) U.S. Army Special Forces Died unexpectedly on May 21, 2010 at the age of 54. Resident of Marlton, NJ. Husband of 24 years to Gillian. Beloved father of Dylan. Brother of Donna Brazinski. Son of the late Vincent and Phyllis Andrzejewski. He is also survived by his uncle Frank and aunt Mary Jane Forlin. In 1977 he earned his BA from Kings College. He received his MPA from Troy State University in 1988. Joseph's military career began when he completed ROTC and was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army. He would go on to graduate from Ranger School as well as the elite Special Forces. A few of his innumerable military accomplishments and positions held over nearly two decades of service include: Chief, Military Freefall Branch and Combat Development Officer, JFK Special Warfare Center; Commander, Special Forces Operational Detachment, Berlin, Germany; Field Office Chief, Special Projects Support Activity (SPSA) Fort Bragg, NC; R&D Officer and Section Chief, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment; and Program Manager, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Relatives and friends are invited to the viewing on Thursday May 27th from 12:00 Noon - 2:00 PM at The BRADLEY FUNERAL HOME, Rt. 73 & Evesham Rd., Marlton, NJ. Funeral Service will be 2:00 PM at the funeral home on Thursday. Interment will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Joseph's memory to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) or any veteran organization of your choice

The Reaper
05-22-2010, 10:36
RIP, Joe.

Thanks for your service.

Great to have known you and jumped with you.

TR

JJ_BPK
05-22-2010, 11:12
RIP Warrior, Vaya con Dios..

GANGSTER
05-22-2010, 13:15
RIP Joe

greenberetTFS
05-22-2010, 14:09
God Bless,Rest in Peace Warrior.....................:(

Big Teddy

Sinister
05-22-2010, 15:28
I am shocked and saddened.

I was honored to have been requested to attend as the guest speaker, after having served as the commander from 1984 to 1986 at Fort Bragg. It was a critical period for the school, where the course expanded from a cadre of 22 to 70+ instructors to accommodate a threefold increase in student attendance. The school adopted two exceptional training techniques leveraged from the civilian skydiving community; accelerated freefall and tandem training, in what proved to be a very successful effort at improving the quality of instruction and increasing the graduation rate for the SOF community.

The landscape, facilities and equipment have changed over the years, but the instructors remain some of the most professional, dedicated and highly proficient practitioners of the art of high altitude parachuting. It is fitting, because an instructor affects minds and hearts for an eternity; no one knows how far his influence goes, for those he trains influence others they meet.

Joe was a very good man and I am proud to say I served with him as his Executive Officer, Safety Officer, and as an Instructor.

LTC Dave Liwanag
MFFI-159
Military Free Fall Division, 1984-1987

Stingray
05-23-2010, 03:25
Rest in Peace Major Andrzejewski. Thank you for service Sir.

Sincerely,

LarryW
05-23-2010, 03:46
RIP, sir.

Thank you for the post, Papa Zero Three. A superior quote from this warrior. Bet there were many.

ZonieDiver
05-23-2010, 09:50
Rest In Peace, Sir.

Red Flag 1
05-23-2010, 13:55
Rest In Peace Major.

jbour13
05-23-2010, 14:18
RIP Sir.

echoes
05-23-2010, 14:57
Rest In Peace, Sir.:(

Holly

Rogue
05-23-2010, 17:05
Rest in Peace

x SF med
05-23-2010, 19:09
Blue skies, Sir.

Habu-MFFI 175
05-24-2010, 18:43
I just talked to Joe a few weeks ago at Roger Picketts funeral and seemed alright. You can never tell what is happening around you at times.

RIP and Blue Skies

Habu

Tatonka316
05-25-2010, 08:25
Rest in Peace, Major! You have the very best HALO wings now!!! You will always be missed and NEVER forgotten!

molon labe

Papa Zero Three
05-25-2010, 08:47
I've updated the first post with additional information.

akv
05-25-2010, 12:55
Rest In Peace, and Thank You

brockdr
05-25-2010, 16:03
We are less for the loss of any Ranger.

May God be with all of Joe's next of kin and fellow Rangers.

RANGER PRAYER

Almighty God,
Our Protector and Source of comfort,
Watch over all Rangers
Throughout the world, old and new.

When they face danger, be their courage,
When they are injured, be their healing,
When they face impossible tasks, be their strength,
When they feel alone, be ever present with them
Letting them know the presence in spirit of
All the Rangers who have gone before
Reminding them that they are part of
A family beyond themselves.

When they face death,
Give them peace to do so with honor,
That they may rest in You forever.

And Bless their families
And all those they love and leave behind,
That they may also find comfort in You.
Amen

colmurph
05-28-2010, 12:30
I had a drink with Joe at the Legion Post in Cherry Hill 2 days before he went into the hospiotal. I asked him how he was feeling (he'd lost about 30 pounds over the last 4 months) and he said "Great!" After Joe passed, the post commander told me that Joe had told him 4 months ago that "It's all over" and I admire him for keeping Joe's secret. Joe was the kind of guy who would never complain, but you could tell that the weight of the world was pressing down on him.

breezy115
06-04-2010, 13:28
I am Joe's sister and I am so very proud of all that my brother accomplished in his short life, he was my loving brother, my friend, my hero, my everything. I love him so very much and I miss him so. Rest in peace dear brother.....I LOVE YOU!!!!



Here is his obituary that I posted in our hometown newspaper.

Joseph Anthony Andrzejewski


U.S. Army Special Forces Maj. Joseph Anthony Andrzejewski, retired, 54, of Marlton, N.J., died unexpectedly Friday, May 21, 2010, in Thomas Jefferson Hospital, Philadelphia.

Born in Wilkes-Barre on Dec. 13, 1956, he was the son of the late Vincent and Phyllis Forlin Andrzejewski and grandson of the late Anthony and Laura Forlin.

Joseph was a 1973 graduate of GAR High School and a 1977 graduate of King's College.

His military career began when he completed ROTC and was commissioned as an officer in the Army. A few of his innumerable military accomplishments and positions held over nearly two decades of service include: chief, Military Freefall Branch and combat development officer, JFK Special Warfare Center; commander, Special Forces Operational Detachment, Berlin, Germany; field office chief, Special Projects Support Activity, Fort Bragg, N.C.; R&D officer and section chief, First Special Forces Operational Detachment; and program manager, Joint Special Operations Command.

Surviving are his wife of 24 years, Gillian; beloved son, Dylan; sister, Donna Marie Brazinski, Wilkes-Barre; loving niece and godchild, Miranda Phyllis Brazinski; aunt and uncle, Frank and Mary Jane Forlin, Wilkes-Barre; several nieces, nephews and cousins.

The viewing will be held at Bradley Funeral Home, Marlton, N.J., on Thursday, noon to 2 p.m., with a funeral service to follow by the Rev. Jack Doris. Interment will take place at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Joseph's memory to the Disabled American Veterans or any veteran organization of the donor's choice.
hometown newspaper....

monsterhunter
06-04-2010, 13:54
It's always sad to loose men like this. Rest in peace major.

The Reaper
06-05-2010, 01:22
Breezy:

Joe was a good man who will be missed by all of us who knew him.

I knew him when he was the MFF Company CO and served with him off and on over the years. Jumped with him a few times as well. He was a rare individual.

He was working for Eagle and I would run into him at the SHOT show, where he could always be relied upon to have a good story or joke to tell.

"We should not mourn that such men died, but we should thank God that such men lived." - Gen. George S. Patton

RIP, hermano.

TR

colmurph
07-19-2010, 06:48
Joe is now a Fisher House "Angel". Our American Legion Post voted a $500.00 yearly donation to Fisher House at Ft. Bragg in memory of Joe.

SF_BHT
07-19-2010, 07:28
Rest in Peace Brother you will be missed....

breezy115
07-26-2010, 12:16
Joe is now a Fisher House "Angel". Our American Legion Post voted a $500.00 yearly donation to Fisher House at Ft. Bragg in memory of Joe.

That is so kind, my brother is an angel now in heaven:)

Papa Zero Three
08-10-2010, 17:09
Joe's going to Arlington on Monday, September 27th. He'll be interred at 1100 - show up no later than 1000.

MK262
08-10-2010, 18:13
RIP sir. Thank you for your service.

breezy115
05-21-2015, 09:39
30629
It's been 5 years since God called you home and I miss you deeply dear brother

PRB
05-21-2015, 12:29
Breezy.....I always carry my HALO PARACHUTIST card with me signed by Captain Joe.
I suspect lots of SF guys do, he's always in my pocket..
RIP Maj. Joe