Jeffrey T. Stitzel
Jeff Stitzel was born in Royal Oak in 1969 and enlisted in the Army in 1987, shortly after graduating from high school. After completing basic training, unit assignments included the 3rd Infantry Regiment, (“the Old Guard”, which serves as Guard of Honor at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier), the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, and the 82nd Airborne Division. He deployed overseas for Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation United Assistance. As a First Sergeant during Operation Diablo Reach Back, he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal with Valor, for risking his own life several times to protect his soldiers and extract casualties from danger. He advanced to the rank of Command Sergeant Major and served in that capacity in the 82nd Airborne Division, the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, 19th Infantry Regiment, the Old Guard, and the U.S. Africa Command/Southern European Task Force. Stitzel retired from the Army in 2018.