“This Wasn’t Supposed To Happen To Me”: A Seriously Wounded Marine Gives Back

Jason Frei


Jason Frei grew up in North Dakota envisioning a future in the military. He attended the United States Naval Academy, and was drawn to service in the Marine Corps because of its esprit de corps and values. During training at Quantico, he was assigned to the field artillery, and deployed to Kuwait at the beginning of the war with Iraq. His unit, A Battery, 1st Battalion, 11th Marines (part of the 1st Marine Division) fought in the invasion of Iraq, and he was moving his guns forward through An Nasiriyah when an insurgent fired a Rocket Propelled Grenade at his vehicle, severing his right arm below the elbow. Due to the intensity of the fight and a sandstorm that blew in, it was several hours before he was evacuated. After recovering, he left the Marine Corps and joined the Boeing corporation, where he is the Director of Ethics and Business Conduct. In this interview, he talks about his childhood, his decision to attend the Naval Academy, and his experiences as a midshipman. He discusses his training as a Marine, and becoming an artilleryman. In great detail, he recounts preparing for the invasion of Iraq, and the operation during which he was wounded and lost his right arm. He describes his current position at Boeing, and how the honor and ethics training he received at the Naval Academy prepared him for his current position as Director of Ethics and Business Conduct. Finally, he reflects on his transition from Marine Officer to citizen, and what his service and the Naval Academy mean to him.


name Jason Frei
institution USNA
graduation year 1994
service Marines
unit A Battery, 1 / 11 Marines
specialty Field Artillery / Ethics Training
service dates 1994