Maj. Paul R. Syverson III, 32, was assigned as the assistant operations officer for the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Campbell, KY. He was killed in Iraq on June 16, 2004, during a rocket attack on Logistical Support Area Anaconda, Balad, Iraq. The rocket landed near a group of Soldiers outside of the Post Exchange.

Syverson was a native of Arlington Heights, IL, and entered the Army in 1993 following graduation from the Virginia Military Institute, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations. His first assignment was with the 3rd Battalion, 41st Field Artillery, Fort Stewart, GA. In 1998, he graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course and was assigned to the 5th SFG. While assigned to the 5th SFG, he served in a variety of positions including: Operational Detachment-A commander, battalion staff officer and Group assistant operations officer. He also served as the commander of Headquarters Support Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th SFG. 

Syverson’s military education and schools include the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course, Joint Deployment Officer Course, Infantry Officer Advanced Course, Special Forces Qualification Course, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, Jumpmaster Course and Pathfinder Course.

Syverson’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Infantry Badge, Expert Infantry Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge and Special Forces Tab.

Syverson is survived by his wife, Jackie, a son, Paul, and a daughter, Amy Elizabeth.

Character Strength Story:

Leadership - Paul volunteered to go on his final deployment because we were slated to go to Ft. Leavenworth, KS. He would soon become non-deployable for a year while attending school. Even though we had a brand new baby and he had already deployed multiple times, Paul volunteered on the six-week advanced party assignment. He wanted his fellow soldiers to have the six weeks to spend with their families before a long deployment. Paul was the most caring, compassionate person I have ever known.

Humility - Paul was the nicest, most caring man in the room. He was one of the first soldiers deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11. While there, he sustained injuries during a battle at Mazar-e-sharif. He suffered a broken back, shattered eardrums, and a broken orbital socket during a battle to rescue/recover CIA agent Mike Spann. He was among one of the first Purple Heart recipients in the war. You would never know that because he was so humble and really loved his mission and country. As Paul would like to say, "he was just doing his job".

Kindness - Paul was the kindest man, he always had a smile and encouraging words for everyone he met. After his death, I received countless letters and messages telling me stories about how much he inspired his men and helped them become better soldiers.
-Submitted by Jackie, Surviving Wife

Paul’s service was honored during the 2022 New Orleans Expedition.

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