Jeffcoat, Marvin, LTC

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Last Rank
Lieutenant Colonel
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
11B-Light Infantry Officer
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1985-1985, 11B, MFO Task Force Headquarters
Service Years
1968 - 1985


Lieutenant Colonel

Four Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by LTC Roger Gaines to remember Jeffcoat, Marvin, LTC.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Not Specified

Casualty Date
Dec 12, 1985
Non Hostile- Died Other Causes
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) Mission
Location of Interment
U.S. Military Academy West Point Post Cemetery - West Point, New York
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Army Staff Identification Infantry Shoulder Cord Aide-de-Camp Aiguillette

 Unofficial Badges 

Airborne Jungle Expert Badge

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Parachutist (Basic)Air Assault Badge

 Unit Assignments
Basic Airborne Course (BAC) Airborne School1st Battalion, 20th Infantry173rd Airborne Brigade3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division
2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment Infantry Center and School (Staff) Fort Benning, GAU.S. Army1st Battalion, 506th Infantry
101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)Department of the Army (DA)3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division3rd Battalion, 502nd Infantry
Multi-National Force and Observers
  1965-1965, Basic Airborne Course (BAC) Airborne School
  1966-1966, HHC, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry
  1966-1967, 173rd Airborne Brigade
  1969-1969, HHC, 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division
  1969-1969, C Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment
  1972-1975, Infantry Board, Infantry Center and School, Fort Benning, GA
  1976-1976, Combined Arms Services and Staff School (CAS3)
  1976-1976, HHC, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry
  1976-1978, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)
  1978-1981, Department of the Army (DA)
  1981-1983, HHC, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division
  1984-1985, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)
  1984-1985, 11B, HHC, 3rd Battalion, 502nd Infantry
  1985-1985, 11B, MFO Task Force Headquarters
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1966-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (1966-67)
  1968-1969 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VI Campaign (1968-69)
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Tet 69 Counteroffensive Campaign
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Tet 69 Counteroffensive Campaign/Operation Apache Snow (Battle of Hamburger Hill)
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Summer-Fall 1969 Campaign
  1985-1985 Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) Mission
 Colleges Attended 
United States Military AcademyTulane University
  1962-1965, United States Military Academy
  1971-1972, Tulane University
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Died 12 December 1985 at Gander, Newfoundland, aged 42 years.
Interment: West Point Cemetery, West Point, New York
ON 12 DECEMBER 1985, Marvin Alvis Jeffcoat, Jr., along with 247 of his soldiers, died in an airplane crash in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada. He was returning to the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky after a six-month deployment of his battalion task force to the Sinai as part of the United Nations Middle East Peacekeeping Force.
His body was returned to West Point where full military honors and funeral services were held on 27 December 1985 at the Cadet Chapel. The services were conducted by Chaplain John E. Folk, who was assisted by Lieutenant Colonel Jeffcoat's uncle Dr. Ivy and Chaplain (Retired) Carl R. Stephens, a close personal friend. Commanders' tributes were given by Colonel John P. Herrling and Major General Burton D. Patrick of the 101st Airborne Division. The eulogy was given by Brigadier General James W. Crysel, a long-time friend and former commander.
Marvin was born in Salina, Kansas on 18 April 1943, the son of Marvin Alvis, Sr. and Jewell Evelyn Jeffcoat. He was born in military surroundings while his father was stationed at Camp Phillips, Kansas. He lived on or near several Army installations as he grew up, and his father served in various assignments overseas and in the United States. Marvin was active in sports and the Boy Scouts. In 1958 he became an Eagle Scout in Aberdeen, Maryland.
After graduating from high school in 1961 at Junction City, Kansas, he was appointed to the United States Military Academy by Congressman W. R. Poage from the 11th District of Texas. West Point was his first choice and he enthusiastically joined the Class of 1965 shortly after his 18th birthday. When he graduated in June 1965, he was commissioned in the Infantry and reported to Fort Benning, Georgia for Airborne and Ranger training.
His first unit assignment was with the 20th Infantry Battalion at Fort Clayton, Panama Canal Zone, as a platoon leader. He also served as an instructor in the Noncommissioned Officers Academy. It was during this first assignment that he met and married Nancy Morency on 9 July 1966. In November 1966, he reported to Vietnam for duty with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. As an infantry platoon leader, company executive officer, and assistant operations officer, he was twice wounded and received the Silver Star for valor and Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster. Before leaving Vietnam, he was selected to be the aide-de-camp to the brigade commander, Brigadier General L. II. Schweiter. When he returned home, he saw his newly born daughter, Wendy Ann, for the first time.
The next year was spent as a training company commander at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. A second tour to Vietnam began in November 1969 and he was assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. He commanded Company C, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry for six months and performed as the brigade S3 air officer for the remaining six months of this tour. He returned to Fort Benning once again and attended the Infantry Officers Advanced Course. He was then selected to attend graduate school at Tulane University where he was awarded a Master's degree in Operations Research and Systems Analysis. His degree utilization tour was at Fort Benning as a project officer for the design and development of the Army's modern anti-tank weapons system. Three years later (1975) he was early selected to attend the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Following graduation from C&GSC in June 1976, he once again reported to the 101st Airborne Division, now located at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He served first as the operations officer (S3) of the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry and later on the division staff as the operations officer for the G3, and director for plans and training. It was during this assignment that he was directly responsible for planning and preparing the units of the 101st Airborne Division for rapid deployment in support of various contingency plans.
From late 1978 until November 1981, Marvin was assigned to the Army Staff in the Pentagon. In December 1981, he was reassigned as the executive officer for the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division in the Republic of Korea. He remained in this position for 18 months and extended for an additional year in Korea in order to serve as the G1 of the 2nd Infantry Division. He was everything and more that a brigade commander could have asked for in an executive officer. He carried the same outstanding performance into the division G1 assignment. He next returned to the 101st Airborne Division to assume command of the 3rd Battalion, 502nd Infantry in October 1984. He had been in command for 15 months and was returning from the Middle East with a part of his battalion task force when the air tragedy occurred.
In the eulogy given by Brigadier General Crysel, he stated that "Lieutenant Colonel Jeffcoat was full of life and he lived every day to be all he could be. He loved his soldiers and his officers. Their welfare, success and professional development were always his primary concern. He loved his friends and gave so much of himself to express his appreciation for their friendship.
"He was truly a soldier's soldier who was tireless, demanding, had high standards, was a firm disciplinarian; and yet he was filled with compassion, concern and sympathy. He was a great leader who was a loyal, dedicated and faithful friend who never let any of us down or backed away from any tough job or heavy pressure. Simply said, he was a winner.
"We miss him terribly. He cannot be replaced. We are all better men and women for having known him. We also know that he was doing exactly what he wanted to be doing and was at the place for a commander to be, as tragic as it was. He was with his troops, his staff, his commanders, his command sergeant major and his battalion colors.
"We pray that he will rest in peace as we dedicate ourselves to carry on in his memory and strive to live up to his high standards in all that we may ever do."
Lieutenant Colonel Jeffcoat is survived by his daughter Wendy, a student at Florida State University; and his former wife, Nancy, who resides in St. Petersburg, Florida. His parents, Master Sergeant (Retired) and Mrs. Marvin A. Jeffcoat, Sr., reside in Waco, Texas.
This page is provided as a service by West-Point.Org.

Strike to Remember Fallen Soldiers of Tragic Crash in Gander, Newfoundland

2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs 

Story by Sgt. James Hunter

Date: 12.08.2009
Posted: 12.08.2009 04:21

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – On an early December morning 24-years ago Saturday, Dec. 12, 1985, 248 Soldiers died when their plane crashed over Gander, Newfoundland, following a six-month peacekeeping mission in the Sinai. 

Just after takeoff – with many of these Soldiers gleeful and smiling thinking soon they would reunite with their families for the holidays – their plane went down at 6:45 a.m. 

These Soldiers, who were aboard Arrow Airline flight 1285, were courageous men who were returning from a difficult duty abroad. 

"Most of the young men and women we mourn were returning to spend the holidays with their Families," said then President Ronald Reagan, who spoke at their memorial service here, Dec. 16, 1985, just days after the crash. "They were full of happiness and laughter as they pushed off from Cairo, and those who saw them at their last stop spoke of how they were singing Christmas carols. They were happy; they were returning to kith and kin."

They would never make it home alive. These Soldiers would never get to share their happiness with their loved ones – their mothers, fathers, wives nor children. They were simply gone; however, they were not forgotten. 

"Tragedy is nothing new to mankind, but somehow it's always a surprise, never loses its power to astonish. Those of us who did not lose a brother or a son or daughter or friend or father are shaken nonetheless. And we all mourn with you. We cannot fully share the depth of your sadness, but we pray that the special power of this season will make its way into your sad hearts and remind you of some old joys; remind you of the joy it was to know these fine young men and women, the joy it was to witness the things they said and the jokes they played, the kindnesses they did, and how they laughed," Reagan said. "You were part of that, and you who mourn were a part of them. And just as you think today of the joy they gave you, think for a moment of the joy you gave them and be glad. For love is never wasted; love is never lost. Love lives on and sees us through sorrow. From the moment love is born, it is always with us, keeping us aloft in the time of flooding and strong in the time of trial."

Most of these men were members of the 3rd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, which today is known as the 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment. As Reagan said in his speech, these were Soldiers of talent, wisdom, experience and idealism. These were things that too were lost that day. 

"Who else but an idealist would choose to become a member of the Armed Forces and put himself or herself in harm's way for the rest of us?" Reagan asked. "Who but the idealist would go to hard duty in one of the most troubled places of the world and go not as a matter of conquest, but as a force that existed to keep the peace?"

And that's exactly what these brave men did over their six-month deployment in the Sinai. Besides peacemakers, they were "warriors, fierce in their marital expertise," said Reagan. 

Every year since the passing of these Soldiers aboard Arrow Airlines flight 1285, the men and women of Fort Campbell and Gander, Newfoundland, ensure the lives of these fallen Soldiers are never forgotten during separate ceremonies in honor of the lives they led. 

Those citizens of Gander – who rushed that day to offer assistance at the crash site and have since opened their hearts and homes to the Families who came in the aftermath of the crash seeking resolution – will forever be linked to the tragic crash 24 years ago. They saw the wreckage first hand and have had to live with that memory for many years, and they simply continue to show their support. 

Family members and both past and present Soldiers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), will gather to remember these fallen Soldiers Dec. 12 at the Gander Memorial, on the corner of the Screaming Eagle Blvd. and Wickam Ave., beginning at 8:30 a.m. 



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