Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Veteran Jay Kappel, who served aboard USS Kittyhawk during Operation Restore Hope and Operation Southern Watch.
Jay Kappel enlisted in the Marine Corps in February 1992. Kappel wanted the military experience and he had friends in the Marine Corps, which swayed his decision for joining. He completed his basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California. Kappel went on to finish Marine Combat Training and Infantry Training at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, in California. He accomplished the remainder of his training with the Security Forces School at Mare Island Naval Station in Vallejo, California.
After completing his training, Kappel deployed with the Marine detachment on USS Kittyhawk to support Operation Restore Hope in Mogadishu, Somalia. They later assisted in Operation Southern Watch in Iraq.
After the carrier’s return to San Diego, Kappel underwent further training at the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape school in Warner Springs, California. He then underwent further training at the Chemical Warfare school back in Camp Pendleton and later Close Quarters Battle training in Chesapeake, Virginia. After finishing this round of training, Kappel redeployed with USS Kittyhawk in June 1994 off the coast of Eastern Asia due to the rising tensions of that region, particularly, in the sector of North Korea. When he returned from his second WestPac deployment in 1995, Kappel transferred to the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, serving as a fire team and squad leader.
Kappel’s third deployment was in February 1995 with his infantry unit, taking him to Okinawa, Japan. During this deployment, he transferred to the Marine Corps Base Camp Schwab Guard Unit. Kappel completed active duty with the Marine Corps in 1996.
During his service, Kappel received a Joint Meritorious Unit Award, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, a Navy “E” Ribbon, a Good Conduct Medal, a National Defense Service Medal, an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, a Southwest Asia Service Medal with one star, a Navy Sea Service Ribbon with two stars, a Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait), a meritorious mast, a Rifle Expert shooting badge (2nd award) and a Pistol Sharpshooter shooting badge. Kappel honorably discharged with the rank of corporal.
Kappel currently lives in Thornton, Colorado.
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