Military Order of the Purple Heart

Texas Capital Chapter 1919 Austin, Texas






U.S. Marine Corps Seal

3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion (LAR)



Patriot, Chapter 1919

 Marine Corps, IRAQ


**Ken Kassner was wounded during the assault to liberate the Iraqi city of Fallujah in November 2004.  He returned to full duty this past January in order to deploy again with his battalion to Iraq.**


Fellow Patriots:


As a brief introduction, my name is Ken Kassner.  A native Texan and Major in the Marine Corps, I currently serve as the Executive Officer of 3d Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, which is home based at Twentynine Palms, California.  Earlier this year, I was inducted into your esteemed and historic organization after a dear friend of mine and fellow Marine—John Gilligan—presented me with a gift of membership into the MOPH and Chapter 1919.  John, who proved his mettle in combat during the Korean War, introduced me via email to Mr. Milt Carr, our Chapter’s Adjutant, who thoughtfully invited me to write about my battalion’s experiences in Iraq.  I enthusiastically accepted his invitation.


The 3d Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) Battalion first deployed to Iraq in 2003 and distinguished itself in combat during the opening phase of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF).  In August 2004, a few months after I joined the team, the battalion—also known as the Wolfpack—returned to Iraq and conducted several months of security and combat operations throughout the country’s restive Al Anbar province—the most western region of the country.  As an armored reconnaissance force, the Wolfpack possesses great mobility and superior firepower in its fleet of light armored vehicles, or LAVs.  In addition to the crews that operate the vehicles, several infantry scouts ride aboard the LAVs and bring to the fight a dismounted capability.  Given its many versatilities, the battalion has literally journeyed, fought, and conducted operations throughout the desert expanses of Al Anbar’s immense province.


During our last combat tour in OIF, my Marines and I patrolled the Iraqi borders shared with Syria and Jordan in order to prevent foreign fighters and illicit trade from entering the country; we conducted operations to capture terrorists and leaders of the Iraqi insurgency in several urban enclaves; we trained Iraqi soldiers and security forces, who will ultimately ensure the success and stability of this country; we planned and supported civil affairs projects to assist the local Iraqi governments in their efforts to help their citizens and restore order in their communities; in November 2004, we spearheaded the coalition’s attack into Fallujah in order to destroy the terrorists’ stronghold there and return the city to its peace-wanting people; we patrolled and cleared pockets of enemy resistance along the Euphrates river valley that stretches and meanders through the Al Anbar province; and in January 2005 we conducted security operations near the provincial capital city of Ramadi in order to help facilitate the first free national election in recent history.  After more than seven months of combat and security operations, the battalion returned to its home base in April 2005 and began a period of reconstituting its ranks of personnel, restoring its equipment, and training for its third deployment to Iraq.


In each one of the aforementioned operations, the Marines and sailors of this battalion performed heroically and truly upheld the finest traditions and storied accomplishments of the United States Marine Corps.  The honorable, faithful service of these young men and their sense of moral conviction undoubtedly gave (and continue to give) the Iraqi people hope—an element of their lives that has been in such short supply for many decades in this Middle Eastern country.  Indeed, regardless the branch of service, Americans can justifiably be proud of all their military men and women, who brave daily contact with an enemy who is solely interested in terrorizing the public and preventing this country from pursuing democracy.  A truly joint task force, 3d LAR Battalion has also included in its ranks Army soldiers and Air Force airmen in several of its operations.  Together, the men who form Task Force Wolfpack have made and continue to make a positive and measurable effect on the success of the war effort.  This past March, my battalion and I returned to Iraq to continue our mission in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.  With several months remaining on our current tour of duty, I’m confident that we will add many more accomplishments to our list of successes and multiple lop-sided victories against the enemy and his efforts to prevent freedom and democracy from taking root in this country.


Thank you for welcoming me to your Chapter of the MOPH, and I appreciate you letting me share with you a brief excerpt of my battalion’s contributions to the global war on terror.  I salute you all as fellow warriors and I look forward to meeting you and participating in our Chapter’s future activities.  For additional information about my battalion, I invite all of you to visit the Wolfpack’s website at  If interested in contacting me or corresponding with my Marines, please write to:


Major K. R. Kassner, USMC

3d LAR Bn, H&S Co

Unit 41700

FPO AP 96426-1700


Semper fidelis,

Ken Kassner

Major, USMC



*Semper fidelis: The Marine Corps’ motto; Latin for always faithful*



Returning to Iraq...

Departing on a company operation....

Ken (right) with LAR...

Light Armored Vehicle...

LAV with dismount...

Texas Pride

Read the update to Ken Kassner's Report From IRAQ July 2, 2006


Read the update to Ken Kassner's Report From IRAQ December 2007


Read the update to Ken Kassner's Report From IRAQ April 2009


Read the update to Ken Kassner's Report From IRAQ October 2009


Read the update to Ken Kassner's Report From Afghanistan December 2010





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