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Old 22 May 2007, 11:16
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Corsair Corsair is offline
In God We Trust...all others are suspect
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RIP Major Zembiec
Semper Fidelis
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Old 26 May 2007, 01:07
pig pen pig pen is offline
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I feel very honored to have been in this man's presence for the short time that god saw fit.
I'll never forget him.
R.I.P. Sir
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Old 27 May 2007, 14:37
Petey Petey is offline
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Here is the "Zembiec Workout of the Day," for all you Cross-fit-ers:

50x kettlebell swings(54lbs)
50x pull-ups(rings if you got them)
50x sledgehammers( use a ten pound sledge hammer and beat a tire one swing = one rep.
50x dips(rings if you got them.)
sic transit gloria
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Old 30 May 2007, 04:19
SKScotch SKScotch is offline
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RIP, sir.
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Old 31 May 2007, 22:28
Thor Thor is offline
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two articles

Marine Killed in Baghdad Was Determined, Compassionate

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 15, 2007; B07

There may not be higher praise than was offered last night for Douglas
A. Zembiec, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a resident of
Annapolis and a Marine.

"I thought he was one of the greatest people on Earth," said Zembiec's
father-in-law, William Slunt.

"He was one of the best Americans that this country could ever know,"
said Alexandra Ripley of Annapolis, the wife of a close friend.

Zembiec, 34, a career Marine who held the rank of major and whose
formal assignment was at corps headquarters, in Arlington, was killed in
combat Friday in Baghdad, the Pentagon said last night.

A newspaper in Albuquerque, where he went to high school, described him
as a legendary Marine, and his friend Tom Ripley said that was

In the corps, Ripley said, Zembiec was known as the "lion" of Fallujah for the warrior qualities he showed during the fierce house-to-house fighting there in the spring of 2004.

He "made a real kind of mark on the Marines," said Ripley, who comes from a Marine family and had himself served as a captain.

He was "one of the finest Marines and finest Americans I've ever known,"
Ripley added, hailing his friend's courage, unswerving optimism and
"ferociousness in combat."

The citation for his Bronze Star recognized his heroism at the head of his men in Fallujah, under heavy fire from a more numerous foe. Moving from building to building, the citation said, and despite being seriously wounded, Zembiec led his men, directed their fire and helped evacuate other wounded Marines.

The 6-foot-2 Zembiec was a former All America wrestler at the Naval Academy. He was also passionate and compassionate, said Ripley, and
among the "nicest, easiest-going, friendliest" of men.

His letter to the mother of a fallen Marine is in a book of writing by troops and their families that was published by Random House.

The death "brought tears to my eyes, tears that fell in front of my Marines," Zembiec wrote. "I am unashamed of that fact."

A newspaper correspondent wrote that even in the severe test of combat,
Zembiec maintained a strict sense of right and wrong. "People in combat
are under a lot of stress and pressure," the reporter quoted Zembiec as
saying. "But that is never an excuse for unlawful conduct."

In 2005, he was quoted on the importance of the mission in Iraq and of
seeing it through.

"Isolationism does not work," he said. "We need to bring some kind of stability over there. We need to stay the course."

At La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, Zembiec "was probably the toughest kid . . . that I've ever coached," Ron Owen said.

He was, Owen said, "a totally unique individual who would give you everything he had." If he had to "pick somebody to go to war with," the
coach said, "it would have been Doug. Just a super, super kind of guy"
who would "put himself out there on the line before he'd ask you."

Annapolis was not that easy for him, Zembiec once told an Albuquerque
newspaper, referring to the classwork.

"It just about killed me," he said. "But I was never gonna give up."

In addition to his parents, who live in Albuquerque, survivors include his wife, Pamela, whom he married in 2005, and their year-old daughter.

"It's such a loss for our country," Ripley said, but "he was doing what he loved. Exactly what he loved to do."
Salute to a Memorable Marine

By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 17, 2007; B01

The turnout seemed entirely fitting for a Marine who was described -- with little apparent hyperbole -- as the toughest guy in the house. More
than 1,000 mourners, from generals to civilians, packed the Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis yesterday to honor Maj. Douglas A. Zembiec, who was killed last week outside Baghdad.

Five hours later, after the sound of taps had faded over his coffin at Arlington National Cemetery, came what Zembiec, 34, might have considered the finest tribute of all.

About 40 enlisted men gathered under a tree, telling stories about their
former commander. Some had flown in from as far away as California, prompting one officer to observe: Your men have to follow your orders;
they don't have to go to your funeral.

The men knew firsthand how Zembiec, who lived outside Annapolis, had come to be known as the Lion of Fallujah.

The story is one of their favorites. It was 2004, in the Jolan district of Fallujah, and Zembiec was a captain. They were on a rooftop, taking fire from AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades. They tried to radio an Abrams tank below to open fire in the direction of the enemy. No good.

Zembiec raced down the stairs and out to the street and climbed onto the
tank. Gunnery Sgt. Pedro Marrufo, 29, who watched from the rooftop, remembers Zembiec getting a Marine inside the tank to open the hatch.
Insurgents shot at Zembiec as he instructed the men in the tank where to

Cpl. Chad Borgmann, 28, who went to Zembiec's funeral from Camp Pendleton, Calif., said yesterday that boarding tanks during firefights
and similar actions is typically the work of enlisted men. If a lance corporal falls, there are 40 to take his place. But there are fewer captains, Borgmann said, and fewer still who always seemed to be out in front.

"He let us know it was his privilege to lead us," Borgmann said, walking
back to a car through the graves of Arlington before heading out to meet
up with his Marine buddies at the Clarendon Grill.

Zembiec, born in Hawaii, the son of an FBI agent, was a two-time all-American wrestler at the Naval Academy before graduating in 1995. His most recent U.S. posting was in Arlington.

For years, Zembiec had drawn the attention of Marines and journalists alike. He served in Kosovo and was on his fourth tour in Iraq, said Col. John Ripley, a retired Marine and close friend. His numerous military honors included a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

Through it all, he remained an unabashed warrior. "A terrific day. We just whacked two [insurgents] running down an alley with AK-47s," he told a Los Angeles Times reporter in 2004. Of the 168-member unit he commanded, about one-third suffered casualties.

"From Day One, I've told [my troops] that killing is not wrong if it's for a purpose, if it's to keep your nation free or protect your buddy," he told the Times. "One of the most noble things you can do is kill the enemy."

Mourners heard a sampling of Zembiec's sentiments yesterday. "Never forget those that were killed," he once wrote. "And never let rest those that killed them."

As many as 15 generals filed into the pews of the historic chapel, with its cavernous ceiling and towering windows exposing blue skies. Other men, in suits, with the bearing of retired military officers, stood straight with clutched fists at their sides while quietly singing the Marines' Hymn. Many others appeared to be Zembiec's peers, 30-something couples, men with the close-cropped hair of Marines, and some of the women pregnant.

Mourners heard about Zembiec's family life. His wife of two years, Pamela, and their 1-year-old daughter, Fallyn, sat up front.

"Become the greatest husband and father ever," Zembiec had written in a
note to himself.

The Marine had compiled such axioms and exhortations in notebooks, xcerpts of which were read aloud by a close friend, Eric L. Kapitulik, who also recounted this story:

While Zembiec was stationed at Camp Pendleton after the Fallujah campaign, his parents visited. Zembiec and his father, Don, drove onto the base to shoot skeet and were stopped at the gate by a young Marine. Are you Captain Zembiec's father? the Marine asked. Yes, his father said.

"I was with your son in Fallujah," the Marine said. "He was my company commander. If we had to go back in there, I would follow him with a spoon."

Kapitulik read heavily from Zembiec's notebooks. One of the quotes was particularly long, amounting to what Kapitulik said was a summary of
Zembiec himself.

"Be a man of principle. Fight for what you believe in. Keep your word. Live with integrity. Be brave. Believe in something bigger than yourself. Serve your country.

"Teach. Mentor. Give something back to society. Lead from the front. Conquer your fears. Be a good friend. Be humble and be self-confident.

"Appreciate your friends and family. Be a leader and not a follower. Be valorous on the field of battle. And take responsibility for your actions."

Kapitulik said the creed came from the man who knew Zembiec the longest,
as indicated by the major's written description: "Principles my father taught me."
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Old 1 June 2007, 22:45
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Purple36 Purple36 is offline
Swimming Upstream
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RIP Major
- Faith involves believing in the veracity of the unprovable and unobservable, whether that consists of religion or theoretical physics, which at the very subatomic level start looking rather similar. -ET1/SS Nuke
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Old 18 July 2007, 20:20
shootnsurf shootnsurf is offline
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we.ll miss you Doug, thank you
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Old 18 July 2007, 23:24
guns guns is offline
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RIP, Warrior.
Bottom line is if you're committed to the cause, you'll do whatever it takes.- Lindy 11-13-2011
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Old 19 July 2007, 16:01
ratamojada ratamojada is offline
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Doug was just mentioned in a choked up response from the SecDef.

We think about you everyday bro.

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Old 25 July 2007, 16:25
Former Former is offline
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God speed, Doug.
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Old 26 July 2007, 12:17
SFS0AVN SFS0AVN is offline
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RIP Maj Doug Zembiec.
"In a man-to-man fight, the winner is he who has one more round in his magazine." Rommel
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Old 13 August 2007, 06:52
Team Hondo Team Hondo is offline
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Old 13 August 2007, 23:17
Evil Snowman Evil Snowman is offline
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RIP Warrior ...

(with glass raised)

"May the Lord welcome you in Heaven ... at least an hour before the Devil knows you're dead."
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Old 5 November 2007, 00:01
resker resker is offline
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Icon5 Major Zembiec's place in history

Greetings All,

I've attempted to create and cultivate an entry for Major Zembiec on Wikipedia to preserve his contributions for posterity. Major Zembiec, or Doug as I've known him since the 7th grade, is a name that I gather many here knew well (at least by reputation if not personally) and I'm hoping to enlist your support in better documenting his life and exploits. My effort has proven to be sadly incomplete thus far and would benefit greatly from the words of those who knew him in his professional life. In the interest of full disclosure, I've filed a freedom of information act request to the Dept. of Navy and HQMC to obtain some of these details myself but I imagine that much of the response will be culled in light of still current operational security concerns. That's certainly understandably necessary. In lieu of that response, please consider contributing to the record here:

Upon visiting the link above you'll note that the article is currently being considered for deletion under the presumption that it doesn't meet "notability guidelines." This notion is infuriating to me, but a strictly academic and objective approach in molding this article is necessary to ensure it's inclusion in the record. If you're able to contribute (and gracious enough to do so) please keep in mind that a terse "just the facts" approach usually works best.

Thanks for your time, and for those of you in harm's way please keep your head down when prudent, but kick ass at all times.

R.W. Esker
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Old 7 November 2007, 02:17
Highspire13 Highspire13 is offline
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Well written tribute.
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Old 27 February 2008, 05:06
RonUSMC RonUSMC is offline
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You can RIP Zemmie, your boys will take care of it.
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Old 4 May 2009, 01:17
BigOne BigOne is offline
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I hope Valhalla is as magnificent as you use to describe to us. To the gates of hell and back sir!
A true warrior.
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Old 13 May 2009, 16:04
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Global Med Global Med is offline
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Letter for signatures going around via the FRA for the following proposal:

The Honorable Raymond E. Mabus, Jr. May 11, 2009
Secretary of the Navy
1000 Navy Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20350-1000
Dear Secretary Mabus:

Mr. Secretary, many proposals for naming U.S. Navy ships are forwarded to your office each year that include lengthy and expensive public relations campaigns. We do not wish to begin such a protracted campaign, but do propose that the next Arleigh Burke destroyer, DDG 113, be named USS Douglas A. Zembiec.

Major Douglas A. Zembiec, USMC, was killed in action in Baghdad on May 11, 2007, while leading a raid on an insurgent stronghold. Known as the "Lion of Fallujah," Doug was universally admired and respected by all who knew and served with him.

Major Zembiec served numerous combat tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo. Legend of his unwavering courage on multiple battlefields spread across the country after several bestselling books and national news stories documented his combat leadership. The Marines he led were inspired to greatness by his selfless demeanor, and senior officers were likewise awed by his exploits. Major Zembiec’s senior enlisted Marine stated emphatically, "He was the Marine that every Marine wanted to be next to, fighting the enemy." A picture of Doug from Operation Vigilant Resolve hangs in Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ conference room at the Pentagon, and the Secretary publicly praised Doug’s example of selfless service. General David Petraeus dubbed him "a true charter member of the brotherhood of the close fight."

Doug was warrior in every respect. He relished in service to his country and cherished the moniker ‘warrior’. Tragically, he paid the ultimate sacrifice for that love. Bing West said it best: "We can dispute the politics of any war --- Iraq, Afghanistan, or any others, but we cannot dispute our need for warriors." Taking this idea to its logical fruition, it is our solemn obligation to ensure the top examples of the warrior ethos are heralded and passed on to future generations.

Admiral Arleigh Burke said of the destroyer class named in his honor, "This ship is built to fight; you’d better know how." There is no finer example of a modern warrior who embodies this quote and the overall spirit of Admiral Burke--relentless in combat, resourceful in command, and revered by all--than Major Douglas A. Zembiec.

Very Respectfully,
Eschew Obfuscation
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Old 24 July 2009, 21:48
shark11 shark11 is offline
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Major Z

I get a little choked up whenever I think about any of our fallen....some of them are harder to deal with than others, Major Zembiec is one of the hardest for me to think about.....there just aren't many Americans like him.

I really hope a ship is named in his honor.
Be polite, be professional, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
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Old 24 July 2009, 22:07
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Seanmcd82 Seanmcd82 is offline
Embrace the Suck
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It's never the Jump that hurts, it's always when you hit the ground
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