About 1,100 family, friends and classmates of fallen Green Beret Staff Sergeant Scott Studenmund attended a memorial service at Flintridge Preparatory School on June 21. Studenmund, who died June 9 at age 24, was cited as a generous, fearless hero and a wonderful friend, son and brother who followed a calling to serve his country. He died in combat at the end of a multiple-day, high-priority mission in the Gaza Valley, Zabul Province, Afghanistan.
Studenmund’s father, Woody, began the service by thanking friends, family, the 5th Special Forces Group, and the entire Prep community. Studenmund’s aunt, Rev. Sally Studenmund Newhall, officiated at the service. Among those who spoke were Dr. Robert Nafie, headmaster at Clairbourn School, and Peter Bachmann, headmaster of Flintridge Preparatory School, who said, “Scott lived virtuously and soulfully.”
High school friend Trey Kozacik called Studenmund a prankster, adding, “He couldn’t contain his energy, and his enthusiasm was infectious.”
Prep classmate Xander Berry said that for Studenmund “honor and service were not platitudes.” Another high school friend, U.S. Army First Lieutenant Denny Lowe, said that Studenmund loved his family and friends and cared for others more than he cared for himself.
“He was tenacious, eager and selfless,” Lowe said.
Several military servicemen who worked alongside Studenmund also spoke. One said that Studenmund was born to serve his country as a Special Forces soldier, adding, “With the family, friends and community that he had around him, he would, of course, be successful at anything he tried.”
Another mentioned that “most people have bursts of energy, but Scott had moments of calm.”
A formal military memorial service was held earlier in the week at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, with over 1,000 friends, family and members of the 5th Special Forces Group in attendance. Studenmund was remembered for his infectious laugh and his eagerness to help teammates and get work done.
At a reception following the service, the Studenmund family received his Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Meritorious Service Medal. Studenmund’s previous military accomplishments include the leadership award from the Special Forces Weapons Sergeant course, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Combat Diver Badge, and the “top team” award from the Special Forces Level II Sniper course.
At the service, Flintridge Prep’s Peter Bachmann also announced the creation of the Scott Studenmund ’08 Memorial Fund. Each year, a Scott Studenmund ’08 Memorial Award will be bestowed upon a member of the Flintridge Preparatory School coaching staff who exhibits a devotion to athletic excellence and student development as well as a commitment to public service.
In addition, the Scott Studenmund ’08 Memorial Fund will be used to enhance athletics facilities at Flintridge Prep, honoring Studenmund’s legacy as a scholar-athlete and Green Beret soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice for his beloved country. All gifts received in memory of Scott Studenmund will be allocated to his memorial fund. Donations may be made online at support.flintridgeprep.org or by contacting Lakshmi Dastur-Johnson at (818) 949-5524.
Commemorative bookmarks were distributed at each of the memorial services. The bookmark read, “Scott loved books and was an ardent reader his entire life. We imagine the library in Heaven will be one of Scott’s sacred places. He would be honored to have you use this as a bookmark.” The bookmark provides an eclectic list of Scott’s favorite books, from “Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel” to Plutarch’s “Lives of the Roman Emperors” to James Elroy’s “L.A. Confidential.”
Scott Studenmund will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery next to his Green Beret brother and close friend who passed away during the same military engagement. Studenmund’s grandfather, Jack R. Miller, a U.S. Senator and Brigadier General in the Air Force Reserve, and his grandmother, Jerry Miller, are also buried at Arlington. Studenmund will be close to his grandparents.