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Okanagan Military Museum

MILITARY BIOGRAPHIES

CAPTAIN JONATHAN SUTHERLAND SNYDER

Captain Jonathan Snyder, Star of Military Valour (SMV)

 

Afghanistan Campaign Star
Star of Military Valour

Captain Jonathan Synder, a native of Penticton, BC died in an accident on the evening of June 7-8, 2008 during a joint night patrol with Afghan National Army forces while on deployed operations in Afghanistan . He was on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan and was a member of the Operational Mentoring Liaison Team (OMLT) working directly with the Afghan National Army to enhance the development of a trained military force in this troubled country that will allow Afghans to eventually provide for their own security without the outside assistance of NATO forces. He was a member of the 1st Battalion of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regiment based in Edmonton, Alberta.

The tragic loss of an officer respected for his leadership and dedication to his profession with such a high potential was especially difficult for his fellow officers and soldiers to accept. This professionalism was exemplified shortly before his death during an incident where Capt Snyder, through his personal leadership and heroism, was instrumental in his team's survival during a battle with Taliban forces that had ambushed his group. The citation associated with the awarding of the Star of Military Valour to Capt. Snyder describes this action:

"Captain Jonathan Snyder, S.M.V. (deceased) Edmonton, Alberta and Penticton, British Columbia Star of Military Valour and Master-Corporal J. Donovan Ball, S.M.V. Edmonton, Alberta and Winnipeg, Manitoba Star of Military Valour.

Master Corporal Ball, then corporal, as well as corporals Baker and Bancarz, and captains Peel and Snyder, were deployed to Afghanistan to serve as mentors to an Afghan company, when they were ambushed by Taliban insurgents on June 4, 2008. With little chance of survival, they exposed themselves to great peril and retaliated against the enemy while encouraging the Afghan soldiers to do the same. Captain Snyder seized control of the situation and ensured that the Afghan soldiers retrieved their wounded comrades. Master Corporal Ball led a two-man team across broken terrain to secure an extraction route that allowed for the execution of a fighting withdrawal by Captain Peel and corporals Bancarz and Baker. Because of their dedication, leadership and valour, many Afghan and Canadian lives were saved."

Greatly mourned by his family (his father David is a Director of the Okanagan Military Museum Society), friends and Regimental comrades, Jonathan's life and actions stand as a tribute to his character and personal courage.

 

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