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U.S. Army War College mourns the passing of 2016 graduate

Col. Jon Thaddeus Blatt passed away at the Madigan Army Medical Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord on February 4, 2017, in Tacoma, Washington, at the age of 54.

Jon was born on January 18, 1963, in Huntington, W.Va., to Thaddeus and Carolyn Blatt. Jon is survived by his wife, Victoria; his children, Michael, Kathleen and Alex Blatt, whom he shar ed with former spouse Susan Blatt; his grandson, Jonathan Copley; his parents, Thaddeus and Carolyn Blatt; his sister and brother-in-law, Michele and Charlie Rappold; his sister, Teresa Blatt; his sister and brother-in-law, Becky and Chris Stanfield; his brother and sister-in-law, Eric and Sarah Blatt; his brother, Andrew Blatt; other aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews; and many, many friends. He is also preceded in death by his brother, Joey Blatt.

Jon's primary and secondary education in Huntington included St. Joseph Central Catholic School, along with Huntington High School. Jon graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Marshall University in December 1987. He received his Master's Degree in Strategic Studies from The United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., in 2016. He worked as the Operations Manager for his father's business, LJ Navy in Huntington, W.Va., throughout his high school and college years. He continued on to work for the United States Postal Service as the Delivery and Customer Service Programs Manager in Charleston, W.Va. Jon was also a proud member of the Knights of Columbus in Huntington, W.Va.

He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States (US) Army Reserve through the Officer Candidate School, Fort Benning, Ga., in August 1988. Upon graduation from the Ordnance Officer Basic Course at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., in May 1989, he was selected for an initial active duty assignment in Germany for three years. While there, he was assigned as an Ammunition Platoon Leader for the 23rd Ordnance Company in Kriegsfeld, Germany, with follow on assignments as Maintenance Platoon Leader and Company Executive Officer. Col. Blatt spent his remaining active duty tour at Fort Lewis, Wash., where he served as the Assistant S3 and Conventional Ammunition Officer for the 80th Ordnance Battalion.

Upon his release from active duty, Col. Blatt rejoined the US Army Reserve in Charleston, W.Va., where he served as the Headquarters and Headquarters Company Commander for the 38th Ordnance Group. Following Company Command, he served as the S3 and Materiel Officer for the 332nd Ordnance Battalion in Kenova, W.Va. He subsequently returned to Charleston, W.Va., where he served as the Materiel Officer for the 321st Ordnance Battalion and deployed with the unit in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in April 2003. He returned from deployment in April 2004 and was assigned as the Materiel Officer for the 38th Ordnance Group prior to being selected as the Commander of the 321st Ordnance Battalion.

Following Battalion Command, Col. Blatt served as the S3 for the 38th Regional Support Group and was mobilized in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with the 38th Regional Support Group/316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Mission Support Element. He was later mobilized with the 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) in Coraopolis, Pa., as the Mobilization and Readiness Chief and subsequently served as the Chief of Pre- and Post-Mobilization Training at the US Army Reserve Command in Fort McPherson, Ga., and Fort Bragg, N.C.

Col. Blatt was mobilized as the Assistant Chief of Staff, G5, for the 364th Sustainment Command (Rear) in Marysville, Wash., through September 2012, prior to being selected as the Commander, Army Sustainment Command, Army Reserve Element at Fort Bragg, N.C. He served as the Commander at Fort Bragg until his assignment as the Assistant Chief of Staff, G4, for the 310th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) at Fort Hood, Texas, followed by his assignment as Commander, 4th Special Troops Battalion (R)(P). Col. Blatt distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious service in a succession of critical leadership positions of great importance and increasing responsibility culminating as the Brigade Commander of the 304th Sustainment Brigade at Riverside, Calif.

Col. Blatt's military awards include: Legion of Merit (Posthumous), Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (with 2 oak leaf clusters), Army Commendation Medal (with 4 oak leaf clusters), Army Achievement Medal (with 2 oak leaf clusters), US Army Reserve Achievement Medal (with 4 oak leaf clusters), National Defense Service Medal (with bronze service star), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with silver hourglass and M device), Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Service Ribbon.  

Col. Blatt was deeply loved and respected by his family and the soldiers whom he served with compassion. His leadership will leave a lasting impact on all who had the pleasure of serving with him. Funeral Liturgy was conducted by Father Dean Borgmeyer at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, February 16, 2017, at St. Joseph Catholic Church followed by a burial at Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery, Dunbar, W.Va. Memorial contributions may be made to Swedish Medical Center, Ben and Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment, Swedish Neuroscience Institute Cherry Hill, 550 17th Avenue Suite 540, Seattle, WA 98122, www.swedishfoundation.org/neuro. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.regerfh.com.