Carl “Buck” Stroud, Jr., of Ashburn, Va., died Oct. 2023. He was a man of exceptional character and dedication. His journey in life was marked by a series of significant milestones, each one showcasing his unwavering commitment to service and excellence.
Carl Stroud began his educational journey at Walterboro High School, graduating with distinction. He later embarked on a path of higher education that led him to The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. There, he pursued his studies with unwavering determination, supported by a scholarship that recognized his outstanding potential. Carl majored in chemistry, showcasing his dedication to academic excellence.
However, Carl’s commitment extended beyond the classroom. He not only excelled academically but also displayed remarkable leadership and sportsmanship. His participation in the Citadel’s rifle team illustrated his discipline and dedication to teamwork. Additionally, he provided spiritual guidance as he led a Bible study group, demonstrating his deep sense of compassion and community.
Upon his graduation, Carl embarked on a new chapter of his life by answering the call of duty. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army Reserve, where he served as an engineer officer. His unwavering commitment to the nation was evident when he was activated in January, leading the 630th Engineer Company of the 31st Engineer Battalion during their training at Fort Bliss, Texas.
It was during this time that Carl’s heroism shone brightest. In the midst of combat operations, he selflessly saved the life of an L-19 observation pilot who had been shot down near his convoy. His courage and quick thinking in the face of danger are a testament to his bravery.
Following his first tour in Vietnam, Carl continued to advance his skills and knowledge. He attended the Advanced Engineer Course and Command and Staff College at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, expanding his expertise in engineering.
Carl’s journey then took him to Germany, where he served as the Deputy Chief of Staff of Logistics Command. His leadership and dedication left a lasting impact during his time in Europe.
In August of 1969, Carl returned to Vietnam, this time as a part of the 85th Engineer Group and the 39th Engineer Battalion. His unwavering commitment to duty was truly commendable.
Upon his return to the United States, Carl served as a tactical officer at The Citadel until July of 1971. He was responsible for providing mature leadership, and by example to a company of the South Carolina Corps off Cadets.
He continued his pursuit of knowledge by attending the University of Missouri Rolla, where he earned a master’s degree, showcasing his commitment to academic excellence.
From 1973 to May of 1976, Carl was assigned to the Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg, Mississippi, working at the US Waterways Experiment Station. His contributions to engineering and research were invaluable during this time.
He then served at Fort Leavenworth from May to August of 1976. Carl was a qualified combat engineer officer and a nuclear weapons staff officer, a testament to his versatile expertise and dedication to national defense.
Throughout his distinguished career, Carl Stroud received numerous awards and decorations in recognition of his exceptional service and valor. His achievements, courage, and unwavering dedication have left an indelible mark on the history of our armed forces.