Marine MAJ
White Lake, MI
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Memorial Location: 

VFW Post 4156
321 Union Lake Road
White Lake, MI

Killed in a vehicle accident in Iraq.

Assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, CA.

Kevin G. Nave was born February 22, 1967, in Detroit Michigan. When Kevin was 5 years old his family, including two younger brothers and a younger sister, moved to White Lake, Michigan. Kevin attended Douglas Houghton Elementary, John D. Pierce Junior High and Waterford Kettering High School. While at Kettering Kevin was a three-year varsity letter winner in football and wrestling. In his senior year he won the 155 lbs wrestling class championship in the “Greater Oakland Athletic League”. Kevin was a member of the National Honor Society with a 3.5 grade point average and graduated in 1985.

Kevin had wanted to be a Marine from the time he was about 12 years old. He wanted to enlist right after graduating from high school but with some “gentle” persuasion from his parents, he decided to wait until after college. He applied for and was granted an R.O.T.C. scholarship to the University of Michigan. Kevin graduated from U of M in 1989 with a major in political science and received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. While at U of M he attended the Army “Jump School” and was awarded the parachute insignia. He called himself the “5 jump chump”.

Shortly after receiving his commission Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm began. Kevin commanded a platoon and his platoon was the first the “Demarcation Line” for his battalion. Kevin made it through the Gulf War and was assigned to Camp Pendleton, California. While attending training here he met and later married Carrie Dawson. They had two children, Tony and Maeve.

Kevin was assigned as an advisor/inspector to a Marine Reserve unit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and moved his family to Port Washington, a Milwaukee suburb. While stationed in Wisconsin Kevin was an advisor to the southeast Wisconsin Young Marines, coordinator for the Toys For Tots program, Milwaukee Armed Services Committee member and Marine Community Outreach coordinator to local schools. He also originated the first Armed Forces Week Harley Ride.

His assignment in Milwaukee was ending in June 2002, and he had been assigned to attend the “Advanced Warfare School” at Quantico, VA. About two weeks before he was to report to the school, he received a call from Marine Corps Headquarters advising him of an opportunity to be executive officer for 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, back at Camp Pendleton, CA.

He had only 24 hours to decide. After consulting with his superior officers and talking it over with Carrie, he made that fateful decision to go to Camp Pendleton. In January, 2003, Major Nave and the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, were deployed to Kuwait and shortly thereafter into Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. On March 26, 2003, Major Kevin G. Nave was killed while engaged in combat operations.

John Zito, an NBC producer assigned to Kevin’s battalion wrote this about Kevin during the first few days of the war:

“In the middle of the battle Major Nave was in control. He maneuvered vehicles and infantry; he quickly erected a command and control center, he radioed for helicopters to medevac the wounded. His mind corralled all the moving pieces and anticipated everyone’s needs including his own”.

Major Nave’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Campaign Medal, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia) and the Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait).

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