Captain Matthew Krempel, USMC, a 2008 Marquette University NROTC graduate, received the 2013 Young Alumnus of the Year award from the Marquette NROTC Alumni & Friends Association 25 October 2013, at the NROTC Unit’s 238th Naval Services Birthday Ball at the Milwaukee Hilton.
Krempel graduated MU in 2006, earning a bachelor’s degree in American Military History. Following commissioning as a Marine Corps 2nd Lieutenant, Krempel completed Officers Basic School at Quantico, VA and was assigned to the Second Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, N.C. This led to two tours of duty in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
As a 1st Lieutenant in 2010, Krempel commanded a platoon of 45 Marine and Navy personnel. His unit conducted over 300 combat patrols and platoon operations. The unit completed 67 direct fire engagements with enemy forces, encountered seven improvised explosive devices, captured 12 enemy combatants and found and secured four major enemy weapons caches.
Taliban murders and propaganda led to the closure of a local school and bazaar. Captain Krempel and his unit overcame fear and terror among Afghan civilians, developing trust in the community. The tent school and bazaar were soon operating again.
On September 2, 2010, Krempel led his platoon on a dismounted security patrol that came under ambush from multiple enemy positions. He was struck twice in his right arm by enemy rounds. Ignoring his wounds, he linked his platoon with adjacent units. They continued fighting until the enemy was defeated, then he sought medical aid.
Captain Krempel’s awards include the Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and Combat Action Ribbon. He is now Aide-de-Camp for the Deputy Commander for Security Force Assistance, NATO Regional Command (Southwest). His duties include daily scheduling and planning for a Marine Corps General, and coordinating staff action. Captain Krempel continues to excel in meeting new challenges. His permanent duty station is Camp Lejeune, N.C. He has also assisted MU NROTC unit by counseling Marine Corps candidates.
In recommending Captain Krempel, Lt. Colonel Maureen Murphy wrote: “Captain Krempel has demonstrated outstanding leadership and professionalism, exemplifying the courage, commitment and love of country that was undoubtedly developed and reinforced during his education and training at Marquette University. His unwavering commitment to service should stand as a model for all current and future Marquette University Midshipmen to emulate.”