Cover photo for CSM (Ret) Francis McFadden's Obituary
CSM (Ret) Francis McFadden Profile Photo
1958 CSM 2023

CSM (Ret) Francis McFadden

August 10, 1958 — August 22, 2023

Command Sergeant Major (Retired) Francis “Frank” R. McFadden, age 65, passed away on Tuesday, August 22, 2023.

Celebration of Life will be held 12 noon, Friday, September 1, 2023, at McReynolds-Nave & Larson Funeral Home with Chaplain Lukasz Willenberg Officiating. Burial and Full Military Honors will follow at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery West. The family will receive friends from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, August 31, 2023, and again on Friday. September 1, 2023, from 10 a.m. until the hour of service.

Frank was born in Montreal, Canada, to Valerie and John McFadden in August 1958. He and his family immigrated to the United States in 1963, and lived in Massachusetts, Delaware, and finally New Hampshire, before entering the U.S. Army on 22 September 1976.Frank entered the Army as a radio mechanic and his first duty station was 2nd/81st Armor Battalion in Erlangen, Germany. In 1979 He returned stateside where he was assigned as the Communications Sergeant for Bravo Company, 39th Engineer Battalion at Ft Devens, Massachusetts. In 1980 he volunteered to attend the Airborne School and subsequently was assigned to Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, before entering the Special Forces in 1982.

CSM (R) McFadden entered the Special Forces as a Communications Sergeant (31V2S) following his graduation of the Special Forces Qualification Course on 2 February 1982.  CSM (R) McFadden was assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) first at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and volunteered to be one of the first Special Forces Soldiers to move with 5th Special Forces Group to Fort Campbell, Kentucky in 1986. After relocating to Fort Campbell KY, he served in that capacity on Operational Detachments 512, 531, 533 and 534. He departed Ft Campbell in June 1990 to become a ROTC, Principal Drill and a Senior Science Instructor at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY until June 1993. Upon his promotion to master sergeant, CSM (R) McFadden served as team sergeant for ODA 524 and battalion operations sergeant major until his selection and attendance to the Sergeants Major Academy in 1996. Upon graduation in June 1997, he returned to Fort Campbell as Sergeant Major for Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and then again as the battalion operations sergeant major. Upon his appointment to Command Sergeant Major in 2000, he transferred to Fort Bragg where he was appointed as Battalion Command Sergeant Major, 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) on 14 August 2000. Shortly after 9/11, he transferred to the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School and served as the Command Sergeant Major with oversight over the training and build-up of Green Berets following the attack of 9/11. In May 2002, CSM(R) McFadden was selected to serve as Command Sergeant Major, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, NC where he served until his retirement in 2006 following more than 30 years of service within the U.S. Army and 25 years within the Special Forces Regiment.

CSM (R) McFadden’s operational experience includes numerous deployments to almost every country in the Middle East and Southwest Asia and numerous countries in western Africa, the Horn of Africa, and the Caucasus. His combat deployments included  the Persian Gulf, Somalia, and Afghanistan. His awards included the Legion of Merit, multiple Bronze Stars and Meritorious Service Medals, the Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Combat Infantry Badge, Master Parachutist, and Military Freefall Jumpmaster Badges and Parachutist Wings from Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Kenya, Somalia, and Romania.

CSM (R) McFadden’s service to the regiment continued after his retirement, serving as a contractor for 5th SFG (A) from 2007-2009 as the Lessons Learned Analyst and as a Department of the Army Civilian from 2009-2020 as a Victim Advocate in the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program. He has been awarded the Army Superior Civilian Service Award for his dedication to the unit and the regiment. CSM (R) McFadden was inducted as a Distinguished Member of the Special Forces Regiment on 26 October 2017 and a member of the Gold Order of the Saint Philip Neri award. He was given the Commission of Kentucky Colonel, the highest honor bestowed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

CSM (R) McFadden also served on the board of the local Special Forces Association Chapter 38. He was elected in 2010 to serve as the president where, among other duties, he resided over shift change in the chapter’s mission to better support the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and synchronized efforts between the Legion and the SF Chapter for the 50th Reunion in 2011. He also served as the treasurer and currently served as the assistant treasurer where he managed an annual budget in excess of $400,000 and assets totaling more than $1,000,000.

CSM (R) McFadden was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and a (plank holder) season ticket member of the Nashville Predators. He taught many in the Kentucky and Tennessee area the game of hockey, developing a whole new generation of hockey and Predators fans.

Frank was preceded in death by his Father John McFadden, his Sister Catherine Elizabeth McFadden, and Nephew Michael Waltz.

Frank is survived by his loving wife Sara, Stepson Bruce (Ariel) Beebe, Stepdaughter Samantha Horn, and Granddaughter Skylar Rose Beebe, whose joyous smiles and giggles added light and joy throughout his courageous journey. His Mother Valerie (O’Keefe) Moran, Brother Richard (Liz) McFadden, and Sisters Michelle (Don) Waltz, Teresa (Richard) Brown, and many nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers will be Members of Chapter 38 and are as follows; Mike Cunningham, Israel Betanzos, Devin Ketchem, Rick Maywald, Alan Mitchell, Joel Pruitt.

Honorary Pallbearers are Bridget Schluter and Members of The Special ODA 534.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Special Forces Association Chapter 38; PO Box 223 Fort Campbell Ky 42223.

Online condolences may be made at www.NaveFuneral

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