Master Sergeant (Retired) Derek “Baldy” Thomas Baldwin was born on the 16th of February, 1968 in San Gabriel, CA.
He enlisted in the US Army Reserves in May of 1987 as an 951F (Forensic Photographer). After coming on Active Duty, he was converted to an 11B (Infantryman) followed by the Ranger Indoctrination Program and assignment to the 2nd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.
In 1990, Baldy moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina to attend the Special Forces 18B Weapons Course. Upon completion of the Qualification Course, Baldy learned Polish and was assigned to 10th Special Forces Group. Later, Baldy would serve with JSOC and have a full career where he was both respected and revered.
Baldy served a total of 25 years, 5 months, and 4 days on active duty. Out of those 25 plus years, 3 years, 6 months, and 24 days would be served in a combat role overseas.
Baldy’s Awards and Decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (3rd Award), Purple Heart, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2nd Award), Meritorious Service Medal (2nd Award), Joint Service Commendation W/ V Device, Joint Service Commendation Medal (2nd Award), Army Commendation Medal (2nd Award), Joint Service Achievement Medal (2nd Award), Army Achievement Medal (4th Award), Army Good Conduct Medal (8th Award), Nation Defense Service Medal W/ Bronze Service Star, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal W/ Arrowhead Device, SW Asia Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal W/ Campaign Star (3rd Award), Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (Numeral 3), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award (3rd Award), Meritorious Unit Commendation, Combat Infantryman Badge (2nd Award), Expert Infantryman Badge, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Master Freefall Parachutist Badge, Master Parachutist Combat Badge W/ Bronze Service Star, Royal Australian Army Parachutist Badge and French Army Parachutist Badge.
Baldy is survived by two sons, Michael Thomas Baldwin and wife, Michelle of Sanford and William Peter Baldwin of Flagstaff, Ariz.; a grandson, Derek Thomas Baldwin; and his mother, Marilyn Baldwin of Temple City, Calif.
A funeral service will be held at noon (12 pm) Saturday, October 6, 2018 in JFK Chapel on Ft. Bragg. A full military burial will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 10 am to 11:45 am prior to the service at the church.