On December 22, 2012, Commander Price, the 42-year-old leader of SEAL Team 4, did not appear for a meeting with an Afghan general. His men searched for him in the mess hall, in the showers and finally along the row of berths called the Green Mile. After knocking twice on the door to Commander Price’s room and hearing no answer both times, a colleague found the door unlocked and entered. There, the colleague found Commander Price lying in his sleeping bag, a pistol in his hand, and a pool of blood beneath the bed.
After an investigation by NCIS that included interviews with dozens of close friends, aides, and relatives, a Navy death review board determined Commander Price had committed suicide.
One former SEAL team member called the investigators to suggest that the commander might have been murdered. For those closest to Price, questions linger years later as they struggle with secrecy and and the unwillingness of the military to share documents about his death. Additionally, many wonder how no one had heard the gunshot in such close quarters, or how the man they knew could take his own life and leave behind no note, email, or explanation as to why. The family has also raised concerns as to whether or not all of the forensic evidence was analyzed correctly before the body was cremated.
WHO WAS JOB PRICE?
Quiet professional, determined warrior, focused, disciplined, and loyal, are just a few of the words used to describe Commander Job W. Price by those who knew him well.
Born in 1970 to Harry and Nancy Price of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, Job was loved and adored by all. He became a big brother and future mentor to his sister, Bronwyn, born 3 years later. The Price’s lived a wonderful life together as a close-knit family, enjoying adventurous family vacations, and numerous gatherings with relatives who lived nearby.
Job grew to be a talented football player and exceptional heavyweight wrestler, as well as an accomplished student, graduating 3rd in his high school class. According to his teachers, coaches, and friends, Job refused to accept anything but his best effort in all that he did, but was also the first to laugh at himself when that ‘best effort’ didn’t quite go as planned.
Commander Price understood and embraced the importance of placing the greater good above self at the early age of 18. He committed to attend the United States Air Force Academy over other opportunities presented to him, including some from Ivy League colleges, and the United States Military Academy at West Point. Interestingly enough, Job did not end up flying. Rather, he cross-commissioned into the Navy upon graduation day in 1993, with dreams of serving his country as a U.S. Navy SEAL. The following year in 1994, he made that dream a reality by successfully completing the grueling SEAL training program (BUDS), as a commissioned officer in the SEAL Teams with class 193. Always seeking a challenge, and just 2 years later, when Job and a few others were approached to attend the U.S. Army Ranger School, to give subsequent feedback on how the program compared to BUDS, he gladly accepted. Never a quitter, Job met that challenge head on, and received his Ranger Tab with class 10-97.
From that point on, this hero was known to either volunteer for or accept the most difficult of assignments beginning with SEAL Teams TWO and FOUR, in Panama, and Bosnia, to Unit 10, in Rota, Spain, USSOCOM in Tampa, Florida, 5th Fleet in Bahrain, and JSOC in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. His success in leading is evidenced by the numerous medals and impressive commendations he was awarded throughout his career, including four Bronze Stars. Commander Price’s senior evaluations often reflected his unique ability to ‘excel under pressure.’ He was also known for his incredible sense of humor and wit. Co-workers often commented how he was able to lighten the mood and tone of some very intense moments throughout his 12 deployments by being able to making them laugh. His roommate from the academy shared one of his favorite funny comments when he called Job after 911 to ask how he was, with Job replying, “All I know is that I’m going to Afghanistan to fight this evil if I have to take a pogo stick to get there!”
Somewhere along the path of his intense operation tempo, Commander Price managed to find, love, and marry his best friend and soulmate in 2001, and two years later, welcome his first and only child into the world; who truly was the light and love of his life. This loving military unit happily packed and unpacked and moved too many times to count, like so many others in support of their loved ones dedicated to serving the nation. They met and made friends for life in their travels, and cherished the memories forged in each place they lived.
Tragically, on the morning of December 22, 2012, just days before Christmas, while Commander Price was forward deployed to Afghanistan, and in Command of SEAL Team FOUR, his family was notified that Job, in the early hours of December 21st, died of a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Those closest to him still remain in shock and awe at such a determination. This great patriot, beloved son and brother, devoted husband, father, and friend, left the earth without a single goodbye. Such behavior was highly contradictory to this leader known to pay strict attention to detail in everything he did. Receiving his body in a flag-draped coffin on the tarmac at Dover Air Force Base on Christmas morning, was unbearable to witness, and left innumerable scars on everyone in attendance. More than 6 years later, one thing is clear, those lucky enough to have had this hero in their lives, are all the better for having known him, and will miss him for the rest of time.