WELSH, William Brendan, Lt Colonel US Army (ret.), age 54, of Key Largo, FL, passed away on Tuesday July 13, 2021. Brendan, “The Colonel”, was born September 17, 1966, to Bill and Laurel Welsh. Brendan and his younger brother Mark traveled the world with their CIA father, from Europe to Africa and Asia on his assignments. After finishing high school back in the U.S. Brendan received a congressional nomination to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was a member of the boxing club and excelled academically, particularly favoring Middle East studies. Graduating in 1989 he received his commission as a United States Army Infantry Officer. Upon completing Infantry Officer Training, he was immediately assigned to the 24th Infantry Division where he served as a mounted anti-tank infantry platoon leader during the 1991 Gulf War. Returning home as a combat veteran he found the love of his life, Carol Ann, and on July 3, 1993, they were married.
After completing the US Army Special Forces assessment and qualification course at Fort Bragg, NC, Brendan earned his Green Beret and was assigned to 5th Special Forces Group in Fort Campbell, KY. His career as Green Beret would continue for the next 26 years. He became the detachment commander of two separate Green Beret teams, training allies in Africa and Europe. As a small group instructor, he taught future officers at the qualification course. During this time, he completed numerous military courses, to include the highest fail rate course of all: US Army Combat Diver Course. On September 11, 2001, Brendan had command of the US Army Survival Evasion Resistance Escape (SERE) school. He then went on to receive his master’s degree at Ft Leavenworth, KS before taking a battalion executive officer command at the 7th Special Forces Group back in Ft. Bragg, NC.
Brendan was then assigned to the United States Special Operations Command for the South Region of operations (SOCSOUTH). He received the promotion to Lieutenant Colonel and was responsible for the success of over 96 classified missions. His success at SOCSOUTH led him back to the Middle East as a Battalion Commander for a US Army Transitional team in Mosul, Iraq. Completing an 18-month tour Brendan returned home to his family and continued his work at SOCSOUTH. His lead assignment was director for a joint special operations training exercise between the US and all South American Special Operations Allies known as “Fuerzos Commandos”. His service concluded in 2015 when Brendan honorably retired from the US Army.
As resident of Key Largo for last 15 years, Brendan was loved and respected by his local community. His daily rituals included front porch kettlebell workouts, neighborhood dog walks, and just being “the Mr. Brendan that everyone knows and loves”. As a proud father and grandfather, Brendan has been a source of countless years of mentorship not only to his family and friends, but to his subordinates and colleagues in the military. The true testament of Brendan’s character can be found in the multitude of people that call him a second father, brother, or uncle.
Brendan Welsh is survived by his sweetheart of 28 years Carol Ann, his son PJ, and three daughters, Colleen Savannah, Molly Paige, and Bridget Claire, grandson Riley, granddaughter Khloe, mother Laurel, and brother Mark