Joe Rose was born in 1946 in Morgantown, West Virginia. He enlisted in the U.S. Army for Warrant Officer training on March 15, 1966, and was awarded his Army Aviator Wings and appointed a Warrant Officer at Fort Rucker, Alabama, on April 11, 1967. His first assignment was as a UH-1 Huey pilot with the 135th Aviation Company at Fort Hood, Texas, from April to October 1967, and then deployed to South Vietnam with the 162nd Aviation Company from October to December 1967, with the 5th Aviation Detachment from December 1967 to January 1968, and finally with the 58th Aviation Detachment from January 1968 until his helicopter was shot down and he was captured and taken as a Prisoner of War on February 8, 1968. After spending 1,853 days in captivity, CW2 Rose was released during Operation Homecoming on March 5, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at Valley Forge General Hospital in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, and then received an honorable discharge from the Army on June 28, 1973, remaining in the Army Reserve until May 18, 1977.
His Bronze Star Medal Citation reads:
Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Rose, III distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious service to the United States of America while detained as a Prisoner of War in Southeast Asia during the period 8 February 1968 to 5 March 1973. His ceaseless efforts, by a continuous showing of resistance to an enemy who ignored all international agreements on treatment of prisoners of war, in the extremely adverse conditions of the communist prisons of Southeast Asia demonstrated his professional competence, unwavering devotion and loyalty to his country. Despite the harsh treatment through his long years of incarceration, this American continued to perform his duties in a clearly exceptional manner which reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Army.