Jerry Pope was born on October 2, 1967, in Tallahassee, Florida. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on January 14, 1987, and completed basic training at NTC Great Lakes, Illinois, in March 1987. Pope next attended Fire Controlman A School and then combat systems C School at NTC Great Lakes from March 1987 to April 1989, followed by Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, California, from April 1989 to April 1990. He attended Basic Airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia, in April and May 1990, and then served with SEAL Team FOUR at NAB Little Creek, Virginia, from May 1990 to March 1991. Petty Officer Pope next attended Hospital Corpsman School at NTC Great Lakes from March to June 1991, followed by service back with SEAL Team FOUR at Little Creek from June 1991 to March 1994. During this time he deployed to Panama with Naval Special Warfare Unit EIGHT from September 1993 to February 1994. He attended the U.S. Naval School of Health Sciences, Bethesda Detachment, at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, from April to December 1994, and then attended additional training at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from January to May 1995. Petty Officer Pope served as an instructor with the Naval School of Health Sciences at Fort Sam Houston from May 1995 to March 1996, and then as an instructor at Fort Bragg and at Portsmouth, Virginia, from March 1996 to November 1998. He then attended Medical training at the Academy of Health Sciences at Fort Sam Houston from December 1998 to December 1999, followed by service at the Naval School of Health Sciences at San Diego, California, from December 1999 until he was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy on February 9, 2001. His final assignment was as a Medical Officer with a Joint Operations Task Force in Yemen from August 2002 until he was killed in a traffic accident in Yemen on October 17, 2002. Jerry Pope was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
His Bronze Star Medal Citation reads:
For meritorious achievement in connection with operations against hostile enemy forces while serving as the sole Medical Officer and Joint Medical Unit Representative while assigned to a Joint Special Operations Task Force in support of counter-terrorism operations from 1 August to 17 October 2002. Ensign Pope's superb abilities ensured the timely establishment and effective operation of numerous sensitive and remote field medical sites. As the sole medical officer, he developed and maintained a medical infrastructure that provided casualty evacuation procedures, trauma medicine, and routine medical care for more than 50 U.S. and coalition personnel. During this period, Ensign Pope demonstrated exceptional leadership and outstanding medical skill supporting numerous special operations against hostile enemy forces. While assigned to a special operations tactical team, Ensign Pope was mortally wounded in the line of duty supporting counter-terrorism operations in the vicinity of Mukullah and Ash Shihr Terminal, Yemen. Ensign Pope reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.