SGM BRUCE D. LONG (Ret.)
SGM Bruce Long (Ret.), former SFA Chapter 78 President, passed away peacefully at age 80 on September 14, 2022, surrounded by family and friends at his home in Corona, California. SGM Long had been a member of Special Forces Association for over fifteen years and served three terms as president of Chapter 78.
Bruce Dale Long was born on May 17, 1942 to Marian Replogle and Dennis James Long in Evanston, Illinois.
Bruce attended South Torrance High School. After graduating in 1961, he joined the United States Army, serving in Vietnam. Bruce served with the 82nd Airborne Division stateside from 1962-1964, and was then part of the 173rd Airborne Brigade from 1966-1967 in Vietnam. From 1968-1969 he was part of the United States Army Support, Thailand 46th Company 1st Special Forces.
In 1969, he received an Honorary discharge. He continued serving his community by joining the Westminster Police Department. While serving there, he completed his Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Criminal Justice at California State University Fullerton. He went on to earn his Master of Arts at Pepperdine University. Bruce rose to Detective, and became a member of their SWAT team, attending the FBI Training Academy in Quantico, VA.
Bruce joined the United States Army Reserve in 1977 and served with the 12th and the 19th Special Forces, retiring in 2001 as Sergeant Major with 32 years of dedicated service to the United States Army and Special Forces.
Sergeant Major Bruce Long joined SFA Chapter 12 and served as Chapter President from 2006 to 2008. He then joined SFA Chapter 78 in 2012 and served as Chapter President from 2014-2017 and then again from 2020 to 2021 for a total of three terms.
In his combined six years as President for Chapter 78, what Bruce did for the Chapter, to quote Chapter 78 Treasurer Richard Simonian, was to “put it together, hold it together, make good things happen.” His work with the Chapter, both during and outside of his tenure as President, was a demonstration of his love for his fellow Special Forces brothers and his commitment to supporting the community.
The single most important contribution SGM Bruce Long made to SFA Chapter 78 during his first tenure as President was the establishment of close relations with Company C (formerly Company A), 19th Special Forces Group, Airborne. This relationship with Company C was facilitated by the fact he had served as SGM in the local Reserve and National Guard SF units prior to his retirement. This relationship continues to this day. In fact, our Chapter meetings are held at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, where Company C is located.
At the Saturday September 17, 2022 Chapter meeting, members shared about their experiences with Bruce and the ways in which he inspired them. It was agreed that Chapter 78 owes Bruce a debt of gratitude. We will miss Bruce’s kindness, humility, humor, and energy.
Bruce Long is survived by his wife Geri Delp Long, his children Dale and daughter-in-law Tina, Jill Elliott and son-in-law Chase, Jason Gruetzmacher and daughter-n-law Carlie, and Heather Kinnersley and son-in-law Dan, and his four grandchildren.
I met Bruce at Fort Bragg during Desert Storm. He was a great guy. He had a 5 inch Randal #16 on his LBE and I had the 7 inch version. Probably what they say about men who carry big knives and big guns is true. On him, the 5 inch looked like a Leatherman in a pouch. On my LBE, the 7 inch looked like a machete. I tried numerous times to get him to trade with me, but no luck. He worked in the headquarters bldg. .and I organized and ran the mobilization and de-mobilization activity in the old Fifth Group Area. I saw him every day and always enjoyed talking with him. My condolences to his Family and friends.
I was very saddened to learn of Bruce’s illness and passing. I enjoyed working with Bruce during my tenure as Executive Director of the SFA. He was instrumental in the growth of Chapter 78 and responsible for the long success of the Chapter. He will be missed.
CSM Long was the first battalion CSM I ever had. I still remember him walking around with his old school clipboard. I still remember the day he showed up for battalion formation about 2 minutes late. We were all standing in formation waiting for him. As he approached the front of the formation, one of the HHC staff officers yelled out that he was late for formation. CSM Long stopped, looked at his Rolex, and said, “I’m on Rolex time, and Rolex time is always right.” I wanted a Rolex from that point on. After becoming a battalion CSM, I knew I would never be late for formation because my Rolex Submariner always has the right time. ; )
May God rest his soul and comfort his family.