RANGERS 2 Celiz, Christopher Andrew

John Robertson

Administrator
Staff member
  • SURNAME
Celiz
  • FORENAME
Christopher Andrew
  • UNIT
75 Ranger Regiment (Company D,1 Bn)
  • RANK
Sergeant First Class
  • NUMBER
  • DATE OF DEATH
12th July 2018
  • AGE
32
  • GRAVESITE
unknown
  • ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
from Summerville, South Carolina
born 12.1.1986 Summerville, South Carolina
married (1 daughter)
entered service September 2007
7 Cavalry Regiment (Company E, 2 Bn)
4 Brigade Special Troops Bn (Company C)
92 Engineer Bn (530 Engineer Clearance Company)
75 Ranger Regiment (HHC,1Bn) 2013
75 Ranger Regiment (Company D,1 Bn) March 2017
awards Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with 2 oak leaf clusters
awarded posthumously Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal
10.12.2021 awarded Medal of Honor
DOW Zurmat District, Paktiya Province, Afghanistan
While deployed to Afghanistan, Sergeant First Class Celiz led an operation to clear an area of enemy forces and thereby disrupt future attacks against Afghan and allied forces. When a large enemy force attacked, Sergeant First Class Celiz voluntarily exposed himself to intense enemy machine gun and small arms fire to retrieve and employ a heavy weapon system, thereby allowing U.S. and partnered forces to regain the initiative, maneuver to a secure location and begin treatment of a critically wounded partnered force member. As the medical evacuation helicopter arrived, it was immediately engaged by accurate and sustained enemy fire. Knowing how critical it was to quickly load the casualty, Sergeant First Class Celiz willingly exposed himself to heavy and effective enemy fire to direct and lead the evacuation. Sergeant First Class Celiz made a conscious effort to ensure his body acted as a physical shield to his team carrying the casualty and the crew of the aircraft. As the casualty was loaded and Sergeant First Class Celiz’ team returned to cover, he alone remained at the aircraft, returning a high volume of fire and constantly repositioning himself to act as a physical shield to the aircraft and its crew. Sergeant First Class Celiz then placed himself directly between the cockpit and the enemy, ensuring the aircraft was able to depart. As the helicopter lifted off, Sergeant First Class Celiz was hit by enemy fire. Fully aware of his own injury, but understanding the peril to the aircraft from the intense enemy machine gun fire, Sergeant First Class Celiz motioned to the aircraft to depart rather than remain to load him. His selfless actions saved the life of the evacuated partnered force member and almost certainly prevented further casualties among other members of his team and the aircrew. Sergeant First Class Celiz died of wounds he received in combat on July 12, 2018 in Paktia Province, Afghanistan.
 
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