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Army Ranger Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Celiz, Dies in Afghanistan Firefight

 In Military

Sgt 1st Class Christopher Celiz was on his fifth deployment when he was fatally wounded during a firefight in Paktia Province on Thursday, June 12.

The DoD Casualty report stated:

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Andrew Celiz, 32, from Summerville, South Carolina, died, July 12, in Afghanistan, of wounds sustained as a result of enemy small arms fire while conducting operations in support of a medical evacuation landing zone in Zurmat district, Paktiya province. The incident is under investigation.

Celiz was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia.

According to the Army Times, Christopher Celiz had been preparing to leave the regiment to join an infantry unit when he was fatally wounded. Details of the encounter with hostile forces are not available.

“The 75th Ranger Regiment suffered a tremendous loss with the passing of Sgt. 1st Class Chris Celiz. Chris was a national treasure who led his Rangers with passion, competence, and an infectiously positive attitude no matter the situation. He will be greatly missed.” Col. Brandon Tegtmeier,  75th Ranger Regiment commander 

Sgt 1st Class Celiz posthumously was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and Meritorious Service Medal. His training and other awards according to the  Army Press release are:

“Celiz’s military education includes the Infantry Mortar Leader Course; Senior, Advanced and Basic Leader Courses; Jumpmaster Course; Sapper Leader Course; Ranger Assessment and Selection Program 2; Basic Airborne Course; U.S. Army Ranger Course; Route Reconnaissance Clearance Course-Sapper and the Combat Lifesaver Course.

His awards and decorations include the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (2 OLC), Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medals (4 OLC), Meritorious Unit Citation Medals (2), Afghanistan Campaign Medals with Campaign Star (3), Iraq Campaign Medals with Campaign Star (2), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and the NATO Medal, the Ranger Tab, the Sapper Tab, Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge and the Marksmanship Qualification Badge Expert-Rifle.”

Featured photo: US Army

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