Danny Dietz

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Danny Dietz
A bearded young man wearing a hat on the top of his head as well as a scarf around his neck while squinting. He wears a vest on his torso and is holding a carbine in his hands, the barrel of it facing upward. Behind him are beige-colored dwellings, shipping containers, and the peaks of snow-capped mountains.
Dietz in 2005
Birth nameDanny Phillip Dietz, Jr.
Born(1980-01-26)January 26, 1980
Aurora, Colorado, U.S.
DiedJune 28, 2005(2005-06-28) (aged 25)
Kunar Province, Afghanistan  
Buried atFort Logan National Cemetery, Denver, Colorado, U.S. (39°38′57″N 105°03′10″W / 39.649162°N 105.052890°W / 39.649162; -105.052890Coordinates: 39°38′57″N 105°03′10″W / 39.649162°N 105.052890°W / 39.649162; -105.052890)
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1999–2005
RankPO2 Collar Silver USN.png Gunner's Mate Second Class
UnitSEAL Delivery Vehicle Team Two, Naval Special Warfare Unit, Afghanistan
Battles/wars

Global War on Terrorism

AwardsA gold image depicting an eagle perched on an anchor, clutching a trident with one claw and a gun in the other. Special Warfare Insignia[1]
A navy blue military ribbon with one thick vertical white stripe in the center. Navy Cross[1]
A purple military ribbon with a thick white line at each end Purple Heart Medal[1]
A green military ribbon with a thick orange stripe near each end of the ribbon Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal[1]
A multicolored military ribbon. From left to right the color pattern is; very thick blue stripe, very thick yellow stripe, thin red stripe, thick white stripe, thin blue stripe, very thick yellow stripe, very thick red stripe Combat Action Ribbon[1]
A red military ribbon Navy Good Conduct Medal[1]
A multicolored military ribbon. From left to right the color pattern is; very thick red stripe, thin white stripe, thin blue stripe, thin white stripe, thin red stripe, very thick gold stripe, thin red stripe, thin white stripe, thin blue stripe, thin white stripe, very thick red stripe. National Defense Service Medal[1]
A multicolored military ribbon. From left to right the color pattern is; thin green stripe, thick red stripe, black stripe, very thick white stripe, thin red stripe, thin white stripe, thin black stripe, think white stripe, thin red stripe, very thick white stripe, black stripe, thick red stripe, think green stripe. Afghanistan Campaign Medal[1]
A light blue military ribbon with a two bands of navy blue, white, navy blue stripes. Two yellow stripes inside the those bands, and a vertical center thick red stripe Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal[1]
A dark blue military ribbon with a thick yellow stripe, thick red stripe, space and then a white stripe, then mirrored on the other side Global War on Terrorism Service Medal[1]
A multicolored military ribbon. From left to right the color pattern is; thick green stripe, thick red stripe, thick yellow stripe, thin blue stripe, very thick aqua stripe, thin blue stripe, thick yellow stripe, thick red stripe, think green stripe. Sea Service Deployment Ribbon[1]
A dark blue military ribbon with three thin green stripes. One stripe is in the center of the ribbon and the other two are at near the edge of the ribbon. The is a large silver E centered in the ribbon. Rifle Marksmanship Medal[1]
A dark blue military ribbon with 2 think green lines, one at each end of the ribbon with a large silver E centered on the ribbon. Pistol Marksmanship Medal[1]
A gold image of a parachute with wings. Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia[1]
 
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Danny Dietz
A bearded young man wearing a hat on the top of his head as well as a scarf around his neck while squinting. He wears a vest on his torso and is holding a carbine in his hands, the barrel of it facing upward. Behind him are beige-colored dwellings, shipping containers, and the peaks of snow-capped mountains.
Dietz in 2005
Birth nameDanny Phillip Dietz, Jr.
Born(1980-01-26)January 26, 1980
Aurora, Colorado, U.S.
DiedJune 28, 2005(2005-06-28) (aged 25)
Kunar Province, Afghanistan  
Buried atFort Logan National Cemetery, Denver, Colorado, U.S. (39°38′57″N 105°03′10″W / 39.649162°N 105.052890°W / 39.649162; -105.052890Coordinates: 39°38′57″N 105°03′10″W / 39.649162°N 105.052890°W / 39.649162; -105.052890)
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1999–2005
RankPO2 Collar Silver USN.png Gunner's Mate Second Class
UnitSEAL Delivery Vehicle Team Two, Naval Special Warfare Unit, Afghanistan
Battles/wars

Global War on Terrorism

AwardsA gold image depicting an eagle perched on an anchor, clutching a trident with one claw and a gun in the other. Special Warfare Insignia[1]
A navy blue military ribbon with one thick vertical white stripe in the center. Navy Cross[1]
A purple military ribbon with a thick white line at each end Purple Heart Medal[1]
A green military ribbon with a thick orange stripe near each end of the ribbon Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal[1]
A multicolored military ribbon. From left to right the color pattern is; very thick blue stripe, very thick yellow stripe, thin red stripe, thick white stripe, thin blue stripe, very thick yellow stripe, very thick red stripe Combat Action Ribbon[1]
A red military ribbon Navy Good Conduct Medal[1]
A multicolored military ribbon. From left to right the color pattern is; very thick red stripe, thin white stripe, thin blue stripe, thin white stripe, thin red stripe, very thick gold stripe, thin red stripe, thin white stripe, thin blue stripe, thin white stripe, very thick red stripe. National Defense Service Medal[1]
A multicolored military ribbon. From left to right the color pattern is; thin green stripe, thick red stripe, black stripe, very thick white stripe, thin red stripe, thin white stripe, thin black stripe, think white stripe, thin red stripe, very thick white stripe, black stripe, thick red stripe, think green stripe. Afghanistan Campaign Medal[1]
A light blue military ribbon with a two bands of navy blue, white, navy blue stripes. Two yellow stripes inside the those bands, and a vertical center thick red stripe Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal[1]
A dark blue military ribbon with a thick yellow stripe, thick red stripe, space and then a white stripe, then mirrored on the other side Global War on Terrorism Service Medal[1]
A multicolored military ribbon. From left to right the color pattern is; thick green stripe, thick red stripe, thick yellow stripe, thin blue stripe, very thick aqua stripe, thin blue stripe, thick yellow stripe, thick red stripe, think green stripe. Sea Service Deployment Ribbon[1]
A dark blue military ribbon with three thin green stripes. One stripe is in the center of the ribbon and the other two are at near the edge of the ribbon. The is a large silver E centered in the ribbon. Rifle Marksmanship Medal[1]
A dark blue military ribbon with 2 think green lines, one at each end of the ribbon with a large silver E centered on the ribbon. Pistol Marksmanship Medal[1]
A gold image of a parachute with wings. Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia[1]

Danny Phillip Dietz, Jr. (January 26, 1980 – June 28, 2005) was a United States Navy SEAL who was killed in the War in Afghanistan. He was posthumously awarded the U.S. Navy's second highest award for valorous actions in battle, the Navy Cross, on September 13, 2006.

Early life and education[edit]

Dietz was born on January 26, 1980 in Aurora, Colorado, the son of Danny Phillip, Sr. and Cindy Dietz, and the brother of Tiffany Bitz and Eric Dietz. He spent much of his life in Littleton, Colorado and was a 1999 graduate of Heritage High School. He earned a black belt in Taekwondo from the Korean Academy of Taekwondo.

Career[edit]

United States Navy[edit]

Dietz enlisted in the U.S. Navy on August 31, 1999. Following his graduating from Recruit Training Command, Naval Station Great Lakes, on November 27, 1999, he completed Gunner's Mate "A" School at the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Pensacola, Florida. From there he transferred to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training and graduated with Class 232 in 2001. Dietz went on to attend the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning in Georgia, then SEAL Qualification Training and SEAL Delivery Vehicle Training. Immediately upon checking in at SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 2 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on November 8, 2001, he was assigned to Task Unit Bravo as the secondary SDV pilot and the Ordnance and Engineering Department head.[2] In April 2005, Dietz deployed with his Special Reconnaissance element to Afghanistan to support Naval Special Warfare Squadron TEN in the prosecution of the Global War on Terrorism.

His larger than lifesize bronze memorial in Littleton, Colorado was created by sculptor Robert Henderson of Canon City, Colorado. The South Wing of the Pacific Beacon Apartments at Naval Station San Diego is named Dietz Hall as well.

Operation Red Wings[edit]

Main article: Operation Red Wings

Dietz was part of an elite team of four SEALs on a reconnaissance mission "tasked with finding a key Taliban leader in mountainous terrain near Asadabad, Afghanistan," according to a U.S. Navy news release.

On June 28, 2005, SEAL Team 10 was assigned to kill or capture a high ranking Taliban leader in the Hindu Kush mountains. The SEAL team was made up of Michael P. Murphy, Marcus Luttrell, Danny Dietz and Matthew Axelson. Luttrell and Axelson were the team's snipers while Dietz and Murphy were the spotters.

According to the U.S. Navy, the team was "spotted by anti-Coalition sympathizers, who immediately reported their position to Taliban fighters. A fierce gun-battle ensued between the four SEALs and a much larger enemy force with superior tactical position". The SEALs radioed for help, and a responding Chinook helicopter was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade, killing eight more SEALs and eight Army Night Stalkers. It was the second worst single combat loss for the U.S. Navy SEALs in their history. Dietz was the first casualty of the battle, and was killed before the helicopter's arrival.

Legacy[edit]

A statue of Dietz at Berry Park in Littleton, Colorado.

The location of Dietz's body was unknown for seven days after his death. His remains were recovered during a combat search and rescue operation on July 4, 2005. Dietz's body was returned to the United States, where he was interred with full military honors. His hometown of Littleton, Colorado honored his memory by erecting a statue of Dietz in uniform holding a carbine, which was unveiled on July 4, 2007. This was not without controversy however. Local parents, suggesting that the statue of Dietz glorified violence, tried to have the statue altered. The statue, they argued, was three blocks from a school. The Littleton city council stated that 150 emails and letters were received in support of keeping the memorial as is, there was only one in favor of changing it.[3] After an even larger backlash against the parents group, the monument was erected with Dietz holding a carbine, as intended.[4]

A section of Santa Fe Drive (U.S. Highway 85) between I-25 and C470 has been named the "Navy Seal Danny Phillip Dietz, Jr. Memorial Highway."[5]

Awards and decorations[edit]

A gold image depicting an eagle perched on an anchor, clutching a trident with one claw and a gun in the other.

A navy blue military ribbon with one thick vertical white stripe in the center.A purple military ribbon with a thick white line at each endA green military ribbon with a thick orange stripe near each end of the ribbon
A multicolored military ribbon. From left to right the color pattern is; very thick blue stripe, very thick yellow stripe, thin red stripe, thick white stripe, thin blue stripe, very thick yellow stripe, very thick red stripeA red military ribbonA multicolored military ribbon. From left to right the color pattern is; very thick red stripe, thin white stripe, thin blue stripe, thin white stripe, thin red stripe, very thick gold stripe, thin red stripe, thin white stripe, thin blue stripe, thin white stripe, very thick red stripe.
Bronze star
A multicolored military ribbon. From left to right the color pattern is; thin green stripe, thick red stripe, black stripe, very thick white stripe, thin red stripe, thin white stripe, thin black stripe, think white stripe, thin red stripe, very thick white stripe, black stripe, thick red stripe, think green stripe.
A dark blue military ribbon with a thick yellow stripe, thick red stripe, space and then a white stripe, then mirrored on the other side
A multicolored military ribbon. From left to right the color pattern is; thick green stripe, thick red stripe, thick yellow stripe, thin blue stripe, very thick aqua stripe, thin blue stripe, thick yellow stripe, thick red stripe, think green stripe.A dark blue military ribbon with three thin green stripes. One stripe is in the center of the ribbon and the other two are at near the edge of the ribbon. The is a large silver E centered in the ribbon.A dark blue military ribbon with 2 think green lines, one at each end of the ribbon with a large silver E centered on the ribbon.

A gold image of a parachute with wings.

Special Warfare Insignia[1]
1st RowNavy Cross[1]Purple Heart Medal[1]Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal[1]
2nd RowCombat Action Ribbon[1]Navy Good Conduct Medal[1]National Defense Service Medal[1]
3rd RowAfghanistan Campaign Medal[1]Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal[1]Global War on Terrorism Service Medal[1]
4th RowNavy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon[1]Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon with expert device[1]Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon with expert device[1]
Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia[1]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab "Danny Dietz Biography". NavySEALs.com. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  2. ^ Williams, Gary. SEAL of Honor: Operation Red Wings and the Life of Lt. Michael P. Murphy, USN. p. 135. 
  3. ^ http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2007/apr/6/20070406-115248-9955r/print/
  4. ^ "Navy SEAL Honored with Hometown Statue Dedication". United States Central Command. Archived from the original on 2007-10-08. Retrieved 2007-07-17. 
  5. ^ "Danny Dietz, Jr. Memorial Highway dedicated". 9News.com. Retrieved 2011-05-08. 
  6. ^ Shirey, Paul (November 30, 2012). "First set pics from Peter Berg's Lone Survivor show off Mark Wahlberg, Eric Bana, Emile Hirsch, and more in uniform". JoBlo. Joblo Media, Inc. Retrieved December 2, 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]