Danny P. Dietz

dietz purple heart navy cross
BUD/S Class:
SEAL Service:
4 years
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class
Littleton, CO
SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team TWO, Virginia Beach, VA
June 28, 2005
Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan)
Died while conducting counterterrorism operations as part of a four-man SEAL squad in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. Dietz’s whereabouts had been unknown since June 28th. Coalition forces located him while conducting a combat search and rescue operation July 4, 2005.
Navy Cross, the service’s 2nd-highest award for valor, Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, and Afghanistan Campaign Medal, posthumously.

On September 13, 2006, in a public ceremony at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C., SEAL teammates Danny Dietz and Matthew Axelson were posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. Navy Secretary Donald Winters honored their heroic acts of June 28, 2005:

Even after being wounded, both men “continued to fight the enemy with undiminished zeal, covering the extraction of the rest of their team while they stayed and fought. Putting the safety of their teammates ahead of their own, they displayed extraordinary heroism in combat.”

Winters concluded, “Extraordinary heroism has earned them the Navy Cross and a place of honor in the hearts of their countrymen.”

Other Awards:
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal

Good Conduct Award

National Defense Service Medal

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Sea Service Deployment Ribbon

Dietz was part of a dedicated team fighting the Taliban, a fundamentalist regime that a U.S.-led coalition knocked from power in Afghanistan in 2001, but has continued to conduct guerilla operations, particularly along the Pakistan border. Dietz worked to help ensure Al Qaeda terrorists could not train in, nor launch strikes from Afghanistan since their lethal attack on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001.Danny Dietz deployed to Afghanistan in April 2005 as part of a four-man SEAL reconnaissance team to support Naval Special Warfare’s prosecution of the Global War on Terror. The team secretly infiltrated into the Hindu-Kush mountains Along the border with Afghanistan in late June. Led by LT Michael P. Murphy, the unit was reportedly tracking a high- ranking terrorist leader near 10,000 foot peaks when it was ambushed by overwhelming Taliban forces.

Two helicopters of Navy SEALs and Army commandos answered Murphy’s electronic call for help. Eight SEALs and eight Army commandos tin the lead rescue helicopter perished after it was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and crashed.

Three of the original four-man SEAL squad (Danny Dietz, Michael Murphy, and Matt Axelson) were killed in the firefight. A fourth squad member, unnamed because he is still operating, survived. That SEAL was knocked down a mountainside by a blast and wounded in both legs. He walked several miles, and was hidden and protected by an Afghani shepherd until rescued by U.S. commandos on July 3, 2005.

Dietz’s remains were found during a combat search and rescue operation on July 4, 2005. He was awarded the Navy Cross, the service’s 2nd highest award, for his valor. Danny Dietz is remembered with the greatest respect and gratitude by his fellow SEALs, the Navy, and our nation.

Memorials: Please visit www.sealteam8.com/memorial.htm