Pentagon identifies Army Ranger killed in Afghanistan

Matt Saintsing
July 12, 2018 - 1:05 pm

Photo Courtesy of Special Operations Command

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The Pentagon on Friday identified the American service member killed in Afghanistan a day earlier as Army Ranger Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Andrew Celiz, 32, of Summerville, S.C.

Celiz died from wounds sustained as a result of enemy small arms fire in Zurmat district, Paktiya province, the Defense Department said in a news release. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.  

Officials said he was killed while conducting operations in support of a medical evacuation landing zone. Celiz was posthumously awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, and the Purple Heart. 
His service includes deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Celiz was on his fifth deployment when he died. 

This latest death comes just days after Army Cpl. Joseph Maciel was killed in Afghanistan in what the Defense Department called an apparent insider attack on July 7 in Uruzgan province in southern Afghanistan. 

In a statement, 75th Ranger Regiment commander Col. Brandon Tegtmeier said the Regiment “suffered a tremendous loss with the passing of Sgt. 1st Class Chris Celiz.” “The Celiz family has been a critical component of our team and their community in Savannah, Georgia. 

“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,” said Tegtmeier. 

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