|Full name||Danny Phillip Dietz Jr.|
|Profession||United States Navy SEALs operative|
|Known for||Participating in Operation Red Wings (2005)|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 178 cm
in meters- 1.78 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 10”
|Weight (approx.)||in kilograms- 65 kg
in pounds- 143 lbs
|Eye Colour||Dark Brown|
|Hair Colour||Dark Brown|
|Service/Branch||United States Navy|
|Rank (at the time of death)||Petty Officer Second Class (Gunner's Mate)|
|US Navy SEALs Teams||SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team Two (SDVT-2)|
|Service Years||27 November 1999 - 28 June 2005|
|Military Decorations||• Navy Cross (Posthumous) (13 September 2006)
• Purple Heart (Posthumous)
• Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
• Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
• Combat Action Ribbon
• National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star
• Afghanistan Campaign Medal
• Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
• Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
• Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
• Good Conduct Award
• National Defense Service Medal
|Honours & Legacy||• On 4 July 2007, a life-sized bronze sculpture of Dietz was installed in Littleton, Colorado. The statue depicted Dietz sitting in a 'parade-rest' position, with his rifle on his knee, and also included his Navy Cross award description.
• On 18 August 2009, a stretch of road extending from Interstate 25 to Colorado State Highway 470 was named the Danny Dietz Memorial Highway, commemorating the memory of Navy SEAL Danny Dietz.
• Following his demise, his spouse co-founded the Navy SEAL Danny Dietz Foundation (NSDDF). This organization provides support to veterans from the United States Armed Forces.
• Since 2010, the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds in Rosenberg, Texas, has hosted the annual Danny Dietz Memorial Day Classic. This occasion merges fundraising efforts for philanthropic purposes with the excitement of rodeo celebrations.
• Following the passing of Danny Dietz, his military attire was exhibited within a Colorado museum as a tribute.
|Date of Birth||26 January 1980 (Saturday)|
|Birthplace||Aurora, Colorado, the United States of America|
|Date of Death||28 June 2005|
|Place of Death||Kunar Province, Afghanistan|
|Age (at the time of death)||25 Years|
|Death Cause||Killed In Action (KIA) during Operation Red Wings (2005) CBS News|
|School||Heritage High School Littleton, Colorado (1999)|
|Educational Qualification||High school graduate|
|Tattoo(s)||He had three tattoos: a tribal design etched amid his shoulder blades, an image of the grim reaper enveloped by the American flag, and a gargoyle tribal motif imprinted onto his sleeve.|
|Relationships & More|
|Marital Status (at the time of death)||Married|
|Marriage Date||14 March 2003|
|Wife/Spouse||Maria Paz Leveque Dietz (retired from the US Navy in 2005, co-founder of the Navy SEAL Danny Dietz Foundation)
Note: After Dietz's death, she got remarried.
|Parents||Father- Danny Phillip Dietz Sr (retired US Navy personnel)
Mother- Cynthia Dietz Marsh
|Siblings||Brother- Eric Dietz
Sister- Tiffany Bitz
|Bike Collection||Yamaha YZF-R6
Some Lesser Known Facts About Danny Dietz
- Danny Dietz was a petty officer second class in the United States Navy SEALs. In 2005, he served in the SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One (SDVT-1), and his team played a crucial role in Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan. He received the Navy Cross posthumously for his involvement in Operation Red Wings, the second-highest accolade in the U.S. Navy, along with the Purple Heart.
- He hailed from a Native American Apache family in the US.
- During his time in school, Danny was a student at the Korean Academy of Taekwondo and achieved a black belt in Taekwondo.
- While studying in school, he engaged in playing rugby and was a member of the school’s rugby squad.
- Once he completed his formal education, he joined the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Chicago, Illinois. There, he underwent a military training module and became a sailor in the Navy on 27 November 1999.
- Following his military training, Dietz arrived at the Gunner’s Mate “A” School located in the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Pensacola, Florida. There, he received advanced training in radar operation.
- Subsequently, he enrolled in Class 232 of the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) program to become a US Navy SEAL.
- After that, he went to the United States Army Airborne School, popularly known as Jump School, in Fort Moore, Georgia. There, he received basic training to become a paratrooper (military parachutist).
- Afterwards, he finished a 26-week program known as SEAL Qualification Training (SQT). Subsequently, he participated in a training module focused on SEAL Delivery Vehicle.
- He was awarded the Insignia for Naval Special Warfare, commonly referred to as the SEAL team trident badge, in January 2001.
- Dietz was dispatched to Virginia on 8 November 2001. There, he became a member of SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 2 (SDVT-2) and was designated as the backup SDV pilot and held responsibilities in the Ordnance and Engineering Department within Task Unit Bravo.
- In April 2005, Dietz was deployed to Afghanistan as a member of his Special Reconnaissance group. They were tasked with supporting Naval Special Warfare Squadron TEN in their endeavours against worldwide terrorism.
- On 28 June 2005, a team of four SEAL operatives led by Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, accompanied by Petty Officer Second Class Danny Dietz, Petty Officer Second Class Matthew Axelson, and Petty Officer Second Class Marcus A. Luttrell, was sent to the Kunar Province’s mountainous region in Afghanistan. Their mission was to collect information and neutralize or apprehend a senior Taliban commander named Ahmad Shah, believed to be hiding in the Kunar Province. However, their mission was jeopardized when they were found by a local goat herders’ group.
According to Marcus Alan Luttrell’s book Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10, the team had to make a crucial decision regarding whether to kill the herders and proceed with their mission or let them go and abort. They chose the latter, releasing the herders. However, this led to an ambush by a large Taliban force shortly after, as the herders informed the Taliban about the SEALs’ presence as soon as they were set free. During the ensuing firefight, Murphy, Dietz, and Axelson were killed, while Marcus Luttrell survived but sustained severe injuries. Luttrell’s claim about the herders informing the Taliban was disputed by Mohammad Gulab Khan, a resident of Salar Ban village in Kunar Province, who rescued the injured Luttrell from the Taliban. According to Gulab, the sound of the helicopter’s rotors, which dropped the four-man SEAL team in the mountains, alerted the enemy fighters in the area. Gulab, in an interview, talked about it and claimed,
The militants, like many others in the area, heard the helicopter drop the Americans on the mountain, Gulab claims. The next morning, they began searching for the SEAL’s distinctive footprints. When the militants finally found them, the Americans were deliberating about what to do with the goat herders. The insurgents held back. After Marcus Luttrell and the company freed the locals, the gunmen waited for the right moment to strike.”
Dietz received the Navy Cross and Purple Heart posthumously for taking part in Operation Red Wings.
- Danny Dietz died during Operation Red Wings in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on 28 June 2005. Amidst the clash with the Taliban, Danny sustained injuries. While attempting to elude the Taliban, he twisted his ankle, rendering him unable to walk. His fellow SEAL Marcus Luttrell carried him on his back with the intent of finding a secure location for extraction. However, during this effort, Luttrell accidentally positioned Dietz in the trajectory of a bullet, which struck Dietz in the rear of his skull, resulting in his death. After the bullet hit Danny, Luttrell also lost his footing, causing them both to tumble down the mountainside. Luttrell talked about this, during a media interaction, and said,
We got to an area where I was telling him there was another way we could fall and when I put my arms underneath him, I put ’em underneath his shoulders, and when I spun him around to take the fall, I spun him into a bullet. And it hit him in the back of the head and killed him.” CBS News
On 4 July 2005, a group of U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen discovered Danny’s remains during a search and rescue mission in Kunar Province.
He was given a military funeral at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver, Colorado, on 14 July 2005.
- Danny displayed a strong fascination for sports, with a specific focus on rock climbing.
- In an interview, Danny Dietz’s sibling mentioned that he aspired to become a ninja.
- He had a strong passion for animals. During a media interaction, his father revealed that Danny disliked going to rodeo shows because he firmly believed that these events caused harm to the horses that were part of them. He also had two dogs as pets.
- In the 2013 Hollywood film Lone Survivor, the character of Danny Dietz was portrayed by actor Emile Hirsch. The film is centred around the events of Operation Red Wings.