|Michael Patrick Murphy
|United States Navy SEALs operative
|• Participating in Operation Red Wings (2005)
• Being the first US Navy personnel to receive the prestigious Medal of Honor since the end of the Vietnam War
|Physical Stats & More
|in centimeters- 178 cm
in meters- 1.78 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 10”
|in kilograms- 60 kg
in pounds- 132 lbs
|United States Navy
|Rank (at the time of death)
|US Navy SEALs Teams
|• SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One (SDVT-1)
• SEAL Team 10
|13 December 2000 - 28 June 2005
|• Medal of Honor (22 October 2007)
• Purple Heart Medal
• Joint Service Commendation Medal
• Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
• National Defense Service Medal
• Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 1 campaign star
• Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
• Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
• Navy Rifle Marksmanship Medal with expert device
• Navy Pistol Marksmanship Medal with expert device
|Honours & Legacy
|• His name was added to the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes in 2007.
• Michael was honored on 7 May 2007 when Lake Ronkonkoma Park and a post office in Patchogue, New York, were renamed after him.
• In 2007, his sibling and parents established the LT Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation, which offers educational grants to students pursuing both college and school education.
• On 7 May 2008, the US Navy paid tribute to him by assigning the name USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112) to a guided missile destroyer from the Arleigh Burke class.
• On 9 July 2009, the US Navy dedicated a combat training pool at Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island, in his honour. This L-shaped pool contains eight lanes and can hold approximately 3,47,000 gallons of chlorinated water.
• To commemorate Michael and the other soldiers who sacrificed their lives in Operation Red Wings, the graduating class of Penn State University in 2011 built a memorial and devoted a veterans plaza on the university campus.
• The Lt. Michael P. Murphy Award in Geospatial Intelligence was established by Penn State University to recognize the achievements of a graduate student who is currently serving or has served in the U.S. Armed Forces or the nation's intelligence agencies.
• Following his receipt of the Medal of Honor, Lieutenant Murphy was honoured with the inclusion of his name on a memorial plaque located at the United States Veterans Hospital in Northport, Long Island, New York. The purpose of this plaque is to remember and honour all the recipients of the Medal of Honor who have lived on Long Island.
• In April 2014, the Patchogue-Medford High School renamed its campus the "Navy (SEAL) Lt. Michael P. Murphy Campus."
• The "Lt. Michael P. Murphy Division," located in West Sayville, New York, is the Sea Cadet group that arranges and assists in activities to honor Murphy.
• A room at Fort Hamilton MEPS, where recruits from various branches take their oath to serve, has been named "Murphy." Inside this room, there is a special memorial wall solely dedicated to Murphy.
• The Central Pennsylvania Council of the Navy League of the United States has established the "Lt. Michael P Murphy Distinguished Citizen Award" to honour Lt. Michael P. Murphy.
• In West Sayville, New York, the US authorities have erected a Navy SEAL Museum and Sea Cadet Training Facility in memory of Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy.
|Date of Birth
|7 May 1976 (Friday)
|Smithtown, Suffolk County, New York, United States of America
|Date of Death
|28 June 2005
|Place of Death
|Kunar Province, Afghanistan
|Age (at the time of death)
|Killed in Action (KIA) during Operation Red Wings (2005)
|Suffolk County, New York, United States of America
|• Saxton Middle School, New York
• Patchogue-Medford High School, New York
|The Pennsylvania State University
|Dual degrees (Honours) in political science and psychology (1998) LT Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation
|Relationships & More
|Marital Status (at the time of death)
Note: The couple met each other while pursuing graduation at Pennsylvania State University.
Note: Murphy and Duggan had planned on getting married to each other in November 2005, but he died in June 2005.
|Father- Daniel J. Murphy (attorney, retired US Army soldier; received a Gold Star medal for gallantry during the Vietnam War)
Mother- Maureen T. Murphy (member of the board of the LT Michael P. Murphy Navy SEAL Museum and Sea Cadet Training Facility)
Note: Parents' image in siblings' section.
|Brother- John D. Murphy (president of the LT Michael P Murphy Navy SEAL Museum, New York State University Police officer)
Some Lesser Known Facts About Michael P. Muphy
- Michael P. Muphy was a lieutenant in the United States Navy SEALs. In 2005, he served as the leader of SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One (SDVT-1), and his team played a crucial role in Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan. Murphy died in June 2005 during Operation Red Wings, leading to him being awarded the Medal of Honor after his death. This recognition marked him as the first member of the US Navy to receive this esteemed honour since the conclusion of the Vietnam War.
- When Michael was a child, he relocated with his parents and sibling from Smithtown to Patchogue, New York.
- He would engage in soccer and pee-wee football during his time at Saxton Middle School.
- He completed his school studies in 1994 at the Patchogue-Medford High School in New York.
- During his summer breaks, Murphy worked as a lifeguard while he was studying at Patchogue-Medford High School.
- While attending Patchogue-Medford High School in New York, Murphy engaged in a physical fight with a bully who was harassing a student with special needs. Due to his natural inclination to safeguard others, he earned the name “The Protector.”
- Once he finished his graduation, he received offers of admission from multiple American law universities. However, Murphy chose to join the US Navy instead and thus enrolled at the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York.
- He became an officer candidate in September 2000 and received naval training at the Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Naval Station Newport in Rhode Island. On 13 December 2000, he got commissioned as an ensign in the US Navy.
- Michael P. Murphy enrolled in the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) Class 236 in Coronado, California, in January 2001 to become a US Navy SEAL. In November 2001, he completed the BUD/S training program.
- Afterwards, he arrived at the United States Army Airborne School, also called the Jump School, in Fort Moore, Georgia. There, he went through basic training for becoming a military parachutist, commonly known as a paratrooper.
- Later, he completed a 26-week SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) program following which he received training at the SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) school.
- Murphy finished his SEAL training course and earned the SEAL Trident, a prestigious emblem awarded to US Navy SEALs upon the successful conclusion of their training, in July 2002. Afterwards, he joined SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One (SDVT-1) based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
- In October 2002, Michael P. Murphy served as the liaison officer during Exercise Early Victor in Jordan. During this time, he was stationed with the Foxtrot Platoon, operating under SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One (SDVT-1).
- After Jordan, Murphy was sent to Florida to join Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT).
- Thereafter, he was deployed to Qatar to assist with Operation Iraqi Freedom.
- After Qatar, he was assigned to Djibouti to aid in the strategic planning for future SDV operations.
- In 2005, Murphy was sent to Afghanistan, where he took on the position of commanding officer for the Alpha Platoon of the SDVT-1. This platoon was a component of SEAL Team 10 and conducted missions to assist Operation Enduring Freedom, the counter-terrorism effort led by NATO forces in Afghanistan.
- In June 2005, Murphy’s platoon received a mission to collect information and eliminate or apprehend a prominent Taliban commander named Ahmad Shah. It was believed that Shah was hiding in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province.
- A group of four Navy SEALs, including Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, Petty Officer Second Class Danny Dietz, Petty Officer Second Class Matthew Axelson, and Petty Officer Second Class Marcus Alan Luttrell, was sent to the mountains near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border on 28 June 2005. 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.”
- As per his Medal of Honor citation, Murphy had to leave the safety of the mountain rocks and face the danger of enemy fire during a battle to establish contact with a nearby US base for additional support. Due to the steep mountains obstructing radio signals at his current position, he had to ascend to a higher point to transmit the message. Despite being shot more than fourteen times while making his way uphill, Murphy managed to inform the base that the mission to capture Ahmad Shah had been compromised before succumbing to his injuries. His citation reads,
Moving away from the protective mountain rocks, he knowingly exposed himself to increased enemy gunfire. This deliberate and heroic act deprived him of cover and made him a target for the enemy. While continuing to be fired upon, Murphy made contact with the SOF Quick Reaction Force at Bagram Air Base and requested assistance. He calmly provided his unit’s location and the size of the enemy force while requesting immediate support for his team. At one point he was shot in the back causing him to drop the transmitter. Murphy picked it back up, completed the call and continued firing at the enemy who was closing in. Severely wounded, Lt. Murphy returned to his cover position with his men and continued the battle.” Michael P. Murphy’s citation
- A group of US Army Rangers performing a search and rescue mission in Kunar Province discovered Michael’s body on 4 July 2005.
- He was buried on 13 July 2005, at Calverton National Cemetery in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York, with full military honours.
- President George Bush presented Michael with the Medal of Honor (MOH), the highest honour for bravery in America, on 22 October 2007, in recognition of his courageous actions during the operation.
- He was a trained horseback rider.
- While engaging in combat missions, Murphy gained recognition from his fellow SEALs for donning a Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) Engine Co. 53, Ladder Co. 43 emblem on his combat fatigues. He wore the emblem as a tribute to those impacted by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, especially his friend, who tragically lost their life during the event.
Following Murphy’s passing, his friends gave a plaque as a tribute to him to the New York fire department. Subsequently, the fire station formed a special connection with the SEALs. Any military personnel on their break in the area are allowed to stay overnight at the station, regardless of their branch of service. The station’s captain at that time conveyed that this gesture is a heartfelt way to show gratitude towards the soldiers.
- Murphy had notable physical strength and endurance. As a member of the SEALs, he created a personalized fitness plan known as “Body Armor,” which involved engaging in activities like running, pushing, pulling, and lifting while wearing a bulletproof jacket weighing 16.4 lb (7.4 kg), similar to the one he wore during combat operations. Following Murphy’s passing, the Body Armor workout gained popularity among SEAL teams due to its versatility, as it could be performed in various locations with minimal equipment requirements. Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, shared this workout on his website on 17 August 2005, designating it as the Workout of the Day (WOD). The “Murph Challenge,” as it came to be known, is frequently performed on Memorial Day at different CrossFit affiliates, military bases, and US Navy ships. It consists of running one mile, completing 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats, and finishing with another mile run, all while wearing a body armour vest.
- Marcus Luttrell’s book, Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10, mentions that Lieutenant Murphy considered shooting the Afghan herders encountered by the SEAL reconnaissance team in June 2005. However, Luttrell’s assertion has been heavily criticized and widely discredited as a fictional account. Lieutenant Steve Ruh, a representative of the Navy Special Warfare Command, stated that the highest-ranking person holds the absolute authority to make decisions in the field. He further noted that this was the first time he had encountered a decision being subjected to a vote, as such a practice had never been observed or heard of during his 14 years of experience in the Navy. Lt Murphy’s father also voiced his disapproval of Luttrell’s claims and rejected them. Democratic Underground In an interview, John D. Murphy talked about it and said,
That directly contradicts what he told Maureen, myself and Michael’s brother John in my kitchen. He said that Michael was adamant that the civilians were going to be released, that he wasn’t going to kill innocent people … Michael would not put that up for a committee. People who knew Michael know that he was decisive and that he makes decisions.”
- Mark Wahlberg starred in the Hollywood film Lone Survivor, which was released in 2013. The character of Michael P. Murphy was portrayed by actor Taylor Kitsch in the film.
- A documentary titled MURPH: The Protector was released in his honour in 2013.