Warrior Spotlight: Navy Seal Awarded Navy Cross Posthumously

March 14, 2007

The Navy Cross is the second highest medal that can be awarded, second only to the Medal of Honor. The criteria to earn a Navy Cross are very stringent and only 20 such awards have been made since the onset of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

2. Criteria: The Navy Cross may be awarded to any person who, while serving with the Navy or Marine Corps, distinguishes himself in action by extraordinary heroism not justifying an award of the Medal of Honor. The action must take place under one of three circumstances: while engaged in action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or, while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict in which the United States is not a belligerent party. To earn a Navy Cross the act to be commended must be performed in the presence of great danger or at great personal risk and must be performed in such a manner as to render the individual highly conspicuous among others of equal grade, rate, experience, or position of responsibility. An accumulation of minor acts of heroism does not justify an award of the Navy Cross.

It was recently announced that one Hero will be joining this elite group of Heroes. That person is Petty Officer Danny P. Dietz and unfortunately the award is posthumous and the medal will be presented to his widow and his parents in a ceremony to be held in Washington DC on September 13, 2007.

You might ask what Danny Dietz did that so distinguished him above his fellow Sailors that he was chosen for this award. Danny Dietz was a Navy SEAL. He was a member of a four-man Special Reconnaissance element with SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team ONE, Naval Special Warfare Task unit, in Afghanistan. Daniel’s team was tasked with finding a key Taliban leader in the mountainous region near Asadabad, Afghanistan. On June 28th the team was spotted by anti-coalition sympathizers who reported their position to Taliban fighters in the area. Taliban fighters responded and fierce gun battle ensued. The 4 man SEAL team was vastly outnumbered by the enemies.

The SEALS radioed for help. The helicopter that was responding to come to the aid of the SEALS was shot down by an RPG, resulting in the loss of life to all 16 troops on board, which consisted of 8 Navy SEALS and 8 Army Night Stalkers. The SEALS on the ground, continued to battle the enemy forces, despite the fact that they were greatly outnumbered. Dietz and another Navy SEAL and his teammate, Matthew Axelson, continued to fight, holding their positions despite the fact that they had been wounded by the enemy. Dietz remained behind, experiencing a hailstorm of enemy fire, defending his teammates, in the face of enemy fire. Dietz was wounded, but still he fought on, until becoming mortally wounded. Because of his devotion to his teammates, his bravery in the face of impending death, one teammate was able to escape to safety.

“He was tremendously brave, and he stuck around for his buddies,” said Danny’s father, Dan Dietz of Littleton, Colorado. “He was fighting all the time through this. I’m very proud that I’m his father and I miss him tremendously.”

At the ceremony in Washington – where his parents will stand alongside his widow, Maria; Dan Dietz said, “We’re just going to celebrate Danny.”

And when he holds the medal, he said, “It will remind me of his dedication, his strength and his loyalty. And his just… just his sheer guts.”

Grunts Military
Home Of Heroes
Rocky Mountain News


7 Responses to “Warrior Spotlight: Navy Seal Awarded Navy Cross Posthumously”

  1. Tracy on March 14th, 2007 6:14 pm

    In my opinion, SEALS deserve some kind of medal just for completing Hell Week, let alone BUD/S! I’ve read about their training and it is nuts!

    Petty Office Dietz is a true hero. His family is in my prayers.

  2. SealPatriot on March 15th, 2007 4:32 pm

    I think there is a navy seal that might get a MOH too! However, this guy deserves it. I agree with you Terri. I will say a prayer for him too.

  3. SealPatriot on March 15th, 2007 4:33 pm

    oops, sorry Tracy, I got mixed up thinking you were Terri! Anyway let me rephrase, I agree with you Tracy!

  4. Terri on March 15th, 2007 6:37 pm

    Ryan, so nice to have you visit the blog. You’re right there is a Navy SEAL who was awarded the MOH posthumously.

  5. A Soldier’s Mind » Group Opposing Memorial to Fallen Navy Seal War Hero on April 6th, 2007 3:02 am

    [...] As I’m sure some of you remember, on March 14th, I posted a “Warrior Spotlight” about Navy Seal Danny Dietz, who was posthumously awarded the distinguished Navy Cross for his brave actions on June 28, 2005. Actions, which ultimately cost Danny Dietz his life, but saved the life of a fellow Navy Seal. If not, you can read that post here. [...]

  6. A Soldier’s Mind » The Only Survivor on June 12th, 2007 3:00 am

    [...] Yes, this story should be familiar to you. Many of you may recall stories that I’ve done, on March 14th and April 6th about one of his teammates. This soldier, Navy Petty Officer First Class Mark [...]

  7. A Soldier’s Mind » New Year 2008: A Time To Reflect & Remember on December 30th, 2007 9:47 am

    [...] told you about the memorial planned to honor Navy SEAL Danny Dietz and the controversy surrounding this memorial in [...]

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