Thomas Arthur Ratzlaff

Thomas Arthur Ratzlaff

Age: 34
Branch: USN
Rank(s): GM3, GM1, SOCS
Unit(s): ST2, NSWDG
Station: Oceana, VA

Fallen on: 06 August 2011
Location: Afghanistan
Era: Global War on Terror

Medals & Commendations: Four Bronze Star Medals with Combat “V” device, Purple Heart Medal, two Joint Service Commendation Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Combat Action Ribbon, three Presidential Unit Citations, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, five Navy Good Conduct Medals, two National Defense Service Medals, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, eight Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, NATO Medal, Navy Expert Rifleman Medal and Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal. He also was qualified as an Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist. Also received Canada’s second highest military award from the Deputy Prime Minister for his actions with JTF-2

Hometown: Green Forest, AR

SOCS Ratzlaff was killed on August 6, 2011 in Wardak Province, Afghanistan when insurgents shot down a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, callsign Extortion 17. The greatest single-incident loss in Naval Special Warfare history, Extortion 17 is remembered for the 30 American lives lost, including SOCS Ratzlaff.