The Pentagon has identified the U.S. Army soldier killed on Thursday in eastern Afghanistan.
Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Andrew Celiz, 32, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga. At the time of his death, he was serving as a battalion mortar platoon sergeant.
Celiz, of Summerville, S.C., was the second U.S. servicemember killed in the country this week.
He died of a wound sustained as a result of enemy small-arms fire while conducting combat operations at a medevac landing zone in the eastern Paktia province.
Celiz has been posthumously awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, and the Purple Heart, according to U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
“The 75th Ranger 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,” said 75th Ranger Regiment commander Col. Brandon Tegtmeier in a statement on July 13. “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.”
The incident is under investigation.