Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Monday, February 2, 2015


            Every year on this date, February 2, we, the comrades of Unit 1012, will celebrate Chris Kyle Day. Let us learn about this American Sniper, whom is one of our heroes. We will post information about him from Wikipedia and other links.

Chris Kyle (April 8, 1974 to February 2, 2013)

Navy SEAL Sniper Chris Kyle signs a copy of his new book “American Sniper” for a Camp Pendleton sailor at the base’s Country Store, Jan. 13. “American Sniper” is Kyle's first person account of how he went from a Texas cowboy to one of the most distinguished snipers in the military. The book also offers a view of modern warfare and one of the most in-depth looks into the secret world of special operations.
Birth name
Christopher Scott Kyle
"Chris", "Shaitan Al-Ramadi" ("The Devil of Ramadi"), "Legend"
April 8, 1974
Odessa, Texas, U.S.
February 2, 2013 (aged 38)
Erath County, Texas, U.S.
Buried at
Texas State Cemetery, Texas, U.S.
United States Navy
Years of service
Chief Petty Officer
United States Navy SEALs
Sniper element, platoon "Charlie", SEAL Team 3
Iraq War
Silver Star Medal (2)
Bronze Star Medal (Valor; 5)
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (1)
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2)[3][4]
Wayne Kenneth Kyle (father)
Deby Lynn Mercer (mother)
Children: 2
Other work
American Sniper (2012)
American Gun (2013)

Christopher Scott "Chris" Kyle (April 8, 1974 – February 2, 2013) was a United States Navy SEAL and the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history with 160 confirmed kills. Kyle served four tours in the Iraq War and was awarded several commendations for acts of heroism and meritorious service in combat. He received two Silver Star Medals, five Bronze Star Medals, one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals. Iraqi insurgents dubbed him the "Devil of Ramadi" and placed a series of ever increasing bounties on his head, purported to have eventually reached the low six figures.

Kyle was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 2009 and wrote a bestselling autobiography, American Sniper, which was published in January 2012. On February 2, 2013, Kyle was shot and killed at a shooting range near Chalk Mountain, Texas, along with friend Chad Littlefield. The man accused of killing them is awaiting trial for murder. A film adaptation of Kyle's autobiography, directed by Clint Eastwood, was released in December 2014.

In this April 6, 2012, photo, former Navy SEAL and author of the book “American Sniper” poses in Midlothian, Texas. A Texas sheriff has told local newspapers that Kyle has been fatally shot along with another man on a gun range, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Paul Moseley)

Early life

Kyle was born in Odessa, Texas, the son of Deby Lynn (née Mercer) and Wayne Kenneth Kyle, a Sunday school teacher and a deacon. Kyle's father bought his son his first rifle at eight years old, a bolt-action .30-06 Springfield rifle, and later a shotgun, with which they hunted pheasant, quail, and deer. Kyle attended high school in Midlothian, Texas, where he played football and baseball. After school, Kyle became a professional bronco rodeo rider and worked on a ranch, but his profession ended abruptly when he severely injured his arm.

Quote by Chris Kyle
Military career

After his arm healed, Kyle went to a military recruiting office, interested in joining the U.S. Marine Corps with a special interest in special operations. Kyle signed up, but was rejected because of the pins in his arm. Kyle met with a U.S. Army recruiter next, who told him about the Special Forces and the Rangers. A U.S. Navy recruiter told him about the U.S. Navy SEALs as he was leaving the recruiting office. After initially being declined, he received a call to BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL school). He joined the U.S. Navy in 1999.

Assigned to SEAL Team 3, sniper element, platoon "Charlie" (later "Cadillac"), within the Naval Special Warfare Command, and with four tours of duty, Kyle served in many major battles of the Iraq War. His first long-range kill shot was taken during the initial invasion when he shot a woman approaching a group of Marines while carrying a hand grenade. An article by CNN reported that the woman was cradling a toddler in her other hand. As ordered, he opened fire, killing the woman before she could attack. He later stated, "the woman was already dead. I was just making sure she didn't take any Marines with her." Because of his track record as a marksman during his deployment to Ramadi, the insurgents named him Shaitan Ar-Ramadi (English: 'The Devil of Ramadi'), and put a $21,000 bounty on his head that was later increased to $80,000. They posted signs highlighting the cross on his arm as a means of identifying him. In 2008, outside Sadr City, Kyle made his longest successful shot after spotting an insurgent who was about to fire a grenade at the U.S. Army convoy. Kyle fired one shot from his .338 Lapua Magnum-chambered McMillan Tac-338 sniper rifle from about 2,100 yards (1,920 m) away, killing the insurgent.

During four tours of duty in the Iraq War, Kyle was shot twice and caught up in six separate IED explosions. He accumulated 160 confirmed kills out of 255 probable kills. These numbers are based on individual shooter logs, filled out at the end of a mission, and reported to higher command. Kyle stated that he did not know his official kill record, and only counted the lives he felt he could have saved. U.S. Special Operations Command treats sniper kill counts as "unofficial". Confirmed kills must have a witness. His other weapons included the Mk 11 7.62×51mm NATO semi-automatic sniper rifle, the Mk 12 5.56×45mm NATO Designated Marksman Rifle, the SIG Sauer P220 pistol, an M4 carbine and a .300 Winchester Magnum-chambered sniper rifle. He became known by the moniker "Legend" among the general infantry and Marines whom he was tasked to protect. This title initially originated in jest among fellow SEALs following his taking of a sabbatical to train other snipers in Fallujah.

Brandon Webb of SOFREP, a website of news and analysis to the Special Operations Forces, wrote an article entitled ‘’The Long Shadow of Katrina’’ about the aftermath of 2005's Hurricane Katrina. A State of Emergency had been declared and the U.S. Army was asked to provide security in what became known as Operation Pelican. Webb discussed the Operation with Kyle and wrote, “close contacts of his, many who were apparently still serving on active duty, took leave to work for the controversial PMC (Private Military Company), Blackwater. Chris went on to tell me that the bulk of the guys he knew directly had racked up over thirty kills between them near and around the Super Dome.” Kyle and Webb discussed the morality of the operation, which both found troubling, and "the stuff a lot of people in Washington want to put under the bed and forget about." Webb noted "it clearly bothered him", and concluded, “now all we are left with is rumor and a few courageous individuals who are slowly coming out of the shadows to tell the truth.”

Nicholas Schmidle, whose narrative account of the death of Osama bin Laden was completed without ever interviewing any members of SEAL Team 6, posthumously wrote an article entitled ‘’In the Crosshairs’’ in The New Yorker. Schmidle sought out his own sources, ignoring Webb’s interview with Kyle’s comments. Schmidle claimed that at a late night drinking binge three unnamed sources told him Kyle personally shot 30 looters; none of the three agree in details, and one barely remembered anything. An urban legend appeared having Kyle shoot 30 looters above the Super Dome and was widely dispersed within mainstream media sources and on the internet.

Making the shot: Chris Kyle takes aim from on top of an overturned crib during the Second Battle of Fallujah

Four tours: During his time in Iraq, he gained infamy among the insurgents, who nicknamed him 'the Devil of Ramadi' and put a $20,000 price on his head

Long shot: Mr Kyle poses here with the rifle, a .338 Lapua Magnum, he used to kill an insurgent from 2,100 yards away outside Sadr City

Navy Seal Sniper Chris Kyle signs a copy of his new book “American Sniper” for a Camp Pendleton sailor at the base’s Country Store, Jan. 13. “American Sniper” is Kyle's first person account of how he went from a Texas cowboy to one of the most distinguished snipers in the military. The book also offers a view of modern warfare and one of the most in-depth looks into the secret world of special operations.
Post-military life

Kyle left the U.S. Navy in 2009 and moved to Midlothian, Texas, with his wife, Taya, and two children. He was president of Craft International, a tactical training company for the U.S. military and law enforcement communities.

Michael J. Mooney of D Magazine claimed Kyle told him he was the victim of an attempted carjacking of his Ford Super Duty truck at a gas station near highway 67 in Texas, sometime in January 2009, which resulted in the deaths of two armed carjackers whom he shot. Kyle, who had bounties on his head from international jihadis, further claimed that he gave the police that came to the scene a special phone number which resulted in no record of an investigation of the incident.

In 2012, HarperCollins released Kyle's autobiographical book American Sniper. Kyle had initially hesitated to write the book but was persuaded to move forward because other books about SEALs were underway. In his book, Kyle wrote bluntly of his experiences. Of the battle for control of Ramadi he says "Force moved that battle. We killed the bad guys and brought the leaders to the peace table. That is how the world works." In the book and in interviews following, Kyle stated he had no regrets about his work as a sharpshooter, saying, "I had to do it to protect the Marines." American Sniper had a 37-week run on The New York Times bestseller list and brought Kyle national attention. Following its release, media articles challenged some of Kyle's anecdotes, but the core of his narrative was widely accepted. "Tales of his heroism on the battlefield were already lore in every branch of the armed forces."

Kyle paired with FITCO Cares Foundation, a nonprofit organization which created the Heroes Project to provide free in-home fitness equipment, individualized programs, personal training, and life-coaching to in-need veterans with disabilities, Gold Star families, or those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. On August 13, 2012, Kyle appeared on the reality television show Stars Earn Stripes, which features celebrities pairing up with a special operations or law enforcement professional who train them in weapons and combat tactics. Kyle was teamed with actor Dean Cain.

In interviews with the Opie and Anthony Show and Bill O'Reilly in January 2012, Kyle claimed to have punched former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura at a bar in Coronado, California, in 2006 during a wake for Mike Monsoor, a U.S. Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient killed in Iraq. The story parallels an incident in his book which does not mention Ventura by name, and claims a character named "Scruff Face" said that the SEALs "deserved to lose a few guys." Ventura, who was in the bar that night, filed a lawsuit against Kyle for defamation in January 2012. After Kyle was killed the following year Ventura continued the lawsuit against Kyle's estate. Witnesses disagreed years after the fact and a jury awarded Ventura $1.8 million in July 2014. Kyle's widow is appealing the verdict on behalf of Kyle's estate.

Taya Kyle, wife of slain Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, following the signing of Senate Bill 162 at the Texas State Capitol, in Austin, Texas, Aug. 28, 2013. Senate Bill 162 has been called the "Chris Kyle Bill" because it recognizes the achievements of service members with special operations training, by allowing them credit toward state law enforcement licenses.

On February 2, 2013, Kyle and a companion, Chad Littlefield, were shot and killed at the Rough Creek Ranch-Lodge-Resort shooting range in Erath County, Texas. The suspected shooter was a 25-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran Eddie Ray Routh, whom Kyle and Littlefield had reportedly taken to the gun range in an effort to help him with what they were told by his mother was post-traumatic stress disorder. Local police captured Routh after a short freeway chase, which ended when Routh, who had left the scene of the shootings in Kyle's Ford F-350 truck, crashed into a police cruiser in Lancaster, Texas. Erath County sheriffs said the motive for the killing was unclear. Routh, from Lancaster, was arraigned February 2, 2013, on two counts of capital murder and was taken to the Erath County Jail for holding under a $3 million bond. Routh's trial was set to begin May 5, 2014, but was delayed to allow more time to comply with DNA test requirements; his trial is now set to begin February, 2015.

A memorial service was held for Kyle at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on February 11, 2013. Kyle was buried on February 12, 2013, at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, Texas, after a funeral procession from Midlothian, Texas, to Austin, stretching over 200 miles. Hundreds of local and out-of-state residents lined Interstate 35 to view the procession and pay their final respects to Kyle.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (seated) is surrounded by legislators and supporters of Senate Bill 162, after he ceremoniously signed the legislation at the Texas State Capitol, in Austin, Texas, Aug. 28, 2013. Texas Gov. Rick Perry prepares to ceremoniously sign Senate Bill 162 at the Texas State Capitol, in Austin, Aug. 28, 2013. Senate Bill 162 requires state agencies that issue occupational licenses to recognize occupational licenses issues by other jurisdictions - including the armed forces - and provide for expedited licensure for military service members, spouses and veterans. The bill's author, state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (SD-26), is standing to Perry's left, and the bill's House sponsor, state Rep. Dan Flynn (HD-2), is standing to Perry's right.

In August 2013, Texas governor Rick Perry signed Senate Bill 162, also known as the "Chris Kyle Bill", to recognize military training in the issuance of occupational licenses. The bill had been co-sponsored by Republican Representative Dan Flynn of Van and Democratic Senator Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio. The ceremony was attended by Kyle's widow Taya.

Sculptor Greg Marra created a memorial statue of Kyle for presentation to his widow. Fundraising for production of the statue has been provided by members of the Tea Party movement.

Clint Eastwood's 2014 film American Sniper is based on Kyle's autobiography. Kyle is portrayed by Bradley Cooper and his wife Taya Kyle is portrayed by Sienna Miller. For his portrayal of Kyle, Cooper was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor, and the film was nominated for Best Picture.

On February 2, 2015, exactly two years after Kyle was killed, Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared the day to be "Chris Kyle Day" in his honor.

Chris Kyle Frog Foundation Logo

Awards and decorations 

See also

This is the front cover art for the book American Sniper written by Chris Kyle. The book cover art copyright is believed to belong to the publisher, William Morrow and Company, or the cover artist.

  • Kyle, Chris; McEwen, Scott; DeFelice, Jim (2013). American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History. New York: W. Morrow, 2012. ISBN 0-062-08235-3 OCLC 733224029
  • Kyle, Chris; Doyle, William (2013). American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms. New York: William Morrow, 2013. ISBN 0-0622-4271-7 OCLC 813286737


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