U.S. Army Ranger from Summerville killed during combat in Afghanistan

A soldier from Summerville was killed in Afganistan Thursday, according to the Department of Defense. 

Sgt. 1st class Christopher Andrew Celiz, 32, died from injuries sustained from enemy fire while he was supporting a medical evacuation operation at a landing zone in Paktiya province. 

Celiz was assigned to the 1st battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia. He first enlisted in September 2007. 

"Sgt. 1st Class Chris Celiz was a great Ranger leader, and he will be sorely missed by 1st Ranger Battalion. He had an incredibly positive attitude that inspired Rangers throughout the formation," Commander, 1st Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment Lt. Col. Sean McGee said. "Sgt. 1st Class Celiz led from the front and always put himself at the decisive point on the battlefield. He was a loving husband and father, and he and his family have been an important part of the fabric that represents 1st Ranger Bn. and the Savannah community."

 Celiz was serving as the battalion mortar platoon sergeant and was in the process of reclassifying to the infantry branch at the time of his death. Celiz deployed from 2008 to 2009 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and from 2011 to 2012 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He was on his fifth deployment with the 75th ranger regiment when he was killed. 

He is posthumously awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, the Bronze Star, and Purple Heart. 

The incident remains under investigation. 

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