COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A U.S. Army Ranger from South Carolina will be laid to rest Wednesday.
Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Andrew Celiz, 32, will be laid to rest Wednesday afternoon following a service at Congregation Mickve Israel in Savannah, GA. Celiz died in Paktiya province, Afghanistan, during combat operations in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel, according to the U.S. Army.
Celiz was assigned to the 1st battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia. He first enlisted in September 2007. This was his fifth deployment, according to the U.S. Army.
At the time of his death, Celiz was serving as the battalion mortar platoon sergeant and was in the process of reclassifying to the infantry branch.
"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 Col. Brandon Tegtmeier, Commander, 75th Ranger Regiment. "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."
Governor Henry McMaster has ordered flags be flown at half-staff in memoriam, from sunup to sundown.
The U.S. Army said Celiz is posthumously awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, and the Purple Heart.