Thomas Valentine was born on December 28, 1970, in International Falls, Minnesota. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on August 10, 1989, and graduated from basic training at NTC Great Lakes, Illinois, in October 1989. After completing Hull Technician School, he entered Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training at NAB Coronado, California, in January 1990, and joined SEAL Team TWO at NAB Little Creek, Virginia, in November 1990. After serving in Operation Desert Storm in 1991, Operations Restore Hope and Continue Hope in Somalia in 1993, and Kosovo in 1999, SCPO Valentine joined Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) at Dam Neck, Virginia, in October 2000. He deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom multiple times. SCPO Valentine was killed during a parachute training accident in Casa Grande, Arizona, on February 13, 2008, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
His 3rd Bronze Star Medal w/Valor Citation reads:
For heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy as Assault Team Leader for the Joint Task Force in direct support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from 10 October 2004 to 12 January 2005 and Operation ENDURING FREEDOM from 31 August to 15 October 2005. Senior Chief Valentine led his team through four high-risk direct action missions capturing three terrorist cell leaders. His decisive action during the assaults ensured mission success and provided a windfall of intelligence for the Joint Task Force. Additionally, Senior Chief Valentine led his five-man team in a complex and daring hostage rescue mission. Following a night, combat equipment, high-altitude, high-opening, military freefall insertion into an unfamiliar, treacherous, drop zone, his team successfully penetrated enemy territory and recovered the body of a hostage. He helped return the hostage's remains to the family and denied the terrorists a significant propaganda opportunity. By his extraordinary guidance, zealous initiative, and total dedication to duty, Senior Chief Valentine reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.