Chris Kyle was born on April 8, 1974, in Odessa, Texas. After working as a professional bronco rodeo rider, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy on August 5, 1998, and went on active duty to begin basic training on February 10, 1999. He graduated from basic training at NTC Great Lakes, Illinois, in April 1999, and then attended additional training as an Intelligence Specialist at NMITC Dam Neck, Virginia, from April to July 1999, and at NPC Millington, Tennessee, from August 1999 to March 2000. Petty Officer Kyle next attended Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training, graduating with Class 233 at NAB Coronado, California, in March 2001, followed by SEAL Qualification Training at NAB Coronado from May to August 2001. He served with SEAL Team THREE as a SEAL Sniper at NAB Coronado from September 2001 until he received an honorable discharge on November 4, 2009. During this time, CPO Kyle deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, 2004-2005, 2006, and 2008, during which time he was officially credited with 160 confirmed sniper kills, with an unconfirmed number of 255. Chris Kyle was killed at a gun range in Erath County, Texas, on February 2, 2013, and was buried at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, Texas. After leaving the Navy, Chris wrote the books "American Sniper" in 2012 and "American Gun" in 2013. He also co-founded and was President of Craft International, a tactical training company for the U.S. Military and Law Enforcement communities, from 2009 until his death.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Lead Sniper while assigned to Naval Special Warfare Task Unit-RAMADI in direct support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from 24 April to 27 August 2006. Petty Officer Kyle's heroic actions, professionalism and incredible sniper skills had tremendous impact in the success of U.S. and Iraqi Forces in routing the insurgency and seizing key areas of the City of Ar Ramadi, the epicenter of Al Qaeda and insurgent activity in Iraq. During 32 sniper overwatch missions, he personally accounted for 91 confirmed enemy fighters killed and dozens more probably killed or wounded. Petty Officer Kyle's efforts were integral to the success of four U.S. Army and Marine Corps Battalion Task Force operations, establishing U.S. and Iraqi Army combat outposts in previously insurgent-held areas. His engagements directly prevented casualties to U.S. and Iraqi Forces on more than 30 occasions, including enemy rocket-propelled grenade and mortar teams eliminated, five enemy snipers with scoped weapons eliminated, and dozens of insurgent fighters destroyed while actively engaging U.S. and Iraqi forces with small arms. By his bold leadership, courageous actions, and total dedication to duty, Petty Officer Kyle reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.