David Warsen was born on July 1, 1985, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on September 4, 2008, and went on active duty to begin basic training on March 10, 2009. Warsen completed basic training at NTC Great Lakes, Illinois, in May 2009, and then attended Pre-BUDS training at Great Lakes from May to August 2009. He attended Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training at NAB Coronado, California, from August 2009 to February 2010, followed by SEAL Qualification training from February to September 2010. His first assignment was with SEAL Team THREE at NAB Coronado from October 2010 until he was killed in action when the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter he was aboard was shot down over Afghanistan on August 16, 2012. David Warsen was buried at Blain Cemetery in Cutlerville, Michigan.
His Meritorious Service Medal Citation reads:
For outstanding meritorious service while serving as Intelligence Department Head, Naval Special Warfare Breacher and Automatic Weapons Gunner for TWO Troop, SEAL Team THREE from 1 October 2010 to 16 August 2012. Petty Officer Warsen demonstrated an exceptional degree of tactical proficiency throughout 220 live-fire training evolutions and eight full mission profile exercises during an arduous inter-deployment training cycle. He helped supervise and safely conduct 40 live explosive breaches with zero mishaps while mentoring ten platoon teammates on the proper employment of mechanical breaching tools. He flawlessly managed the transport, storage and inventory of $20,000 of mission essential planning equipment across seven different training blocks and in preparation for deployment overseas. Additionally, as the Diving Department representative, he coordinated $150,000 of equipment and all assets for 10 combat dives involving eight SEALs throughout a two week Combat Swimmer block. Petty Officer Warsen's exceptional professionalism, personal initiative and loyal dedication to duty reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.