Kraig Vickers was born on August 11, 1974, in Kailua, on Oahu, Hawaii. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on June 12, 1996, and went on active duty to begin basic training on November 19, 1996. Vickers completed basic training at NTC Great Lakes, Illinois, in January 1997, and then attended Photographers Mate A School at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, from January to June 1997. He then attended Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Dive School at Navy Dive and Salvage Training Center Panama City, Florida, from June to October 1997, followed by EOD Technician training at Eglin AFB, Florida, and Indian Head, Maryland, from October 1997 to September 1998. His first assignment was as an EOD Technician at EOD Mobile Unit 5 on Guam from November 1998 to July 2001, and then as an EOD Technician at EOD Mobile Unit 8 in Bahrain from August 2001 to August 2002. Petty Officer Vickers next served as an EOD Technician with EOD Mobile Unit 3 at Barbers Point, Hawaii, from August 2002 to February 2005, followed by service as an EOD Technician with Naval Special Warfare Development Group at Dam Neck, Virginia, from February 2005 until he was killed in action when the CH-47 Chinook helicopter "Extortion 17" that he was aboard was shot down in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011. During this time, Senior Chief Petty Officer Vickers deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011; and to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005 and 2006. He was buried at the Valley Isle Memorial Park in Haiku, Hawaii.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
For heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Leading Chief Petty Officer for a Joint Task Force in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM on 17 March 2010. On that date, Chief Petty Officer Vickers was part of a ground force element that executed a daring direct action mission against a heavily armed enemy commander deep inside enemy held territory. Upon setting containment, the assault force engaged armed enemies while more fighters maneuvered to barricaded positions within the target compound. During the exchange of fire, Chief Petty Officer Vickers' fellow teammate was mortally wounded by enemy fire while maneuvering to silence one of the enemy positions. With complete disregard for his safety and under heavy effective enemy fire, Chief Petty Officer Vickers remained steadfast in an exposed rooftop position and engaged the barricaded enemy while an element moved to recover the wounded teammate. While preparing to employ a grenade on the bunkered enemy position, Chief Petty Officer Vickers was struck in the wrist by an enemy round. Though knocked to the ground, he quickly recovered to his feet and resumed exchanging direct fire with the enemy until his teammates were able to recover their wounded team member and move him to safety. Chief Petty Officer Vickers' distinctive contributions, unrelenting perseverance, and steadfast devotion to duty reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.