Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday Military Memories: Army Sergeant Major Tyson C. Nick, 1969-2012

Sergeant Major (Retired) Tyson Caley Nick, my second cousin once removed, was born in Houston, Texas, on January 7, 1969. Enlisting as an infantryman, he entered the United States Army on July 12, 1988. He attended One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Georgia. Upon completion, he was assigned to A Company, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, stationed at Hunter Army Airfield where he served as a Rifleman, Rifle Team Leader, and Anti-Tank Section Leader.

In October 1993, he was assigned to the Headquarters Company, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Georgia, where he served as Senior Reconnaissance Leader, Assistant TECON Team Sergeant, and Team leader. On May 26, 1998, he was assigned to the United States Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he served as Operator Team Member, Assistant Team Sergeant, Team Sergeant, Troop Sergeant Major, Squadron Operations Sergeant Major, and Special Activities Troop Sergeant Major. Sergeant Major Nick retired from the U.S. Army on August 31, 2012.

Sergeant Major Nick deployed to Panama in support of Operation Just Cause, to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iris Gold, to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and to Iraq in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn.

Sergeant Major Nick completed the following military courses: Basic Airborne School, Ranger Indoctrination Program, Fire Direction Center Course Indirect Fire Infantryman Course, Scout Swimmer Course, Ranger School, Special Forces Underwater Operations Course, Combat Diver Course, Jumpmaster Course, Special Forces Combat Diver Supervisor Course, Military Freefall and Jumpmaster Course, Air Transportation of Hazardous Materials Course, Naval Gunfire Course, Advanced Land Navigation Course, DoD High Risk Survival Course, Operator Training Course, Advanced Handgun Course, Off-Road Driving Course, Special Operations Targeting Course, Combat Tracking Course, Warrior Leader Course Advanced Leader Course, Senior Leader Course, and the Sergeants Major Academy.

Sergeant Major Nick's military awards and decorations include the following: Bronze Star Medal with Valor and one Silver Oak Leaf and two Oak Leaf Clusters, Defense Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Joint Service Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with Valor and two Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Good Conduct Medal 7th Award, National Defense Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three Bronze Service Stars, Iraqi Campaign Medal with one Silver Service Star and one Bronze Service Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, Humanitarian Service Medal,  Officer Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral 4, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Saudi Arabia and Kuwaiti Liberation Medals, Presidential Unit Citation with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Joint Meritorious Unit Award with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Superior Unit Award, Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Military Freefall Jumpmaster Badge with Bronze Service Star, Master Parachutist Badge with Bronze Service Star, Special Operations Diver Badge, and seven Overseas Service Bars.

Sergeant Major (Retired) Tyson C. Nick was killed in action while repelling an enemy attack in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on December 5, 2012, as a private military contractor. He fell while attempting to save a downed soldier.  He is survived by his wife, two sons, a daughter, and his mother, who is my second cousin on the Guokas line, the granddaughter of Eva Louise Guokas Scott.

He was laid to rest with full military honors in section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on February 20, 2013.  The photo above came from an awesome mapping tool at the cemetery website.

Biographical sources:  http://www.usmountainranger.org/memorial/2013/TNick.html and https://www.ar-15.co/threads/81227-RIP-Seargant-Major-Nick.

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

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