Marc Alan Lee

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Marc Alan Lee
Born (1978-03-20)March 20, 1978
Died August 2, 2006(2006-08-02) (aged 28)
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 2001–2006
Rank Aviation Ordnanceman Second Class
Unit US Navy SEALs insignia.png United States Navy SEALs SEAL Team 3

Marc Alan Lee (March 20, 1978 - August 2, 2006), was a United States Navy SEAL. He was the first SEAL to lose his life in Operation Iraqi Freedom when he was killed in a fierce firefight while on patrol against insurgents in Ramadi. Lee was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with Valor and the Purple Heart.[1][2] On March 20, 2013, the Marc A. Lee Training Center building was dedicated at the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Marc was born in Portland, Oregon and moved to Colorado when he was a year old with his mother Debbie and brother and sister. When he was 7, he and his family moved back to Hood River, Oregon. Lee was home-schooled until his Junior year and graduated from Baptist Christian School in 1996. In 1997, he moved to Colorado once again to pursue his dream of a career in professional soccer. He was scheduled for tryouts with the Colorado Rapids. In an indoor soccer match the night before tryouts, he blew out his knee requiring surgery on his ACL and meniscus. He attended The Master's College in California with a major in Bible & Theology and played on their soccer team. In his 2nd year, he changed his major to Law. In May 2001, Lee went into the Navy with a contract to tryout for the SEALs.[5]

Military career[edit]

Lee was the first Navy SEAL killed in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom. A fellow SEAL Team 3 member, Ryan "Biggles" Job, was critically injured by a sniper and Lee single-handedly provided cover fire while other team members prepared Job for medical evacuation. The team re-engaged the enemy force after the evacuation of Job. Lee was mortally wounded when he exposed himself a third time to draw fire from enemy forces away from his teammates. For his action on the battlefield, Lee was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with Valor and the Purple Heart. His Silver Star citation reads:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Aviation Ordnanceman Second Class Marc Alan Lee, United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy as Assaulter and Automatic Weapons Gunner in Sea, Air, Land Team THREE (SEAL-3), Naval Special Warfare Task Group Arabian Peninsula in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 2 August 2006. Petty Officer Lee conducted clearance operations in South-Central Ramadi as a member of a Naval Special Warfare Combat Advisory element for the Iraqi Army. During the operation, one element member was wounded by enemy fire. The element completed the casualty evacuation, regrouped and returned onto the battlefield to continue the fight. Petty Officer Lee and his SEAL element maneuvered to assault an identified enemy position. He, his teammates, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and Abrams tanks engaged enemy positions with suppressive fire. During the assault, his team came under heavy enemy fire from an adjacent building to the north. To protect the lives of his teammates, he fearlessly exposed himself to direct enemy fire by engaging the enemy with his machine gun and was mortally wounded in the engagement. His brave actions in the line of fire saved the lives of many of his teammates. Petty Officer Lee's courageous leadership, operational skill, and selfless dedication to duty, reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. Action Date: August 2, 2006

Job survived his wounds but was left permanently blind. In September 2009, Job died from a preventable hospital error while his wife was pregnant with their first child, Leah.[6]

Lee was portrayed by actor Luke Grimes in the 2014 film American Sniper.

Lee's name was also shown on a badge hanging on the wall for tribute in the movie "Lone Survivor".


  1. ^ "Ambulance chaser Harry Reid blames sequester for Nevada Marine deaths". Washington Times. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Navy SEAL Dies in Iraqi Firefight". NPR. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "NAB TRADEP Building Dedicated to Navy SEAL". Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Marc Lee, U.S. Navy SEAL, An American Hero Remembered on 4th of July". Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Marc A Lee". Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  6. ^ Lee, Michele. "Navy SEAL Ryan Job: A portrait of determination, tragedy". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 31 January 2015.