Nominee: 1LT Daniel Alexander Weiss
Danny enlisted at age 17 in February. 2004 and attended Infantry One Station Unit Training (OSUT) and Airborne School at Ft. Benning, GA, from 2/2004 - 7/2004 where he was the Distinguished Military Graduate at both courses. He was then stationed for his first duty assignment at the 1-508th PIR (Now the 1-503rd) in Vicenza, Italy, where he deployed 12 months in support of OEF 05-06 to Sha-Juy Valley in Kandahar Province. There he served with distinction earning the Army Commendation Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge for participating in close combat with the enemy.
After his tour of duty, Danny left military Service in 2007, completed his Bachelor's Degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago and volunteered to attend OCS in 2008 shortly thereafter.
He graduated OCS class 04/09, and was both the Class Honor Graduate, and the Class Physical Fitness Excellence awardee. He ranked #1 in GPS of 150 attendees in his Company and was an immediate selection for Ranger School Class 11-09, which he passed without recycling.
Danny was then assigned as a 2LT to the 1-17th Infantry Regiment, which was at that time in Kandahar Province AFG, in support of OEF 09-10. The 1-17th was engaged in brutal ground combat that year with a determined enemy and lost over 22 Soldiers killed with more than double that number wounded in action. Danny served 4 months as a Platoon Leader in combat, and once back at home station in Ft. Lewis WA, he volunteered to attend the 75th Ranger Regiment Assessment and Selection Process (RASP II).
1LT Weiss was assigned to 2nd BN, 75th RGR RGT after completing RASP in September of 2011, and subsequently deployed a third time to OEF 11-12, as a Regimental BN assistant S3.
Danny returned to Ft, Lewis with the 2nd Ranger BN in December 2011, and was awarded leadership of 1st PLT, A Co "BadMuthers" in late February 2012 shortly following post-deployment block leave. He was found dead in his Tacoma, WA, apartment unit on March 5, 2012, after having lost his battle with PTSD. Even in death, 1LT Weiss was a considerate and thoughtful leader as he used a Side SAPI plate held to his skull to catch the bullet after it had killed him in order that it would not harm anyone else in the complex.
Danny was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors in August, 2012. He was survived by his brother AJ Weiss, his father Andy Weiss, and his mother Julianne, and myself, his brother in arms, closest friend, and fellow Platoon Leader, His military awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal 3rd Award; the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Wings, the Expert Infantryman Badge, and the Afghan Campaign Medal with 3 Campaign Stars. Danny was also an incredible friend, the like of which I know I will never have again in this life.