Daniel B. Crabtree

______  _______

Sgt. 1st Class Daniel B. Crabtree

Special Forces Weapons Sergeant

Ohio Army National Guard Company B, 2nd Battalion

19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Columbus, Ohio

KIA 24 June 2006 when a roadside bomb exploded next to his vehicle during a combat patrol near Al Kut, in east-central Iraq

Age 31 originally of Hartville, Ohio

He is survived by his wife, Kathy, and his daughter, Mallory, of the City of Green. He is also survived by his father, Ronald Crabtree and his mother, Judy Ann Crabtree.

Special Forces Condolences Book

Awards and decorations


Army Achievement Medal

Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal

National Defense Service Medal

Humanitarian Service Medal

Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon

Army Service Ribbon

Parachutist Badge

Special Forces Tab

Purple Heart

Iraq Campaign Medal

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Combat Infantryman Badge

Military Education

Basic Airborne Course, the Primary Leadership Development Course and the Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course in May of 2004

Sgt. 1st Class Daniel B. Crabtree, 31, a Special Forces weapons sergeant, was critically injured . He was evacuated by air after the attack and died en route to a combat support hospital in Baghdad.

An Iraqi interpreter traveling in his vehicle also died following the attack. 

Crabtree, originally of Hartville, Ohio, was assigned to the Ohio Army National Guard’s Company B, 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Columbus, Ohio. He was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and attached to the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Arabian Peninsula.

In civilian life, Crabtree worked as a police officer first in his native Hartville prior to serving with the Cuyahoga Falls Police Department as a member of the Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT, unit.

After initially entering military service with the Army Reserve in 1992, Crabtree joined the Army National Guard in 1993 as an administrative specialist. He later retrained as a military policeman and served with the 135th Military Police Company in Brook Park, Ohio. He joined the 19th SFG in March 2002, and in 2003 he was selected to attend the Special Forces Qualification Course at Fort Bragg, N.C.


Special Forces Soldier Remembered 

By Sgt. Kimberly Snow DIVIDS Hub

GREEN, Ohio (USASOC News Service August 7, 2006) – In the early evening June 16, a group of about a dozen Soldiers from B Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, immaculately clad in full military dress uniform, nestled together in a small basement room of the Schermesser Funeral Home. Above them, hundreds of well-wishers waited their turn to honor the memory of their friend and brother-in-arms, Sgt.1st Class Daniel B. Crabtree, recently killed in combat. Occasionally, one of the men would slip out temporarily to mingle with the guests. 

The somber quiet was occasionally punctured by a laugh, which was inevitably followed by a story – like the time their friend broke his leg on his first jump with the elite troops after successfully completing the Army’s Special Forces Qualification Course. 

Their friend and comrade had landed badly on the jump. As he lay on the ground with a broken leg, one unit member, Sgt. 1st Class Don (due to the sensitive nature of special operations, first names only will be noted), noticed that something was wrong with his friend and was temporarily distracted.

“I rode my ruck in, trying to see what was wrong with him,” Don said with a laugh. “I landed pretty hard and when I got to him, he was laughing at me. He was still laughing and smiling while grimacing in pain.”

They also remembered the Special Forces weapons sergeant for his patience and kindness. 

“You want to know what Dan was like?” Sgt. 1st Class Kevin, a fellow unit member, asked.

Kevin recounted an email – one of many such emails and phone calls he had received in the preceding days – from a young Soldier who had trained with the Special Forces unit, but ultimately didn’t make it to the qualification course. As a trainee, the Soldier had always looked up to the “tabbed” (Special Forces-qualified) Soldiers, particularly Crabtree.

“He always stopped and took the time to talk to me, even though I wasn’t tabbed. He answered my questions no matter how stupid they were,” the young Soldier wrote. “That was Dan. He was what being a Special Forces Soldier is all about.”

Crabtree died June 8, when a roadside bomb exploded next to his vehicle during a combat patrol near Al Kut, in east-central Iraq. “He was on his way to a meeting. He was trying to help a village threatened by the insurgency, trying to help them secure themselves to reduce the threat,” Don said. “He died doing what he liked to do.”

The 31-year-old weapons sergeant had been as determined to make a difference in Iraq as he had always been in meeting his personal goals. One Soldier recalled Crabtree’s training regimen when he was preparing himself for the rigors of the Special Forces Qualification Course. At the time, he was working night shifts.

“He would train when he got off work in the morning, when he was already tired,” he said shaking his head. “He would strap a 70-pound ruck to his back and just start running.”

Crabtree had a passion for weapons that carried over to his civilian job, where he worked as a sniper for the Cuyahoga Falls Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team. He was also a member of the force’s honor guard.

“He was really good at teaching weapons,” Don said. “He took the time to study all kinds of different weapons systems.”

With a knack for teaching, along with his civilian police training, Crabtree was particularly well-suited for his mission in Iraq, where he developed and implemented a SWAT training program for the Iraqi Police Force in Al Kut. As the lead trainer, he instructed the SWAT volunteers in advanced marksmanship, offensive and defensive driving techniques and urban assault tactics. He had also previously been involved with training other foreign troops.

“They always liked him because he was patient. He always took the time to explain things,” Don said. 

Crabtree and his operational detachment also assisted the Al-Kut SWAT team in more than 35 combat missions which netted more than 100 known insurgents.

“The Al-Kut SWAT was one of the most effective Iraqi units. They were feared by the insurgency because they were so effective,” Don said. “And that was due, in large part, to his training.”

**Information from SFAHQ.com, The Department of Defense, USASOC used in this Article.

Return To Index