LCDR Erik S. Kristensen was born on March 15, 1972. He attended Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C. and Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts and went on to eventually graduate with honors from the United States Navy Academy. He also attended St. John’s College and graduated with class 233 at Basic Underwater Demolition/ SEAL training. He then became Officer in Charge of SEAL Team 8 and deployed as Task Unit Commander of SEAL Team 10 to Afghanistan. He was the Fire Control Officer aboard the USS Chandler. LCDR Kristensen then was the Officer in Charge of a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat Detachment at Special Boat Team Twelve.

In 1999, LCDR Kristensen started giving English lessons at the United States Naval Academy. He also liked art and literature. He spoke French and was selected for the Olmsted Foundation Scholarship which enabled him to study at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris for two years. Unfortunately, on June 28, 2005 in Afghanistan, he was among 16 Navy and Army personnel aboard an MH-47 Chinook helicopter that was shot down by insurgents. The helicopter was on a mission to rescue a SEAL team LCDR Kristensen commanded.

LCDR Kristensen earned the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals (2 awards), National Defense Service Medals (2 awards), Sea Service Deployment Ribbons (2 awards), Expert Rifle Medal, and Expert Pistol Medal Bronze Star Medal “V”.

Suzanne Kristensen said of LCDR Kristensen: “He always put others first.” Printed in the American Forces Press Office by Gerry Gilmore. He is survived by his parents.

LCDR Kristensen was honored through the Travis Manion Foundation Character Does Matter program presented during the USNA’s Summer Seminar and USNA STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Camp for rising 11th graders.

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