U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class E-6 Jeffrey S. Taylor was born May 18, 1975, in Midway, West Virginia. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on July 23, 1993. He entered Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training at the end of July 1999, and after completing BUD/S training, Jump School, and SEAL Qualification training, he served with SEAL Team Eight at the Naval Amphibious Base (NAB) Little Creek, Virginia, from September 2000 to October 2001. His next assignment was aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) from October 2001 to June 2002, followed by service at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from July 2002 to February 2003.
While serving aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, Petty Officer Taylor deployed to Afghanistan with SEAL Team Three in November 2001. His final assignment was with SEAL Team Ten at NAB Little Creek from February 2003 until he was killed in action on June 28, 2005 while deployed to Afghanistan when the MH-47 Chinook helicopter he was aboard was shot down by an enemy rocket-propelled grenade during Operation Red Wings. Petty Officer Taylor was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Taylor’s Bronze Star Medal with Valor Citation reads: “For heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy while serving as Leading Platoon Petty Officer, SEAL Team Ten, while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on 28 June 2005. As part of a Quick Reaction Force, Petty Officer Taylor was sent to reinforce a Navy SEAL Special Reconnaissance element engaged in a fierce firefight against a numerically superior Anti-Coalition Militia near Asadabad, Konor Province, Afghanistan. The Special Reconnaissance element was under siege from enemy fire in extremely rugged and unforgiving terrain. Demonstrating exceptional resolve and fully comprehending the ramifications of the mission, Petty Officer Taylor’s element launched aboard a Helicopter for direct insertion onto an active battlefield, ready to engage and destroy the enemy in order to protect the lives of their fellow SEALs. While airborne Petty Officer Taylor continued working with member of his team to develop the plan of attack to support both a Quick Reaction Force and an urgent execution of the intended deliberate assault. As the helicopter hovered in preparation for a daring fast-rope insertion of the SEALs, the aircraft was struck by an enemy rocket-propelled grenade fired by Anti-Coalition Militia. The resulting explosion and impact caused the tragic and untimely loss of life of all onboard. Petty Officer Taylor’s bravery and heroism in the face of severe danger while fighting the Global War on Terrorism was extraordinary. By his courageous actions, zealous initiative and loyal dedication to duty, Petty Officer Taylor reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
The popular movie and book Lone Survivor told the story of Petty Officer Taylor’s last mission.
For his selfless service laying down his life for his fellow soldiers in the War on Terror, RealWV is proud to posthumously name Petty Officer First Class (SEAL) Jeffrey Taylor as the certified Real West Virginian of the Week.
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