WASHINGTON (May 4, 2016) U.S. Navy file photo of Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Charles Keating IV, 31, of San Diego. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Charlie Keating lost his life in a hail of bullets on May 3, but it wasn't the first time he'd put himself in danger to defeat ISIS militants during that deployment.risked himself against ISIS fighters during that deployment.
Two months earlier, his leadership, tactical skills and sheer physical courage helped American and pPeshmerga forces defeat more than 100 enemy fighters swarmingattempting to overrun their position, according to his Silver Star citation, obtained Thursday by Navy Times.
Then-SO1 Keating exposed himself to fire to secure the position, the citation said. And when a bomb-rigged car rolled toward his team, he led an attack to neutralize it with sniper and rocket fire.
"His personal bravery inspired his comrades to vigorously defend their position and repel the enemy assault," the citation said.
He received the military's third-highest award for valor posthumously on May 10, the same day Navy Secretary Ray Mabus signed off on his Purple Heart for his last battle.
Keating, a member of SEAL Team 1, was deployed to Northern Iraq as part of a training mission for Kurdish troops fighting ISIS.
On May 3, he was part of a quick reaction force sent to rescue p
eshmerga fighters and the U.S. military advisers from an attack, in which ISIS fighters assaulted them from bulldozers and trucks, CNN reportedon Monday.
Keating was shot after grabbing a sniper rifle and heading to the top of a building to defend the position from above, according to the report.
He was known in the teams for that sort of bravery.
"I don’t think I’ve ever seen Chuck afraid of anything, and that’s a pretty big compliment, especially considering the circumstances that we get thrust into," former SO1 (SEAL) Eli Crane, who served with Keating in SEAL Team 3, told Navy Times in May.
Thousands lined the streets of Coronado to pay tribute to Keating, as the procession made its way to his funeral service at Tidelands park on May 12.