Army First Lieutenant Daniel Weiss, 25, served as a Rifle Platoon Leader in Attack Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. He was born in Santa Monica, CA. His earliest years were spent in Culver City, CA, which he always considered home.
In 1993, he moved with his family to Naperville, IL, where he graduated early from Naperville Central High School in order to enlist in the Army. Danny deployed three times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
His service began as a Rifleman and SAW Gunner with the 173rd Airborne in Afghanistan in 2005. Between deployments, he earned a BA in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Subsequently, he received his commission as an Infantry Officer, serving as a Rifle Platoon Leader in Afghanistan with the 1-17 Infantry, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team. He was then chosen to serve in the 75th Ranger Regiment and assigned to 2nd Ranger Battalion at Fort Lewis, WA and deployed with 2/75 in late 2011. Following combat, he was assigned as a Rifle Platoon Leader in Attack Company.
His awards and decorations include US Army Ranger Course and Airborne School, the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Ranger Tab, and Airborne Wings.
To become the best warrior possible, he refused to drink, smoke, or consume a frivolous calorie of any kind. He worked out voraciously and read with the same intensity on a multitude of topics, from Rudyard Kipling to Karl Pilkington. To extract a smile from Danny, all one had to do was mention Mr. Pilkington’s constant struggles with his boiler. His smile snuck up the side of his mouth, no matter how hard he tried to stifle it, often growing into an undeniable laugh soon shared by all present. Sometime during the night of March 4, 2012, he took his own life. Danny will be remembered as a soldier, an officer, a leader, a son, a brother, a hero.
1LT Daniel Weiss lost his battle with PTSD, March 4, 2012. He was 25 years old.