Operation Enduring Freedom
Specialist Christopher Gathercole, age 21, was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. He was born on Oct. 16, 1986. He was killed on May 26, 2008, near Paktya, Afghanistan while conducting combat operations.
After graduating from Rincon High School in Carpinteria, Calif., Specialist Gathercole enlisted in the Army from his hometown of Santa Rosa, Calif., in October 2005 and completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning as an infantryman. After graduating from the Basic Airborne Course there, he was assigned to the Ranger Indoctrination Program also at Fort Benning. He graduated from the Ranger Indoctrination Program in May 2006 and was then assigned to 2nd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment in June 2006. He was a lightweight machine (MK46) gunner.
Specialist Gathercole’s awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge and the Ranger Tab.
He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with Valor, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Good Conduct Medal.
Specialist Gathercole is survived by his brother Edward F. Gathercole, sister Jennifer Daly and father Edward R. Gathercole both of Santa Rosa and his mother Catherine Ferrell of Fairfield, Calif.
As a Ranger, Specialist Christopher Gathercole selflessly lived his life for others and distinguished himself as a member of the Army’s premier direct action raid force, continuously deployed in support of the War on terror, and fought valiantly as he served his fellow Rangers and our great Nation.
RIP Ranger Gathercole