Chris Kyle (April 8, 1974 – February 2, 2013) was a United States Navy SEAL, and proclaimed the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history, having accumulated 160 confirmed kills out of 255 probable kills.
His confirmed kills are based on individual shooter logs, filled out at the end of a mission, and later reported to higher command.
Confirmed kills must have a witness.
Chris Kyle served four tours during the Iraq War and was awarded several commendations for acts of heroism and meritorious service in combat.
He received two Silver Star Medals, five Bronze Star Medals, one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.
Iraqi insurgents dubbed him the “Devil of Ramadi” and placed a series of ever increasing bounties on his head, purported to have eventually reached six figures.
He became known by the nickname, “Legend” among the general infantry and Marines whom he was sent there to protect.
This title was apparently started by fellow SEALs following his taking of a sabbatical to train other allied snipers in Fallujah.
He was wounded twice and also involved in six IED attacks.
Kyle was honorably discharged from the US Navy in 2009.
Chris Kyle was born in Odessa, Texas, the son of Deby Lynn (née Mercer) and Wayne Kenneth Kyle, a Sunday school teacher and a deacon.
Kyle’s father first bought Chris his first rifle when he was just 8 years old, a bolt-action .30-06 Springfield rifle.
He later bought him a shotgun, with which they hunted pheasant, quail, and deer.
Kyle attended high school in Midlothian, Texas, where he played football and baseball, but after school, Kyle became a professional bronco rodeo rider and worked on a ranch.
But this profession ended very abruptly when he severely injured his arm.
Rejected By The United States Marine Corps
After his arm healed, he went to a military recruiting office, interested in joining the United States Marine Corps with a special interest in special operations.
Kyle signed up, but was rejected because of the pins in his arm but later met with an Army recruiter who told him about the Special Forces and the Rangers.
And after initially being declined, he received a offer to join the BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL school) which he joined in 1999 and he later became a member of SEAL Team 3.
Chris Kyle’s Career
His first long-range kill shot was taken soon after his first term in Iraq.
He first shot a child and then a woman who were approaching a group of Marines with what appeared to be an explosive device in their hands.
A Bounty And A Cross On His Arm
Because of his track record as a marksman during his deployment to Ramadi, the insurgents named him Shaitan Ar-Ramadi (English: ‘The Devil of Ramadi’), and put a $21,000 bounty on his head that was later increased to $80,000.
They posted signs highlighting the cross on his arm as a means of identifying him.
The Longest Shot
Kyle fired a shot from his .338 Lapua Magnum-chambered McMillan TAC-338 sniper rifle, killing an insurgent from about 2,100 yards / 19,000 meters away.
The fighter was about to launch a rocket-propelled grenade at the Army convoy.
Which Rifles Did He Use?
His rifles included the .338 Lapua Magnum-chambered McMillan TAC-338, a Mk 11 7.62×51mm NATO semi-automatic sniper rifle, the Mk 12 5.56×45mm NATO Designated Marksman Rifle, Sig Sauer P220 Pistol, M4 carbine and a .300 Winchester Magnum-chambered sniper rifle.
Chris Kyle’s Later life
Kyle left the US Navy in 2009 and moved to Midlothian, Texas, with his wife, Taya, and two children and was president of Craft International, a tactical training company for the US military and law enforcement communities.
Kyle stated he had no regrets about his work as a sharpshooter, saying,
“I had to do it to protect the Marines".
Kyle later paired with the FITCO Cares Foundation, a nonprofit organization which created the Heroes Project to provide free in-home fitness equipment, individualized programs, personal training, and life-coaching to in-need veterans with disabilities, Gold Star families, or those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Irony – How Chris Kyle Was Murdered
On February 2, 2013, after serving four tours in Iraq, Kyle was shot and killed at a shooting range near Chalk Mountain, Texas, along with friend Chad Littlefield, by a 25-year-old Marine Corps veteran by the name of Eddie Ray Routh.
Local police captured Routh after a short freeway chase, which ended when Routh, who had left the scene of the shootings in Kyle’s Ford F-350 truck, crashed into a police cruiser.
He was taken to the Erath County Jail for holding under a $3 million bond.
Routh’s trial was set to begin May 5, 2014, but has been delayed to allow more time to comply with DNA test requirements.
Burial And Awards
Kyle was buried on February 12, 2013, in Texas State Cemetery, Austin, Texas, after a funeral procession from Midlothian, Texas, to Austin, stretching over 200 miles.
Birth name Christopher Scott Kyle
Nickname(s) شيطان الرمادي
The Devil of Ramadi
Born April 8, 1974
Odessa, Texas, U.S.
Died February 2, 2013 (aged 38)
Erath County, Texas, U.S.
Buried at Texas State Cemetery
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1999–2009
SEAL Team 3, sniper element, Charlie Company (later called Cadillac Company)
Two Silver Star Medals, five Bronze Star Medals, one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.