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Chris Kyle
Chris Kyle January 2012.jpg
Kyle in January 2012
Birth name Christopher Scott Kyle
Nickname(s) "The Legend", "Devil of Ramadi", "Tex"
Born (1974-04-08)April 8, 1974
Odessa, Texas, U.S.
Died February 2, 2013(2013-02-02) (aged 38)
Erath County, Texas, U.S.
Buried
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1999–2009
Rank Chief petty officer
Unit US Navy SEALs insignia.png U.S. Navy SEALs
  • Sniper element, platoon "Charlie", later changed to "Cadillac", SEAL Team 3
Battles/wars Iraq War
Spouse(s)
Taya Kyle (m. 2002)
Relations Wayne Kenneth Kyle (father)
Deby Lynn Mercer (mother)
Children: 2
Other work American Sniper (2012)
American Gun (2013)

Christopher Scott Kyle (April 8, 1974 – February 2, 2013) was a United States Navy SEAL veteran and sniper. Kyle served four tours in the Iraq War and was awarded several commendations for acts of heroism and meritorious service in combat. He was awarded one Silver Star Medal, four Bronze Star Medals with "V" devices, a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and numerous other unit and personal awards. Kyle was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 2009 and published his bestselling autobiography, American Sniper, in 2012.

An eponymous film adaptation of Kyle's book, directed by Clint Eastwood, was released two years later. On February 2, 2013, Kyle was murdered by Eddie Ray Routh at a shooting range near Chalk Mountain, Texas. A former Marine with PTSD, Routh was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Post-military life

Taya Kyle 1
Taya Kyle in August 2013

Kyle left the U.S. Navy in 2009 and moved to Midlothian, Texas, with his wife, Taya, and two children. He was president of Craft International, a tactical training company for the U.S. military and law enforcement communities.

American Sniper had a 37-week run on The New York Times bestseller list and brought Kyle national attention. Following its release, media articles challenged some of Kyle's anecdotes, but the core of his narrative was widely accepted. "Tales of his heroism on the battlefield were already lore in every branch of the armed forces", writes Michael J. Mooney, author of a biography of Kyle.

Kyle paired with 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 posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Legacy

Signing of Texas Chris Kyle Bill
The signing of the "Chris Kyle Bill" at the Texas State Capitol in August 2013

In August 2013, Texas governor Rick Perry signed Senate Bill 162, also known as the "Chris Kyle Bill", to recognize military training in the issuance of occupational licenses. The bill had been co-sponsored by Republican Representative Dan Flynn of Van and Democratic Senator Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio. The ceremony was attended by Kyle's widow Taya.

Sculptor Greg Marra created a memorial statue of Kyle for presentation to his widow. Fundraising for production of the statue was provided by members of the Tea Party movement.

Clint Eastwood's film American Sniper (2014) is based on Kyle's autobiography. Kyle is portrayed by Bradley Cooper, and his wife Taya Kyle is portrayed by Sienna Miller. For his portrayal of Kyle, Cooper received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, and the film was nominated in five other categories, including Best Picture. The film won the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing.

On February 2, 2015, exactly two years after Kyle's murder, Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared the day "Chris Kyle Day".

Awards and decorations

The Navy revised Chris Kyle's list of awards on June 14, 2016.

Badge SEAL Insignia
1st Row Silver Star Bronze Star Medal (4) w/ Combat V Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal w/ Combat V
2nd Row Combat Action Ribbon Navy Unit Commendation w/ 2 service stars Navy Good Conduct Medal w/ 2 service stars
3rd Row National Defense Service Medal Iraq Campaign Medal w/ 3 campaign stars Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
4th Row Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Sea Service Deployment Ribbon w/ 3 service stars Rifle Marksmanship Medal (Expert)
Badge Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia
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