Navy Veteran Neil C. Roberts is today's Veteran of the Day.

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Neil C. Roberts, a member of SEAL Team Six and the first casualty of Operation Anaconda.

Neil C. Roberts and his eleven siblings grew up in Woodland, California. After graduating from high school in 1987, Roberts chose to follow in his father’s footsteps and enlist with the Navy. He completed basic training in Orlando, Florida, and became an aviation boatswain’s mate. He then went to aviation electrician’s mate training in Millington, Tennessee.

From 1988 to 1992, Roberts deployed to Guam as an EP-3 Aries I aviation technician with VQ-1, Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron One. During the Gulf War, his squadron deployed in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

After promoting to petty officer first class, Roberts applied for Navy SEAL training. He earned his Trident with Class 184 in October 1992.

Roberts’s assignment for the following six years was with SEAL Team Two in Little Creek, Virginia. During the Bosnian War, he deployed to San Vito, Italy, and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. In June 1999, he joined SEAL Team Six in Dam Neck, Virginia.

In March 2004, Roberts took part in Operation Anaconda with SEAL Team Six in Eastern Afghanistan. On March 4, his team tried to establish an observation post on an unoccupied, 11,000-foot peak called Takur Ghar. While attempting to land an MH-47E Chinook helicopter on the snowy ridgeline, the team took fire from enemy fighters. During the engagement, Roberts fell 10 feet from the helicopter onto terrain held by enemy forces.

Roberts survived the initial impact of his fall. According to his Silver Star citation, Roberts established a defensive position and attempted to contact rescue forces. Despite being outnumbered by an enemy force, he defiantly fought back. Roberts died on the battlefield from direct fire.

In addition to a Silver Star, Roberts posthumously received a Bronze Star Medal with Valor and a Purple Heart. The Battle of Takur Ghar is also known as the Battle of Roberts Ridge.

We honor his service.

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.


Additional writer: Rachel Heimann

Editor: Essence McPherson 

Fact checker: Alexis Bauer

Graphic artist: Deanna Cannon

Share this story

Published on Apr. 6, 2020

Estimated reading time is 2.2 min.

Views to date: 1,422

One Comment

  1. Senior Veterans Care Network April 6, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    We honor the service of Neil C. Roberts.

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran Stephen W. Pless, who served in the Vietnam War and is the only Marine aviator to be awarded a Medal of Honor during the war.

  • Alan Shepard served in the Navy aboard a destroyer and as a test pilot. He was a member of the NASA Mercury Seven and became the first American to travel into space.

  • Army Veteran Charles W. Whittlesey is a Medal of Honor Recipient and is today’s Veteran of the Day.