Soldier Honored: Kyle Milliken
Branch of Service: Navy
Rank: Senior Chief Petty Officer
Navy Senior Chief Special Welfare Operator (SEAL) Kyle Milliken, 38, of Falmouth, Maine, was assigned to a U.S. East Coast-based special warfare unit. He was killed on May 5, 2017 during an operation against the Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab in a remote area west of Mogadishu, Somalia. His death marks the first U.S. combat death in Somalia in more than two decades; the first since the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu that led to the death of 18 service members and 73 others, inspiring the book and movie, “Black Hawk Down.” Milliken was a member of SEAL Team Six, the elite unit credited with killing Osama bin Laden in 2011. He earned Bronze Stars while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
After graduating from Cheverus High School in Portland in 1998, Milliken attended the University of Connecticut and became a member of the track and field team. He graduated in 2001. UConn track and field coach Greg Roy said, “Kyle was a glue kid, the kind of kid who doesn’t just show up to practice every day, but made those around him better… his work ethic, perseverance and overall toughness was appreciated by everyone around him. Kyle was a great student as well; it didn’t really surprise me when he made the grade as a navy SEAL.”
In addition, Senior Chief Kyle Milliken was a devoted father and son, a true professional and a wonderful husband. Milliken was said that he, “embodied the warrior spirit and toughness infused in our very best Navy SEALs. Rear Admiral Timothy Szymanski, who is in charge of the Navy SEALs said, “His sacrifice is a stark reminder that Naval Special Operators are forward doing their job, confronting terrorism overseas to prevent evil from reaching our shores.”