Master Sgt. Danial R. Adams was honored and remembered during a memorial service held Sept. 27 in the Panzer Chapel on Panzer Kaserne. Adams, assigned to Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), was killed during an intense firefight with insurgents Sept. 13 while conducting combat operations in Wardak Province, Afghanistan, as part of Special Operations Task Force 10.
The 35-year-old team sergeant for Operational Detachment Alpha 0123 was a sergeant first class at the time of his death. He was posthumously promoted to master sergeant.
Known as “Slim” for his slight build, Adams, a father of three, was remembered as a loving husband, devoted father and an exceptional Special Forces warrior during the ceremony.
A slide show, set to music taken from Adams’ iPod, gave a stirring reminder of who he was, as photos and videos captured moments in his life from beginning to end: as a young boy, at the birth of his children, sharing a tender moment dancing with his wife Melany, while on and off duty, and as his remains arrived at Dover Air Force Base, Del.
“His reputation as a warrior and outstanding medic preceded him,” said Lt. Col. Isaac Peltier, commander, 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group.
“Dan left this life just as he lived it, with fire inside and leading from the front. He died doing what he loved,” Staff Sgt. Joseph Steadman read a letter written by members of ODA 0123, who are still deployed.
“He had the heart of a lion. He pushed forward where most men would have cowered. But you would never know how fierce a man Slim was. He was a quiet professional,” Steadman read.
“Slim taught us not to cut corners. Had it not been for Slim’s emphasis on bringing along extra ammunition [Sept. 13], this ceremony could have very well been for five people,” Steadman continued. “Slim’s preparation saved our lives.”
Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Hughes gave an emotional eulogy, his voice cracking with sentiment at times.
Adams, fiercely proud to serve with Special Forces, was “… a man who was never too tired or busy to help a friend. He was what so many of us aspire to be … the man [who] I aspire to be,” Hughes said.
Adams joined the military after high school in 1995 as an infantryman with the Third Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, in Fort Benning, Ga. He served with First Battalion, 501st Infantry, at Fort Richardson, Alaska, before being stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash., with the First Battalion, 23rd Infantry.
Adams earned the Green Beret honor in 2005 and served in his first Special Forces assignment as medical sergeant with the Third Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C. In 2009, he transferred to Stuttgart, where he deployed once to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan.
Adams is survived by his wife Melany, sons John, 19, and Jeffrey, 17, and daughter Skye, 13, and his parents Penny and James Adams of Hillsboro, Ore.
A formal funeral service was held at Fort Bragg, N.C., on Sept. 29.