WARDAK, Afghanistan – A simple slab of white marble engraved with the Special Forces Prayer was quietly unveiled in a remote camp in Afghanistan to remember a fallen warrior and leader – not far from where he fell.
U.S. Army Special Forces Soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and Hungarian Special Operations Forces gathered to pay solemn tribute to Master Sgt. Danial ‘Slim’ Adams as the SF camp was dedicated and named in his honor.
Addressing his men, some who fought with ‘Slim’ on the day he fell in battle, Lt. Col. Isaac Peltier, 1-10 SFG (A) commander, spoke on Adams’ character and ethos as a Special Forces leader.
“Dan was a Green Beret; he was a warrior who lived to lead men in combat,” Peltier said. “He died doing what he loved.”
On Sept. 13, 2011, Adams, 35, of Portland, Ore., died in an intense firefight when insurgents ambushed his element with RPG, machine-gun and small-arms fire while the element was on patrol in Wardak province.
Adams joined the Army in 1995 as an infantryman and began his Special Forces career with the 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, N.C. as a Special Forces medic and served combat tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. While assigned to 1-10th, he was selected to promotion to master sergeant and given the responsibility for a Special Forces A-Team.
“When he came to 1st Battalion, 10th Group his reputation as life-saving medic preceded him,” Peltier said. “Slim took on his responsibility as a team sergeant with energy and passion. He prepared his men by training them rigorously for combat.”
On the day the team came under attack, Peltier mentioned how Adams led his team from the front before he was killed. He praised the other members of the team for having “fought like lions” and “heroically” to get to him and never leaving his side.
Peltier emphasized during the intimate gathering how the loss of a Special Forces A-team member impacts the morale of the team. He particularly highlighted the Team Sergeant as the nucleus of a SF A-Team; and in losing Adams, it “strikes the very heart of our force.”
“The team and the mission must go on and indeed it has,” Peltier said as he looked into the eyes of his men. “I know Slim would be proud of you guys for carrying on the mission in his absence. So today we dedicate this camp to him – Camp Adams as it shall hence forth be known, but perhaps our greatest tribute to Dan is to continue to bring the fight to the enemy, to uphold the high standards of the Green Berets and to care for and love our teammates and families.”
Peltier concluded his remarks thanking Adams for his sacrifice, service and for “being the quiet professional.”
Following a recital of the Special Forces Prayer by the Task Force 10 chaplain, the men who served and fought with Adams one by one touched the marble bearing his name – silently.