Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Some Gave All: Lieutenant Daniel John Clack

Lieutenant Daniel John Clack killed in Afghanistan

A Military Operations news article

15 Aug 11

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Lieutenant Daniel John Clack, from 1st Battalion The Rifles, was killed in Afghanistan on 12 August 2011.

Lieutenant Clack was killed while leading a ten-man patrol into the village of Dactran to speak to the local nationals and discuss a shura due to take place the next day.

Approximately 150 metres from the front gate his patrol was struck by an improvised explosive device, killing him and injuring five other members of his patrol.

Lieutenant Daniel John Clack

Lieutenant Daniel John Clack deployed to Afghanistan in April 2011 with C Company, 1st Battalion The Rifles (1 RIFLES), in command of 8 Platoon. He commanded Checkpoint Shaparak in the district of Nahr-e Saraj (South), Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Born on 25 March 1987 in North London, Lieutenant Clack preceded his military career by studying at Exeter University before working for a short while in Switzerland driving for a ski chalet company, exercising his passions for skiing and adventure.

He joined the Army in May 2009, and commissioned from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst into The Rifles in April 2010, serving as 8 Platoon Commander since his arrival. A keen sportsman, on the way he represented both the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the battalion at rugby.

Lieutenant Clack had become immensely popular with his Riflemen, to whom he showed great empathy and loyalty. He was known as a man of integrity, and driven by doing the right thing; this attitude had forged a strong platoon and an impressive reputation - in a relatively short period of time he had become hugely popular across the battalion and will be sorely missed by all who had the pleasure of serving with him.

Lieutenant Clack leaves behind a loving family: his mother Sue, father Martin, brother James and fiancée Amy Tinley, who he absolutely adored; the thoughts of the battle group are very much with them.

Lieutenant Clack's family paid the following tribute:

"Dan was a brave Rifleman and he died doing the only profession he ever considered. He loved leading his Riflemen and was so proud to be an officer in the British Army. There are no words to describe our loss. He will be forever missed by his mother, father, brother, fiancée and all those who knew him. He will always be in our hearts."

Lieutenant Colonel James de Labillière, Commanding Officer, 1 RIFLES, said:

"Lieutenant Dan Clack was a young officer who was, quite simply, part of the heart and soul of the battalion. He died commanding his Riflemen on operations in the most demanding of circumstances. He had, day on day, demonstrated a courage and bravery that was profound and inspiring but, as was his way, exercised with the lightest of touch.

"Dan joined 1 RIFLES just over a year ago, and even in that short time he had achieved much, just as he had done before joining the Army. I remember his first day in battalion as he met his platoon for the first time at the beginning of a huge endurance march across Dartmoor. It was wet and miserable but he successfully made his mark, teasing us with a glimmer of the great things he still had in store to show us.

"He was, like many officers of his generation, completely committed to both his Riflemen and to achieving success on the battlefield. He had excelled on both accounts. His men quite evidently adored him and they showed him a loyalty and respect in a way that is reserved for only the very few and the very best. And it was clear to me that he walked the thin line between command and friendship with an ease and professionalism of one well beyond his years and experience.

"He was, in all respects, a natural Rifles officer. He was also a man blessed with complete integrity. This was a gift in the main, although latterly proved less beneficial when pitching himself against his wily second-in-command at Monopoly, a game they often played together in the quieter moments in their patrol base in the green zone. But competitor he was, and his contribution to rugby or a mess challenge with his closest of friends will be very much missed.

Lieutenant Colonel James de Labillière

"His parting has come too soon, by far. Dan had so much to give, so much to look forward to and so many opportunities ahead of him. The Rifles has been denied one of our best, and a professional commander for the future has been taken from us.

"But our tragic loss is insignificant compared to that of his family; his mother, father, brother and Amy, all of whom he loved so much. And so to them we offer prayers and our thoughts, and our thanks too, for sharing with us someone so very special. Dan will never be forgotten and our memories of him will forever be cherished. Swift and Bold."

Major Bill Eden, Officer Commanding C Company, 1 RIFLES, said:

"Lieutenant Dan Clack was a terrific officer who commanded his platoon in the UK and Helmand skilfully, tenaciously and with a deep regard for each and every one of his Riflemen.

"Dan commanded 8 Platoon, C Company, based out of Checkpoint Shaparak in the village of Tasikan. The team worked tirelessly to improve the checkpoint's defences and their own ability to live and operate from it, deep in the highly populated village it protects. The platoon, and Dan in particular, established a deep rapport with the population, which continues to grow in recognition of the improvements made to the area.

"Whenever I visit Tasikan and the nearby villages the locals tell me with great gratitude and warm affection how hard Dan and his men work to protect them from the Taliban....

Go here, spend some time learning more about Lt. Clack; how he lived.

My heart goes out to all who know and love this Hero.

Rest in Peace, Sir.

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