KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – A Soldier from Fort Stewart was killed Friday when his patrol came under fire from insurgents in Afghanistan. Staff Sgt. Christopher M. Rudzinski, was a military police officer with the 293rd Military Police Company, 97th MP Battalion.
Staff Sgt. Rudzinki’s convoy came under attack from armed insurgents utilizing small-arms fire, rocket propelled grenades and improvised explosive devices. Two of the nine wounded Soldiers were medically evacuated to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, and are listed in stable condition. The remaining seven Soldiers were treated at nearby medical facilities and returned to duty.
Staff Sgt. Rudzinski joined the Army in July 1999, enlisting as an Armor Crewman. He deployed in 1999, to Kosovo with the 1st Armored Division, and again in 2003, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In August 2004, Staff Sgt. Rudzinski reclassified as a military police officer, and deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in January 2006. There, he led a team of MPs that mentored, and trained the Iraqi Police.
In March 2009, Staff Sgt. Rudzinski was assigned to the 293rd MP Co., and deployed with that unit July 2009, conducting a combat advisory mission in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.
“Sgt. Rudzinski was a great noncommissioned officer, husband, father, and friend; he will be greatly missed by all who knew him,” said Capt. Michael Thurman, commander of the 293rd MP Co.
Staff Sgt. Rudzinski’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters, the Army Good Conduct Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters, the National Defense Service Medal, the Kosovo Campaign Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the Driver’s Badge, and the German Schutzenschneur Badge in Gold.
Staff Sgt. Rudzinski is survived by his wife, Caroline, his son, Ryan, and his father, Michael.
A Memorial in Staff Sgt. Rudzinski’s honor will be held in Afghanistan. Plans for a memorial at Fort Stewart have not yet been released.