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SPC Ricardo Cerros Jr.
from Salinas, California


SPC Cerros served with: B_Co 2_75_Ranger_Bn


Born in 1986, Ranger Cerros was 24 years old at the time of his death in 2011.


Complete biography is below the photo gallery

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SPC Ricardo Cerros Jr.'s Biography

His battalion commander, Lt. Col. David Hodne, says “Cerros was incredibly talented and a well-respected member of this battalion.” He was mortally wounded by small arms fire when his unit attacked insurgents barricaded in a compound in Afghanistan's Logar province.


Spc. Ricardo Cerros Jr., 24, was killed by enemy forces during a heavy firefight while conducting combat operations in Logar Province, Afghanistan.

He was mortally wounded as he fought against enemy insurgents barricaded in a compound.

Cerros was a Ranger rifleman assigned to B Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. He was on his first deployment to Afghanistan in support of the War on Terror.

Cerros was born Nov. 2, 1986 in Fort Ord, Calif. After graduating from Everett Alarez High School and the University of California, Irvine, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in July 2010 in Los Angeles.
Cerros completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Ga., as an infantryman. After graduating from the Basic Airborne Course, he was assigned to the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program at Fort Benning.

Following graduation from the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, Cerros was assigned to B Co., 2nd Bn., 75th Ranger Reg. in March 2011, where he served as a Ranger rifleman.
His military education includes the Basic Airborne Course and Ranger Assessment and Selection Program.

His awards and decorations include the Parachutist Badge and the U.S. Army Expert Rifle Marksmanship Qualification Badge, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and Army Service Ribbon. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendations Medal, and the Joint Service Achievement Medal.

Cerros is survived by his father Ricardo Cerros Sr. and stepmother Deborah A. Cerros of Salinas, Calif. and his mother Maqueirte D. Cuevas of Gary, Ind. He is also survived by his brothers Nicholas and Marko Cerros, and sister Theresa Cerros, all of Salinas.

As a Ranger, Cerros selflessly lived his life for others and distinguished himself as a member of the Army’s premier direct action raid force. Cerros fought valiantly as he served his fellow Rangers and our great Nation.


Army Spc. Ricardo Cerros Jr.
Died October 8, 2011 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
24, of Salinas, Calif.; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; died Oct. 8 in Mohammed Agha, Logar province, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by small-arms fire.

Soldier from Salinas killed in Afghanistan

The Associated Press

SALINAS, Calif. - The Defense Department says a 24-year-old soldier from Salinas was killed in a firefight in Afghanistan.

Pentagon officials say Army Spc. Ricardo Cerros Jr. was mortally wounded by small arms fire Saturday when his unit attacked insurgents barricaded in a compound in Afghanistan's Logar province.

The Army Ranger was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

The Monterey County Herald reports that Cerros graduated from Everett Alvarez High School in Salinas and University of California, Irvine before enlisting in the Army in July 2010.

His battalion commander, Lt. Col. David Hodne, says “Cerros was incredibly talented and a well-respected member of this battalion.”

Cerros is survived by his father, mother, stepmother, brother, sister and stepbrother.

Soldier's funeral to be held in Indiana hometown

The Associated Press

GARY, Ind. - The body of an Army Ranger killed in Afghanistan has been returned to his childhood home of Gary for his funeral.

Police cars and fire trucks and about 60 motorcyclists escorted the hearse bearing U.S. Army Spc. Ricardo Cerros from Gary/Chicago International Airport to a funeral home in Gary on Monday. The Times of Munster and the Post-Tribune of Merrillville report the 24-year-old from Salinas, Calif., lived in Gary until he was 5, and his mother still lives there.

Cerros died Oct. 8 in a firefight in Logar Province in Afghanistan. Cerros was a rifleman assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

Visitation will be Tuesday at Ridgelawn Funeral Home. Funeral services will be Wednesday at Cathedral of Holy Angels in Gary.
Soldier buried with honors at Michigan cemetery

The Associated Press

VICKSBURG, Mich. — The body of a 25-year-old soldier killed in Afghanistan has been escorted through the streets of a southwestern Michigan city.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that people lined the streets of Vicksburg, about 60 miles south of Grand Rapids, with U.S. flags Oct. 20 in honor of Army Captain Drew Russell.

About 500 people later gathered at St. Martin of Tours church where services were held. Russell of Scotts was buried with full military honors at the Vicksburg Cemetery.

He died Oct. 8 with Capt. Joshua Lawrence of Nashville, Tenn., during an attack on their unit in Kandahar province.

The Rev. Chris Ankley said Thursday that Russell was "the kind of man we want to defend our country."

Gov. Rick Snyder ordered flags lowered Thursday.


Ricardo Cerros Jr. dies at 24; Army specialist from Salinas
Ricardo Cerros Jr. was killed during a firefight when his unit was attacked with small-arms fire in central Afghanistan's Logar province, south of Kabul.
November 27, 2011|By Raja Abdulrahim, Los Angeles Times

As students at UC Irvine, Ricardo Cerros Jr. and his buddy Mike Clark often made plans to train together for the university's taekwondo team. When they did, Clark would sometimes show up early at the gym, hoping for a head start.

But there would be Cerros, already an hour or more into the workout. Often, Clark would find Cerros on the treadmill in several layers of clothing, including a sauna suit, to make his workout more challenging.

"He would train harder than everyone," Clark said. "He kind of had that approach with anything work-related."

When Cerros enrolled at UC Irvine in 2005, he planned to enlist in the military immediately after graduation. But rather than choose an easy major and coast through his classes, he studied chemistry and took 22 credits some semesters, Clark said.

"He had such a strong work ethic," he said.

After graduating in 2009, Cerros joined the Army and was a specialist assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

On Oct. 8, he was killed during a firefight after his unit was attacked with small-arms fire in central Afghanistan's Logar province, south of Kabul. He was 24.

Cerros, who grew up in Salinas, southeast of Santa Cruz, had planned to join the military since he was a child, said his father, Ricardo Sr., who served in the Army himself. Another son is in the Air Force, stationed in Britain.

In high school, Cerros served for four years in the Navy's Junior ROTC program and wanted to enlist after graduation but his father and stepmother convinced him to get a college degree first.

"I was hoping the war would be over by then," his father said.

During ROTC in high school, Cerros was sometimes teased because he took it so seriously, Clark said.

In college, Cerros joined the campus' taekwondo club and then helped found UCI's team, which competed in league competitions. He was the first team member to become a black belt, said Clark, who is now the team's coach.

The scheduled twice-a-week training wasn't enough for Cerros, who often could be found in the gym every day. "He was just a ball of energy," his friend said.

He said Cerros was a hard worker and strove not to beat other people but to reach his maximum potential. Because of his ability to motivate others, the team began giving out the Rick Cerros award after he graduated.

Clark, who at 6-feet-4 was nine inches taller than Cerros, remembers that he was nervous when he first met Cerros because of his intensity. But then he quickly realized he could benefit from training with him.

"When I saw him I said, 'Oh my God, I want to work with this guy,' " his friend said. "Everyone around him wanted to work harder too."

At home, Cerros also tried to take on something of a leadership role, family members said.

Cerros and his stepmother, Debra, were very close, "as if I had him myself," she said. Any time she was worried or stressed out, he would put her at ease by saying, "No worries, Mama, no worries, I got this."

"I can handle this," he would say, whether it was about helping with family expenses or comforting his family about his deployment.

During their final conversation about two weeks before he was killed, he sought to calm his stepmother's concerns, she recalled.

"No worries, Mama," he told her.





# Zachary burke 2016-11-26 23:06
He was my best friend and also won the silver star. He was a great man and I was lucky to know him
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# Ken Hernandez 2017-06-06 15:46
Hello Zach, first and foremost I am deeply sorry for the loss of your brother. I would like to pay tribute to this mans life with a documentary about his story. If you can assist me in anyway to get in contact with his family that would be awesome. I too was in Ranger Batt, in 1B to be exact. I am also from Salinas California, small world.
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