Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid, known as Oz Schmid, was a British bomb expert. He was killed in an IED explosion as he attempted to defuse the device in the town of Sangin, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Sgt. Schmid, 30, died instantly, according to reports. He was on his last day of duty before leaving for a two-week R&R with his wife, Christina and 5-year-old step-son Laird. Schmid is a legend among IED experts and was recently promoted to a “high threat operator.”
War correspondent Michael Yon:
British soldiers at war are an incredible group. Courageous, competent, and committed in very difficult condition. An email came today from London, from a BBC correspondent who has been to Afghanistan saying that Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid had been killed.
Be sure to click the link above and read Michael Yon’s piece and see his incredible photos of Oz Schmid.
The staff sergeant joined the Army in 1996 arrived in Afghanistan in June 2009 with the 2 Rifles Battle Group. His commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Thomson said:
[he was] simply
the bravest and most courageous man I have ever met”. He said: “Under
relentless IED and small arms attacks he stood taller than the tallest. I
adored working with him. No matter how difficult or lethal the task which
lay in front of us, he was the man who only saw solutions. He saved lives in
2 Rifles time after time and for that he will retain a very special place in
every heart of every Rifleman in our extraordinary battle group.”
Colonel Thomson added: “Superlatives do not do the man justice. Better than
the best. Better than the best of the best.”
Lieutenant-Colonel Gareth Bex, commanding officer of the Counter-IED Task Force of the Royal Logistic Corps said Oz was “a brilliant operator…we loved him like a brother.”
God bless these brave men and their families.