Monday, November 2, 2009

Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid killed in Afghanistan

It is with great regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Staff Sergeant Olaf Sean George Schmid, of the Royal Logistic Corps, in Afghanistan on the afternoon of Saturday 31 October 2009.

SSgt Schmid died instantly following an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion in the Sangin region of Helmand Province.

At the time he was commanding an Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEDD) team who were dealing with a confirmed IED.

Working in concert with an Advanced Search team he was conducting a manual route search to clear devices in the vicinity of the Forward Operating Base and was defusing the device when it initiated.

Staff Sergeant Olaf Sean George Schmid

SSgt Schmid was born in Truro, Cornwall on 11 June 1979. He was married to Christina (Chrissy) and had a step-son Laird, aged five. They lived together as a family in Winchester.

An Ammunition Technician (AT) by trade, SSgt Schmid served much of his career at the Commando Logistic Regt and thrived in 3 Commando Brigade, the ethos there suiting his thirst for soldiering.

He sailed through the ranks and was selected for promotion to SSgt in April 2008. SSgt Schmid was posted to 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps as an AT Senior Non-Commissioned Officer at Alpha Troop providing close IEDD support to Special Forces and Police Tactical Firearms teams; an area in which he continued to thrive.

He had a natural aptitude for IEDD and made steady progress through the numerous courses that an AT has to go through to become a High Threat Operator. He successfully passed the High Threat IEDD Course earlier this year which qualified him to operate in Afghanistan which is considered very much the pinnacle of any AT's operational career.

SSgt Schmid arrived in theatre on Op HERRICK 10 in June 2009, thrown in the deep-end participating in Op PANCHAI PALANG during the summer. During the course of his tour, he attended 41 tasks, rendered safe 64 IEDs and attended 11 finds of bomb making equipment.

Christina Schmid, wife of Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid said:

"Oz was a phenomenal husband and loving father who was cruelly murdered on his last day of a relentless five month tour.

"He was my best friend and soul mate. The pain of losing him is overwhelming. I take comfort knowing he saved countless lives with his hard work. I am so proud of him."

Lieutenant Col Robert Thomson, Commanding Officer 2 RIFLES Battle Group said:

"SSgt Oz Schmid was simply the bravest and most courageous man I have ever met. Under relentless IED and small arms attacks he stood taller than the tallest. He opened the Pharmacy Road and 24 hrs later, found 31 IEDs in one go on route SPARTA. Every single Company in 2 RIFLES adored working with him.

"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. Superlatives do not do the man justice. Better than the best. Better than the best of the best. Our thoughts and prayers are with his beloved family."


  1. Alejandro Fierro Vidal.November 2, 2009 at 10:30 PM

    My most sincere sympathies to SSgt. Schmid´s family and friends. Even though I never met him, I was shocked by his valour and his amazing sense of duty on his very own last day on the field. A true hero.

  2. My son met SSgt. Schmid in Sangin and commented at how energetic and enthusiastic he was, helping to keep everyones morale high.
    Sometimes it does seem that the good die young. God bless and look after you and your family.

  3. I met SSgt Schmid many times while he was still a Sergeant posted to Stonehouse Barracks in Plymouth, he was a superb and lovely guy and I had many laughs with him, a true loss.

    I wish all the best in the world to his family in their time off loss, the man as his co put it, was indeed a "Legend".

  4. God Bless him for his sacrifice and to his family for their loss. RIP. Colleen Spoden (USA)

  5. As a former Marine and Viet Nam veteran, I have seen many men do brave things. From what I have read about this man, he is on a par with the best. I consider him a brother in arms. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

  6. England should be proud to have had such a brave man. Although I am an American I am filled with pride. May God comfort his family and keep him in eternal glory. Joe Little, USA

  7. Sincere condolences to this brave man's family. May the Lord bless and keep his widow and step-son and comfort them. Please keep our troops in prayer to include my son Nate in theatre. Mark T. (USA)

  8. These fallen men are the silent heroes of our world and it's sad that only when tradegy becomes them that we begin to hear of their immense bravery. I lost my brother in Afghanistan a couple of months ago trying to save an injured comrade and it hurts so much to hear of every new fallen hero in this conflict. We owe them so much. Rest In Peace Olaf.

  9. There are heroes who walk among us never looking for glory or praise They don't seek recognition for their thoughtful, caring ways. Living lives of deep commitment providing for those they hold dear Steadfast with a quiet strength through times of laughter and tears. You were the most selfless man by far. We from South africa like to Salute you for being the HERO that you were.

    RIP Staff Sergeant Olaf Sean George Schmidgh . May God comfort his family and keep him in eternal glory

  10. I am proud to have known him, everything that people have said is true, his presence really did light up the room and make the world a better place to be in. Although it looks a little darker now I am sure he would want us to find our inner light to assist us in coping with his passing and the passing of others. Appreciate life, for at least we are all still here to do so and remember those that have given the ultimate sacrafice so that we may do so. Have a little more patience, contact those you have lost touch with, spend time with your families and friends and worry a little less for this is the gift Olaf had and the gift he has left for us to hold dear. Rest in peace for you have done your part now and Cornwall and the World is proud. RIP

  11. Legend. Her Majesty's best. After a lot of hard work, he is finally resting. We salute you in America.

  12. Another fallen hero that we will weep for, and pray for his widow and family.
    Thank you, Oz Schmid, for your service to your country. We salute your devotion with pride and sadness.
    We may be far away, in Colorado, USA, but you are as much in our thoughts as those in Cornwall, Hampshire, and in Afghanistan!
    Alastair and Helga