Story by Lt. Teresa Meadows
Stennis Space Center, Miss. – [Nov. 21] – Navy SEALs from the Special Operations Tactical Medic (SOT-M) course dedicated their quarterdeck to the memory of Special Warfare Operator First Class (SEAL) Kevin R. Ebbert, Nov. 17, during a special ceremony here. His fellow SEALs honored SO1 Ebbert’s extraordinary service and heroism as a SEAL and medic, particularly his final act of valor that earned him a posthumous Bronze Star.
The SOT-M course, a key component of the Naval Special Warfare Command, trains elite medics for special operations missions. Emphasizing medical and tactical proficiency, the course prepares operators for demanding environments worldwide.
SO1 Ebbert’s distinguished service in the Naval Special Warfare community was marked by exemplary courage and commitment. Born on January 23, 1980, in Azusa, California, and a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz, Ebbert enlisted in the Navy in 2006. He swiftly rose through the ranks, exhibiting exceptional skill and dedication. His journey from musician to a decorated SEAL is a story of remarkable transformation and dedication.
Following SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) graduation, Ebbert received orders to the Joint Special Operations Medical Training Command (JSOMTC)/Navy Special Operations Medical Institute at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he completed the year-long Special Operations Combat Medic and Special Operations Independent Duty Corpsman (SOIDC) course, graduating in May of 2009.
During his service, SO1 Ebbert was a member of SEAL Team Four (ST-4) and participated in numerous critical operations. His final deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM exemplified his bravery and tactical expertise.
The ceremony highlighted SO1 Ebbert’s heroic actions during this deployment, as detailed in his Bronze Star citation. On November 24, 2012, while leading a support element team during a foot patrol with combined Special Operations Kandak and U.S. Special Operations Forces, SO1 Ebbert’s team was ambushed. Despite being mortally wounded, he skillfully directed his team to safety, coordinated suppressive fire, and passed critical information to airborne assets. His selfless actions under fire saved lives and prevented further casualties, reflecting the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
Commander Ryan Hall, undersea liaison to Special Operations Command, who served as SO1 Ebbert’s platoon commander, stated, “It is tragic, but it is utterly remarkable. Extraordinary. And now it is incumbent on we the living – those who have the privilege to not only caretake but also shepherd the ethos and the culture of our force – to memorialize him and to remember him, both out of duty and for inspiration.”
The quarterdeck dedication was attended by members of SEAL Team Four, Naval Special Warfare Center, Special Boat Team 22, Advance Training Command, Special Operations Tactical Medic, and Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School, family, and friends.
Commander Jay Sondhi, commanding officer of Advance Training Command said, “This dedication is an acknowledgement of all the hard work that it took to get to the completion of an important project. Building 2105, the new SOT-M schoolhouse, has been in the works for a while and I can think of no better way to mark its official completion than making the quarterdeck an everlasting memorial to the duty and sacrifice that NSW’s medics are committed to upholding for their brothers in arms.”
SO1 Ebbert is survived by his mother Charlie, sisters Samantha and Amy, and widow Ursula. Charlie reflected upon how the quarterdeck dedication to her son was an honor and appropriate to his character. “To be honored and loved by your peers. To be recognized by your work, your actions, your character. What could be a higher recognition? And who better to hold up as an example for this program? You want the guy who the teammates asked to be on the mission in case they get hurt. I know Kevin would feel honored that this program would become his legacy in the Teams.”
SO1 Ebbert’s decorations include two Bronze Stars (with Combat Distinguishing device), Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal (2), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (2), NATO Medal, Expert Rifle Marksmanship Medal, and Expert Pistol Marksmanship Medal.