“Forever Loved, Never Forgotten”

The Navy Gold Star Program is eternally grateful for the sacrifice of those Service Members who have died in service to our country. To help us to never forget, we have set up this tribute page to honor and remember the memory of those lives. If you would like to honor the memory of your Sailor, Soldier, Marine, Airman or Coast Guardsman through the Navy Gold Star website please submit your thoughts and a photo.

Veteran of:U. S. Navy 1998-2008War on Terrorism 2001-2008Kosovo 2001-2002Afghanistan 2001-2008 (Multiple Deployments)Iraq 2003-2008 (Multiple Deployments, KIA)Michael completed basic training at NTC Great Lakes, Illinois in September 1998 and then completed Operations Specialist Training at Fleet Combat Training Center, Atlanta, at Dam Neck, Virginia from September to December 1998. He attended Basic Underwater Demolition/Seal training at NAB Coronado California from January to August 1999, followed by Basic Airborne training at Fort Benning Georgia in September and October 1999. His first assignment was with Seal Team Eight at NAB Little Creek, Virginia from October 1999 to October 2001, and then the Naval Special Warfare Unit Two and Ten from 2001 through 2004, followed by service with Navel Special Warfare Development Group at Dam Neck, VA from April 2004 until he was killed in action in Iraq on February 4, 2008. On February 4, 2008, the U.S. Navy Seals decided to pay a particular group of terrorists a house call. The area was under heavy fire from both sides. Small mini bombs were dropped to limit destruction and minimize collateral damage. The building the terrorist were in was slightly damaged and helicopters hovered and spun covering the area as the assault team prepared to make entry. Automatic weapons fire was heard from all directions. A canine, trained to detect humans in hiding was sent inside. He showed a negative response. Intelligence indicated there were still suspects inside and the canine was dispatched again. The explosions mixed with the swirling air from the rotor blades never allowed for the air to settle and once more he returned with a negative response. Entry was made to clear the building. The first man through the door was killed with a precision shot to the head by a terrorist in hiding. The constant air movement and heavy odors from explosions had been too much for the dog’s sensitive scent. The second man through the door was shot twice and died quickly from his wounds. The assault team fought their way in and recovered their brothers, stepped back and called in a round of precision bombing. Within minutes the building was leveled, no survivors, no prisoners. The first man through the door was Michael Koch the second was his partner and friend Nate Hardy. They were Seals, part of a very special brotherhood. They were men with families, brothers and sisters, Fathers and …Mothers. Michael earned various Medals throughout his career to include two Bronze Star Medals w/Valor. Michael was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.