Senior Chief Ratzlaff, 34, was a native of Green Forest, Arkansas. He enlisted in the United States Navy in May, 1995.
He graduated from Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois in August, 1995. Senior Chief Ratzlaff completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL School, Coronado California in December, 1998. He served in two East Coast based Special Warfare Units from July, 2006 to August, 2011.
Senior Chief Ratzlaff’s awards include the Bronze Star Medal with Combat ‘V’ (4), Joint Service Commendation Medal (2), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2), Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation (3), Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy Good Conduct Medal (5), National Defense Service Medal (2), Kosovo Campaign Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (8), NATO Medal, Navy Expert Rifleman Medal, Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal. He was also qualified as an Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist.