Former U.S. Army infantryman Dalton J. Medlin was reportedly killed on Sept. 27 during a reconnaissance mission while serving as a volunteer fighter in Ukraine.
Though Medlin’s death has yet to be confirmed by the U.S. State Department, fellow Army veteran Ryan O’Leary, who served alongside Medlin in Ukraine as part of the all-volunteer “Chosen Company,” announced the death of his friend. Task and Purpose was first to report Medlin’s death.
Medlin, who used the call sign “Gimli,” first joined Chosen Company at the beginning of the year, O’Leary wrote.
“He was brave, fearless, dedicated, and always placed his brothers first,” he said. “He excelled as a grenadier and at soldiering in general. He stayed Laser focused both in and out of combat. ... His smile was contagious.”
At the time of publication, O’Leary was not available to comment further on the circumstances of Medlin’s death or the mission undertaken by Chosen Company, a unit made up of English-speaking veteran volunteers who serve alongside Ukrainian troops with the 59th Mechanized Brigade.
A State Department official told Military Times that while the department will not yet confirm Medlin was killed in action, officials are apprised of current reports out of Ukraine.
“We are aware of unconfirmed reports of the death of a U.S. citizen in Donetsk and we are continuing to seek additional information,” a department spokesperson said. “Our ability to verify reports of deaths of U.S. citizens in Ukraine is limited. In addition, not all U.S. citizen deaths may be reported to U.S. authorities.”
Current casualty numbers for Americans fighting in Ukraine also remain unclear.
“We do not have a number to offer,” the spokesperson added. “U.S. citizens are not required to register their travel to a foreign country with us, and we cannot track how many U.S. citizens have gone to a specific country.”
Medlin, who served in the Army between 2017 and 2021, was the recipient of the Army Commendation Medal, three Army Achievement Medals, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, a Korean Defense Service Medal, and an Army Service Ribbon, according to Army spokesman Bryce Dubee.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.