Cryptologic Technician Technical Chief (CTTC) Christian M. Pike was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1981, thousands of miles from American shores, but he discovered at an early age he was part of a family that had a distinguished legacy of service within the United States military. His maternal grandfather had served in the Navy in World War II. His uncle, who became a major influence in his life, retired as a colonel in the Green Berets. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, his mother Diana spent over a decade in the U.S. Army's cryptologic service.
As a student at Peoria High School, Christian pursued a variety of hobbies and interests to include cars and ceramics. He graduated in 2000 and went delayed entry into the United States Navy in 2001. In 2011 he reported to Naval Special Warfare Support Activity ONE in Coronado, California, from which he deployed in March 2012 to Afghanistan assigned Seal Team FIVE, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. As a highly trained specialist, Chief Pike's job was to use a wide range of finely honed cryptologic skills and talents to gain critical intelligence on real time enemy movements and actions. On March 10, 2013, Chief Pike and his unit found themselves in a fierce battle with a large number of insurgents. Before making contact with the enemy, Christian had been able to provide advance warning of their approach. Despite this knowledge, the group was badly outnumbered, and during the ensuing fighting Christian was seriously wounded and died days later.
Chief Petty Officer Christian Pike remained true to his family's legacy of service and sacrifice. His devotion to his fellow service members and to the finest traditions of the United States Navy never faltered. His was a life exemplified by honor, devotion to duty, and the unbridled joy and happiness that he brought to his family and friends. At a memorial service, his mother Diana noted with great pride that her son had "led a life he chose. He was so happy. And happiness is all any mother would want for her children. He loved his job, he loved the Navy, and he loved his teammates.” Chief Pike was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with Valor.