Staff Sgt. Michael H. Ollis (Army)
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A Fort Drum, N.Y., soldier was killed Wednesday when insurgents launched a complex attack on a NATO base in Ghazni province, Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. Michael H. Ollis, 24, of Staten Island, N.Y., died of wounds sustained in the attack, which wounded 10 Polish soldiers and dozens of Afghans. It was one in series of escalating attacks in recent months as the Taliban try to take advantage of the withdrawal of foreign troops.
Ollis was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light).
Afghan and coalition officials have warned that the Taliban would intensify the tempo of their attacks following the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan as they try to take advantage of the two or three months left of good weather before the harsh Afghan winter sets in. The traditional fighting season in Afghanistan lasts from March until the end of October.
A total of 35 people were killed and 73 wounded on Wednesday in four other attacks around the country, and in the base assault. One of the Polish soldiers was in serious condition, and the Ghazni hospital said 52 civilians and Afghan security force personnel were wounded, including 24 women and children. The Taliban fighters breached the perimeter, but 15 were killed in the failed attempt to overrun the base.
Ollis joined the Army in August 2006. He was previously deployed to Iraq from April 2008 to May 2009 and to Afghanistan from June 2010 to May 2011. Ollis most recently deployed with his unit in January.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, four Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, the Valorous Unit Award, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, two Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, two Afghanistan Campaign Medals, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, three Overseas Service Ribbons, the NATO Medal, the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge, the Driver and Mechanic Badge with Driver Wheeled Vehicles and Tracked Vehicles.
Ollis completed the Airborne School, the Ranger Course, the Infantry School, the Special Operations Senior Site Exploitation Course, the Air Assault School, the Combat Life Savers Course, the Command Language Program German Head Start Course and the Medium Tactical Vehicle Course.
—The Associated Press contributed to this report.