UCI News

UC Irvine News Brief: UCI graduate Ricardo Cerros killed on active duty in Afghanistan

The Ranger rifleman, who earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 2009, was on his first deployment.

October 20, 2011
UC Irvine News Brief: UCI graduate Ricardo Cerros killed on active duty in Afghanistan

U.S. Army Spc. Ricardo Cerros, 24, was killed Oct. 8 by enemy forces during a heavy firefight in Logar Province, Afghanistan. He was a 2009 UCI graduate with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He held a black belt in tae kwon do, was a member of the campus tae kwon do team, and worked for the UCI Police Department as a community service officer. Cerros was born Nov. 2, 1986, in Fort Ord, Calif. After graduating from Everett Alvarez High School in Salinas, Calif., and UCI, he enlisted in the Army in July 2010. He was on his first deployment to Afghanistan. Cerros was a Ranger rifleman assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. He was mortally wounded as he fought against enemy insurgents barricaded in a compound. His awards and decorations include the Parachutist Badge, the U.S. Army Expert Rifle Marksmanship Qualification Badge, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal. Cerros is survived by his father, Ricardo Cerros Sr., and stepmother, Deborah A. Cerros, of Salinas; and his mother, Maqueirte D. Cuevas of Gary, Ind. He is also survived by his brothers, Nicholas and Marko Cerros, and sister, Theresa Cerros, all of Salinas. A campus memorial service is being arranged.