Heath Robinson was born on June 5, 1977, in Detroit, Michigan. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on November 30, 2005, and went on active duty to begin basic training on January 24, 1996. After completing basic training at NTC Great Lakes, Illinois, in March 1996, he completed additional training at the Fleet Combat Training Center, Atlantic, at Dam Neck, Virginia, from March to July 1996. Petty Officer Robinson next attended Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training at NAB Coronado, California, from July 1996 to April 1997, but did not complete the course. He served with Amphibious Group ONE on Okinawa, from June 1997 to May 1999, and was then given a second chance at SEAL training from June 1999 to January 2000, and Jump School at Fort Benning, Georgia, during January 2000. Petty Officer Robinson served with SEAL Team THREE at NAB Coronado from March 2000 to April 2002, and then with SEAL Team SEVEN at NAB Coronado from April 2002 to April 2004. His final assignment was with Naval Special Warfare Development Group at Dam Neck, Virginia, from April 2004 until he was killed in action when the CH-47 Chinook helicopter he was aboard was shot down in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011. Senior Chief Robinson deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom multiple times. He also deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom multiple times. Heath Robinson was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
His 4th (of 5) Bronze Star Medal w/Valor Citation reads:
For heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy while serving as an Assault Team Member while assigned to a Joint Task Force in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM on 17 March 2010. Chief Robinson was part of a ground force element that executed a daring nighttime raid against a heavily armed Taliban commander. While attempting to engage a barricaded fighter hidden inside the target building, one of his teammates was struck and mortally wounded by enemy fire, causing the teammate to fall directly in front of the barricaded enemy position. With complete disregard for his own safety, Chief Robinson immediately leapt over a wall into the courtyard and maneuvered through the enemy fire, directly towards his fallen comrade. At point blank range, Chief Robinson held his ground as he engaged the enemy with fragmentation grenades and lifesaving covering fire enabling his teammates to move the mortally wounded assaulter to safety. Following the extraction of his mortally wounded teammate, Chief Robinson remained exposed inside the compound as he climbed back on top of the wall to provide overwatch for the assault force. His bravery, during intense combat operations, is an inspiration to all who serve with him. Chief Robinson’s bold leadership, undaunted courage, and total dedication to duty reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.