Capt. Michael Y. Tarlavsky
Captain (Infantry) Michael Yury Tarlavsky, United States Army, was awarded the Silver Star (Posthumously) for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving with the 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 12 August 2004, in Iraq. Captain Tarlavsky distinguished himself when his unit came under small arms fire and grenade attack in Najaf, Iraq. His gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Hometown: Passaic, New Jersey, U.S.
Age: 30 years old
Died: August 12, 2004 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Unit: Army, 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, Fort Campbell, KY.
Birth: May 10, 1974, Latvia
Death: Aug. 12, 2004, Iraq
Capt. Michael Yury Tarlavsky, 30, of Passaic, New Jersey died in Najaf, Iraq, when his unit came under small arms fire and grenade attack. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Michael was born in the Republic of Latvia, a part of the former Soviet Union. His family moved to the United States in 1979 when he was 5, settling first in New Orleans. They moved to Clifton in 1986.
He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
Arlington National Cemetery
Plot: Sec 60 Site 7996
CLIFTON, N.J. — Family members remembered a Clifton man killed in Iraq as a natural athlete who dreamed as a youngster of becoming a soldier.
Michael Tarlavsky, 30, was killed Thursday during a raid in the holy city of Najaf, according to a published report and the Department of Defense. He was a captain with the 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, based in Fort Campbell, Ky. A memorial service in his honor will be held next week at Fort Campbell.
Tarlavsky was married in 2002 and had a 10-month-old son, his family told the Herald News of West Paterson, N.J. for Saturday’s editions. His wife, Tricia, and their son, Joseph Michael, live Clarksville, Tenn. He served as a detachment commander with the 5th Special Forces Group and deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq.
Elina Tarlavsky said her brother had always wanted to be a soldier and was upset when he was unable to participate in the Gulf War because he was a year too young to enlist. He enlisted in 1996 and completed Special Forces qualifying in 2001. He attended Rutgers University on an ROTC scholarship and was later assigned to Korea’s demilitarized zone, where among other duties he provided security for Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders. “He bragged most about that,” Elina Tarlavsky said, referring to the latter assignment.
Tarlavsky’s family emigrated from Latvia when Michael was 5 and settled in New Orleans, then moved to Clifton in 1986. At Clifton High School, he was an Eagle Scout and captain of the school swim team. mAthletics seemed to come naturally to her brother, Elina Tarlavsky said, noting that he never specifically trained to run marathons yet ran in nine of them.
Tarlavsky’s father, Yury, remembered talking to his son about the world becoming more dangerous for soldiers after Sept. 11, 2001. “I told him, it’s very difficult for a father to bury his son,” Yury Tarlavsky said Friday. “I probably didn’t give him too much love. I was all the time on the job, fixing my house. I cannot ask him forgiveness for this.”
Clifton Mayor James Anzaldi said Tarlavsky is the first Clifton resident to die in combat since the Vietnam War. “This is a Clifton kid, he went to Clifton schools. It’s just a very sad thing. Our hearts go out to the family,” Anzaldi said.
Capt. Michael Yury Tarlavsky, 30, was a Special Forces officer assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Ky.
Tarlavsky, a native of New Jersey, was born on May 5th, 1974.
He was fatally wounded in action on Aug. 12, 2004 in Najaf, Iraq when his unit came under small arms fire and grenade attack.
He entered the Army in July of 1996 as an infantry officer and completed the Special Forces Qualifications Course at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, Fort Bragg, N.C., in 2001. He then moved to his first assignment as a detachment commander in Company C, 1st Battalion, 5th SFG. He has deployed in support of the Global War on Terrorism to both Afghanistan and Iraq.
His awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medals, Army Achievement Medals, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, National Defense Service Medals, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Ribbon. He also earned the Air Assault and Parachutist Badges, as well as the Ranger Tab.