LCDR Dan Cnossen
Lt. Cmdr. Dan Cnossen was serving as the platoon commander for SEAL Team One in Afghanistan in September 2009 when he stepped on an IED (improvised explosive device) and was wounded in the explosion. The accident caused Cnossen to lose both his legs just above the knee. He went through rehabilitation first at the Bethesda National Naval Medical Center and later at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he learned to walk with his new prosthetics. Cnossen was awarded both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with Valor from the Secretary of the Navy for his service in combat. He is the only double-amputee Navy SEAL in history. The United States Naval Academy graduate and Topeka, Kan., native found ways to be active again as soon as possible. Exactly one year from the date of his accident, Cnossen ran a mile with his prosthetics for the first time. Since then, he has gotten his 5-kilometer time down to under 18 minutes, completed the 2011 New York Marathon in 2:38 (handcycling 16 miles and running 10.2), and earned four Warrior Games medals. He also began cross-country skiing, something that he had never tried prior to his injury. Cnossen, who was an avid runner and triathlete during his college years, enjoyed the physical challenge of cross-country skiing and was a natural talent in the sport. In August 2011, Cnossen was transferred to Fort Carson in Colorado. There, he worked with the U.S. Army’s 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and began training exclusively in cross-country skiing and biathlon the U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing National Team.

Photo by: Caryn Maconi |  VIRIN: 140319-A-RQ616-002.JPG