Marc Ian Nieto was born on July 25, 1976, in Champaign, Illinois, to Jesse Nieto and Sharon Priepke.
He graduated from an alternative program run by Fond du Lac Goodrich High School one year ahead of his class and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Dec. 7, 1994.
After completing Basic Training in Great Lakes, Illinois, on Feb. 23, 1995, Nieto was a student at Surface Warfare Enlisted Schools Command, also at Great Lakes, completing training on July 5, 1995. He completed precommissioning training in San Diego, California, on Nov. 22, 1995, and reported to USS Cole’s (DDG 67) precommissioning unit four days later.
Nieto was killed in the line of duty when a terrorist bomb was detonated along the port side of the ship while it was refueling in Aden, Yemen, on Oct. 12, 2000.
Engineman 2nd Class (Surface Warfare Specialist) Nieto was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, and Navy Unit Commendation. He held numerous awards, including the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, letters of commendation, letters of appreciation, designation as an Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist, and Junior “Determined Warrior” of the Quarter from October to December 1998.
Sources: USS Cole (DDG 67) Med Cruise 2000 (Aug. 8–Nov. 3, 2000) Cruise Book in the collection of the Naval History and Heritage Command’s Navy Department Library. Awards and citations are sourced from the service member’s official military personnel file and listed in the Navy Department Awards Web Service site and may not be complete.