Andrew Triplett was born on June 20, 1969 in Macon, Mississippi, to Ree and Savannah Triplett.
He graduated from Noxubee County High School in Macon, Mississippi, in 1987, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on June 2, 1987.
After completing Basic Training in Great Lakes, Illinois, on Aug. 1, 1987, Triplett attended Basic Training and Engineman "A" School, also in Great Lakes. Upon completion of training, he reported to USS Sphinx (ARL 24), homeported in Rodman, Panama, on Dec. 28, 1987. While on board Sphinx, he was advanced to Engineman 2nd Class.
On July 6, 1991, Triplett reported to Ship’s Intermediate Maintenance Activity, Naval Station New York, New York, for duty as the leading petty officer of the air conditioning and refrigeration shop. While there, he was advanced to Engineman 1st Class. He was a student at the Center for Surface Combat Systems in San Diego, California, before reporting to USS Ticonderoga (CG 47), homeported in Norfolk, Virginia, on July 29, 1994. On Jan. 20, 1998, he reported to USS Halyburton (FFG 40).
Chief Petty Officer Triplett was commissioned as an ensign on April 1, 1999 under the Limited Duty Officer Program, and he reported to USS Cole (DDG 67) on May 17, 1999 as the main propulsion assistant.
Triplett 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.
Ensign Triplett was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, and the rank of lieutenant junior grade. His held the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards), a previous award of the Navy Unit Commendation, Navy “E” Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal (two awards), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and NATO Medal.
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.