Staten Island native, Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis, posthumously honored by Assemblymember Cusick and Senator Lanza on behalf of New York State

Andrew J. Lanza

November 07, 2019

"On behalf of a grateful State, we join to bestow New York's highest honors posthumously upon SSG Michael Ollis" said Senator Lanza. "Staten Islander Michael Ollis valiantly and tragically made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our Nation in defense of freedom. Together with Assemblyman Mike Cusick and Governor Cuomo we honor his courage, bravery, and selflessness. With these medals, SSG Ollis' conspicuous service is hereby permanently memorialized in the annals of our great state. So too are we grateful to Michael's parents Linda and Bob who continue to inspire as pillars of strength and dignity."

Staten Island - This evening, Assemblymember Michael Cusick and Senator Andrew Lanza had the honor of posthumously awarding Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis, a brave son of Staten Island who made the ultimate sacrifice, with three of New York State’s highest commendations for a member of the United States Army who served in Afghanistan: the Conspicuous Service Star, the Medal of Merit, and the Conspicuous Service Cross. 

“Staff Sgt. Ollis’ bravery is worthy of our gratitude and eternal respect,” Assemblymember Cusick said. “It is important to me that all of New York recognize the sacrifice Staff Sgt. Ollis made on the battlefield in the defense of our liberties and of his fellow soldiers.” 

"On behalf of a grateful State, we join to bestow New York's highest honors posthumously upon SSG Michael Ollis" said Senator Lanza. "Staten Islander Michael Ollis valiantly and tragically made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our Nation in defense of freedom. Together with Assemblyman Mike Cusick and Governor Cuomo we honor his courage, bravery, and selflessness. With these medals, SSG Ollis' conspicuous service is hereby permanently memorialized in the annals of our great state. So too are we grateful to Michael's parents Linda and Bob who continue to inspire as pillars of strength and dignity."

“Staff Sgt. Ollis is the definition of a hero and represents the best our Island and country have to offer,” said Congressman Max Rose, an Army combat veteran. “It was an honor to join Assemblymember Cusick, State Senator Lanza, and the Ollis family to recognize the extraordinary actions of Staff Sgt. Ollis”

“It was a blessing to see Mike, Andy, and Max come together for my son, Michael. To have politicians from different parties come together to honor Michael is just what Staten Island needs to see,” said Bob Ollis. “It’s unfortunate that it’s the situation that it is and that Michael is gone from us, but Linda and I have been very grateful for all that’s been done in his honor.”

Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis was killed in action after putting himself between a wounded Polish Army officer and a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. While under enemy fire during an August 2013 attack on Forward Operating Base Ghazni, Staff Sgt. Ollis took charge of the situation, ordering soldiers nearby to take cover while he advanced on enemy positions. 

Staff Sgt. Ollis has already been recognized with the Distinguished Service Cross from the United States Government and today's awards from the State of New York, delivered by Cusick, Lanza, and Congressmember Max Rose, to his family ensure his legacy is appropriately remembered. 

In group Photo (from left to right): Congressmember Max Rose, Assemblymember Michael Cusick, Linda and Robert Ollis, parents of Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis, Senator Andrew Lanza, First Lt. Matthew Canavan, NYS Division of Military and Naval Affairs, and Mateusz Gmura, Vice Consul, Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York.