Four U.S. Soldiers were killed while conducting operations in the country of Niger in West Africa, Oct. 4.
Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, 35, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, 39, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, 29, and Sgt. La David Johnson, 25, died from wounds sustained during enemy contact. All four Soldiers were assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) on Fort Bragg.
The incident is currently under investigation.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with this Soldier’s Family as we mourn the loss of this dedicated Green Beret. Staff Sgt. Black is loved by so many in our Battalion, and his life was spent in service to his Family, his friends, his team and his country,” said Lt. Col. David Painter, commander, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne).
Black, a native of Puyallup, Washington, enlisted in the Army in October 2009. His awards and decorations include the Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge and Marksmanship Qualification Badge — Sharpshooter with Rifle. Black served as an SF medical sergeant.
J. Johnson, a native of Springboro, Ohio, enlisted in the Army in October 2007. His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal (2nd Award), Army Achievement Medal (5th Award), Army Good Conduct Medal (3rd Award), National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Ribbon, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Driver and Mechanic Badge and Marksmanship Qualification Badge — Expert with Pistol and Rifle. He served as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear specialist.
“Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson was an exceptional Soldier in all regards. We, as a nation, are fortunate to have men like Jeremiah,” said Lt. Col. Megan Brogden, commander of Group Support Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne). “He not only represented what we should all aspire to be, but he lived it. His loss is a great blow and he will be missed and mourned by this unit.”
Wright, a native of Lyons, Georgia, enlisted in the Army in July 2012. His awards and decorations include the Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Special Forces Tab and Parachutist Badge. Staff Sgt. Wright served as an SF engineer sergeant.
“Staff Sgt. Wright was an exceptional Green Beret, a cherished teammate and devoted Soldier. Dustin’s service to 3rd Special Forces Group speaks to his level of dedication, courage and commitment to something greater than himself,” Painter said. “We are focused on caring for the Wright Family during this difficult period.”
La David Johnson, a native of Miami Gardens, Florida, enlisted in the Army in January 2014 as a wheeled vehicle mechanic.
“The Bush Hog formation was made better because of Johnson’s faithful service and we are focused on caring for the Johnson Family during this difficult period,” Painter said.
His awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Army Parachutist Badge, the Army Air Assault Badge, the Driver and Mechanic Badge and the Marksmanship Qualification Badge — Sharpshooter with Rifle.