14 Feb One soldier killed in Afghanistan insider attack from Jacksonville NC
The Pentagon revealed that one of two American soldiers killed during an attack in Afghanistan on Saturday, February 8, was a native of Jacksonville, NC.
According to CBS17.com, 28-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Javier Jaguar Gutierrez suffered fatal wounds in the Nangarhar Province in Afghanistan as he engaged in combat operations. United States officials reported that an Afghan wearing the Afghan Army uniform opened fire in that eastern Afghanistan province.
Ajmal Omer, who serves with the Nangarhar Provincial Council, told the Associated Press that the gunman was killed. However, he was not able to clarify as to whether the gunman was a rogue member of Afghan military personnel or an insurgent infiltrator.
Sgt. 1st Class Gutierrez was born in Jacksonville August 12, 1991. He enlisted in the Army in 2009 and served as an infantryman stationed at Fort Bragg. He participated in Fort Bragg’s Special Forces Assessment and Selection in 2012. His participation resulted in his selection to attend the Special Forces Qualification Course. Then, in 2015, Gutierrez graduated as a Special Forces Communication Sergeant and was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), located at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
Gutierrez was deployed twice. Those deployments included one to Iraq – an assignment with the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. His deployment to Afghanistan was part of his assignment to 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne).
He leaves behind his wife and four children. A fellow military spouse of Gabriela Gutierrez has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help the family.
He was a decorated serviceman.
Colonel John W. Sannes, 7th Special Forces Group Commander, spoke with admiration about Gutierrez.
“Sgt. 1st Class Gutierrez was a warrior that exemplified selfless service and commitment to the mission, both values that we embody here in the 7th Special Forces Group. Our priority now is to take care of his family and teammates; we will provide the best possible care during these trying times.”
Gutierrez earned several medals and honors during his military service. Those include:
- Army Commendation Medal
- Army Achievement Medal
- National Defense Service Medal
- Non-commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon
- Expert Infantry and Parachutist Badges
- Special Forces Tab
Additionally, the Army awarded Gutierrez the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart posthumously.
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