Army Ranger, Green Beret, and now recently released, a member of the CIAs paramilitary force sent into Afghanistan in the weeks right after the 9/11 attacks.

SFC Nate Chapman was the first U.S. service member killed in action in Afghanistan on January 4th, 2002. I still remember seeing him featured on national news channels at a time when Americans were “itching” for information on our retaliation against the Taliban and al-Qaeda. But being the special operations heavy war that it was in the first months, information was scarce. For a few weeks, Nate’s, was a household name. His funeral was televised live but the circumstances surrounding his death were still kept pretty vague. But in the coming months Operation Anaconda became at the center of the conflict and Nate was now just one of many special operations soldiers to lose their lives.

His story was already an amazing one. He joined the Army in 1988 immediately volunteering for assessment into the 75th Ranger Regiment. With the 2nd Ranger Battalion he took part in the invasion of Panama, he would later deploy to Saudi Arabia in Desert Storm, and as a newly minted Green Beret he would deploy to Haiti as part of Operation Uphold Democracy.

In early October 2001 as the CIA was preparing to infiltrate Afghanistan well ahead of the U.S. military, they called upon volunteers from the 1st Special Forces Group to augment the agency’s “Team Hotel”. Out of 1,300 Special Forces soldiers, Nate and two others were selected to join a team of three CIA officers.

Read more about Nate’s background, his and “Team Hotel’s” mission in Afghanistan, and what went wrong.