Master Sergeant Aaron Torian, a Marine Special Operator from 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion in Camp Lejeune, NC, died from wounds sustained while conducting operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on 15 February 2014.

Although I personally never had the opportunity to work with him, his reputation was well-known throughout the Marine Special Operations and Reconnaissance communities. This was his sixth combat deployment and, according to one of his teammates, “He was the hardest working guy on the team…he was up first and went to sleep last, always.”

His work ethic was recognized when he was the Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year for Second Marine Division in 2005, shortly after he distinguished himself during combat in Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004. Aaron was also one of the first MARSOC Operators to complete the Army SF 18C course, and he often applied his limitless energy to take care of his team in this regard.

No matter what, he always put the team first, and displayed humility and selflessness while setting the example for others to follow.