On Saturday, a Special Forces team was ambushed in Afghanistan by a rogue Afghan policeman. Two American commandos were killed and six wounded. The Department of Defence (DoD) has released the names of the fallen.
Sergeant 1st Class Javier Jaguar Gutierrez of San Antonio, Texas and Sergeant 1st Class Antonio Rey Rodriguez of Las Cruces, New Mexico, were killed during the incident (the fallen Soldiers were posthumously promoted). They were assigned to Operational Detachment Alpha 7313, A Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (A/3/7).
According to the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), Sgt. Gutierrez enlisted in the Army in 2009 as an infantryman (11B). In 2012, he successfully completed the three-week Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS). He graduated from the follow-on Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) in 2015 as a communications sergeant (18E). This was his third combat deployment (he had two combat rotations to Afghanistan and one to Iraq).
Sgt. Gutierrez was the senior communications sergeant of ODA 7313.
In a statement, Colonel John W. Sannes, the commanding officer of 7th Special Forces Group said that “Sgt. 1st Class Gutierrez was a warrior that exemplified selfless service and a commitment to the mission, both values that we embody here in the 7th Special Forces Group.”
Sgt. 1st Class Gutierrez.
Sgt. Rodriguez was a Special Operation Team-Alpha (SOT-A) soldier. He enlisted in the Army in 2009. He attempted and successfully completed the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program 1 (RASP) and was assigned to the 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. In 2018, he reclassified and became a Cryptologic Linguist (Spanish) and went on to support 7th SFG. He had completed 10 combat deployments.
“Sgt. 1st Class Rodriguez was selfless and served honorably; he was certainly among the best in our unit,” said Col. Sannes. “Here at the Red Empire, we take care of our own, and Sgt. 1st Class Rodriguez’ family will forever be a part of us, we will assist them in any way we can to help them through these trying times.”
Sgt. 1st Class Rodriguez.
Both commandos were posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.