Green Beret Who Died From IED Blast in Helmand Province Identified
Sgt First Class Reymund Rarogal Transfiguracion, 36, always wanted to be a Green Beret. He even had a poster of them in his room, according to his brother. But on August 7, he was wounded by an IED in Helmand Province, and passed away on August 12.
Transfiguracion was born on May 20, 1982 in Sarrat Ilocos Norte, Philippines. He worked hard on his family farm, living day by day, planting and harvesting. He received American citizenship before turning 18, and moved to Hawaii.
“Like many uniformed servicemembers … Transfiguracion was not born in the United States. To the world, SFC Transfiguracion was a Filipino-American hero, someone who proved himself to be among the best soldiers in the U.S. Army. He volunteered for the most demanding jobs and selflessly gave his life in service to his country and teammates.”Sgt. Maj. Ed Hall of 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne)
Transfiguracion enlisted in the Hawaii National Guard in 2001.
He enlisted as a motor transport operator in the Hawaii National Guard in 2001 and had deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2005 to 2006.
He joined active-duty service in 2008 and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from 2008 to 2009.
Following his 2009 deployment, Transfiguracion was stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, where he deployed to the Philippines for six months in support of Joint Special Operations Task Force – Philippines from 2010 to 2011.
Following training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., he received his first assignment as a horizontal construction engineer at Fort Polk, La., the Army said. At that point, he was selected to complete Special Forces training at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Transfiguracion was then assigned to 1st Special Forces Group at McChord as an engineer sergeant.
He was posthumously awarded two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, and a Meritorius Service Medal. The Bronze Star was for leading elements of an Afghan battalion on 40 missions, including one that freed 100 prisoners from a Taliban jail. The first Purple Heart was for injuries he suffered in a July 17 RPG attack. He was also promoted to Sgt First Class after his death.
As the incident which ultimately caused his death is being investigated, no details are available. But Sgt First Class Transfiguracion’s most heartfelt dream was realized: he was a Green Beret. His Filipino name means “transfiguration” – a complete change to a spiritual state. He has now received that too.
Featured photo: US Army