Nangarhar Province Attack on US Troops – Two Who Died Identified
Yesterday we reported on a Nangarhar Province attack against US troops. The two US military members killed in that attack have been identified: Sgt. 1st Class Javier Jaguar Gutierrez of San Antonio, Texas and Sgt. 1st Class Antonio Rey Rodriguez of Las Cruces, N.M.. Six other US troops were wounded.
Both deceased soldiers were 28 years old, and both were posthumously promoted and given Bronze Stars and Purple Hearts.
The Nangarhar Province attack itself did not appear to be related to Taliban infiltration. The Army has not classified the attack as a ‘green on blue attack’ because the motive is unknown.
“Upon completing a key-leader engagement at the district center, current reports indicate an individual in an Afghan uniform opened fire on the combined U.S. and Afghan force with a machine gun. We are still collecting information and the cause or motive behind the attack is unknown at this time. The incident is under investigation.” Army Col Sonny Leggett.
According to the Army Times,
“An anonymous Afghan defense ministry official told the Associated Press that the shooter was an Afghan soldier who had argued with U.S. troops before opening fire. That Afghan official said the attacker was not a Taliban infiltrator.”
Sgt 1st Class Gutierrez and Sgt 1st Class Rodriguez
“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 Rodriguez was selfless and served honorably; he was certainly among the best in our unit.” Col. John W. Sannes
Gutierrez was born in Jacksonville, North Carolina. He enlisted in the Army infantry in 2009, and was assigned to Fort Bragg’s 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He deployed to Iraq once with that unit. He attended Special Forces Assessment and Selection in 2012, graduating as a Special Forces Communication Sergeant in 2015, and was assigned to the 7th Special Forces group. This was his first deployment to Afghanistan.
Rodriguez was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He enlisted in the Army in 2009, and completed one station training at Fort Benning in Georgia. He deployed eight times with the 75th Ranger Regiment and twice with 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. In 2018, he reclassified as a cryptologic linguist with Spanish as his chosen language.
Featured photo: Defense Department. L-Sgt 1st Class Rodriguez R- Sgt 1st Class Gutierrez