2 Fort Benning soldiers killed in Afghanistan, DOD confirms

Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas [L] and Sgt. Joshua P. Rodgers

 

The Department of Defense announces Friday two Fort Benning soldiers are dead after an incident in Afghanistan.

A press release says 22-year-old Sgt. Joshua P. Rodgers from Bloomington, Illinois and 23-year-old Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas from Kettering, Ohio died Thursday in the in Nangarhar Province. It says the two were supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and died as a result of “small arms fire while engaged in dismounted operations.”

CBS News reported late Thursday the Pentagon says two U.S. troops were killed fighting the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) in Afghanistan.

“Two U.S. service members were killed in action last night in southern Nangarhar, Afghanistan, during an operation against ISIS Khorasan,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis told reporters.

The U.S. military command in Afghanistan confirms a third service member was wounded in the clashes.

ISIS released a statement via its Amaq News Agency saying it had been involved in clashes with U.S. military forces in the area on Wednesday, which had lasted around an hour.

Sgt. Rodgers and Sgt. Thomas’ deaths remain under investigation.

Below are their final bios released by the Department of Defense:

Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas
Killed in action on April 27, 2017
Operation Freedom’s Sentinel

Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas

Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas, 23, was killed while conducting combat operations in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan.

Sgt. Thomas was an Anti-Armor Specialist assigned to Company D, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga. He was on his third deployment to Afghanistan.

He was born August 25, 1993 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army from his hometown of Kettering, Ohio in February 2012. He completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Ga., as an Infantryman. After graduating from the Basic Airborne Course, he was assigned to the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program 1, also at Fort Benning.

Following graduation from the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program 1, Sgt. Thomas was assigned to Company D, 3rd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment in November 2012 where he served as an Automatic Rifleman, Grenadier, and an Anti-Armor Specialist.

His military education includes the Basic Airborne Course, the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program 1, the U.S. Army Ranger Course, the Basic Leader Course and the U.S. Army Sniper Course.

His awards and decorations include the Ranger Tab, the Expert Infantryman’s Badge and the Parachutist Badge.

Thomas has also been awarded the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, and the NATO Medal.

 

Sgt. Joshua P. Rodgers
Killed in action on April 27, 2017
Operation Freedom’s Sentinel

Sgt. Joshua P. Rodgers, 22, was killed while conducting combat operations in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan.

Sgt. Rodgers was a Ranger Team Leader assigned to Company C, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga. He was on his third deployment to Afghanistan.

He was born August 22nd, 1994 in Normal, Illinois. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army from his hometown of Bloomington, Ill., in August 2013. He completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Ga., as an Infantryman. After graduating from the Basic Airborne Course, he was assigned to the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program 1, also at Fort Benning.

Following graduation from the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program 1, Sgt. Rodgers was then assigned to Company C, 3rd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment in May 2014 where he served as a Machine Gunner, Semi-Automatic Gunner, Gun Team Leader and Ranger Team Leader.

His military education includes the Basic Airborne Course, the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program 1, the U.S. Army Ranger Course and the Basic Leader Course.

His awards and decorations include the Ranger Tab, the Parachutist Badge and the Marksmanship Qualification Badge Expert-Rifle.

Sgt. Rodgers has also been awarded the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, and the NATO Medal.

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