The two Special Forces soldiers killed in a firefight in Nangarhar province Afghanistan on Saturday have been awarded posthumous promotions by the Defense Department. Sgt. 1st Class Antonio Rodriguez, 28 of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Sgt. 1st Class Javier J. Gutierrez, 28, of San Antonio, Texas were the two Special Forces soldiers killed. They were both assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) from Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Six U.S. troops were wounded in the fight, but they have not been identified. According to an earlier statement from U.S. Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Col. Sonny Leggett, the firefight broke out when “an individual in an Afghan uniform opened fire on the combined U.S. and Afghan force with a machine gun.” Whether the act was a deliberate enemy attack via infiltration or an accident of some kind is still unclear. U.S. Army Special Operations Command Lt. Col. Loren Bymer said in a release statement that Gutierrez and Rodriguez were posthumously promoted from the rank of staff sergeant and awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
The Crossroads of Special Operations