A U.S. service member was killed Saturday, July 13 in Afghanistan, NATO’s Resolute Support mission said without giving further details.
The Department of Defense identified the service member on Sunday as Sergeant Major James G. Sartor, 40, of Teague, Texas. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Carson, Colorado.
“We’re incredibly saddened to learn of Sgt. Maj. James “Ryan” Sartor’s passing in Afghanistan. Ryan was a beloved warrior who epitomized the quiet professional,” Colonel Brian R. Rauen, commander of 10th SFG (A), said on Sunday. “He led his Soldiers from the front and his presence will be terribly missed.
Sartor joined the U.S. Army in June 2001 and completed the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2005. He had deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan six times prior to his death.
He was highly decorated, having been awarded dozens of commendations including the Bronze Star Medal with three oak leaf clusters and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. He will posthumously be awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart medals.
Sartor’s death brings to 10 the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan so far this year, compared to 12 in 2018.
On June 25, Army Master Sergeant Micheal B. Riley and Sgt. James G. Johnston were killed in Uruzgan Province by small arms fire while engaged in combat operations, the Pentagon said. That incident is under investigation.
Nearly 2,300 American soldiers have died and more than 20,400 have been wounded in the country since a U.S.-led coalition ousted the Taliban in 2001.
The coalition has been fighting Taliban in northern Afghanistan and last August the insurgents captured an Afghan military base in Faryab, killing and capturing dozens of soldiers.
This story was updated on July 15, 2019 with information about Sgt. Maj. James G. Sartor.