Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
The Delta Force soldier who died during a 2018 raid in Syria was actually killed by friendly fire
A member of the U.S. Army's elite Delta Force who died during a raid in Syria last year was actually killed by friendly fire rather than an enemy IED as the Pentagon initially claimed, U.S. Special Operations Command confirmed on Monday.
U.S. Army Master Sgt. Jonathan J. Dunbar was killed alongside British Army Sgt. Matt Tonroe, a member of Britain's elite Special Air Service Regiment, during a March 2018 capture-or-kill operation that targeted a senior ISIS leader near Manbij, Syria.
The Pentagon had initially claimed that Dunbar was killed when the joint force was "struck by an improvised explosive device" during the raid. But on Sunday, an investigation by the UK Ministry of Defense revealed that Tonroe was killed "by the accidental detonation of explosives carried by coalition forces."
When reached for comment by Task & Purpose, SOCOM confirmed that Dunbar was also killed by that "accidental detonation" instead of an enemy IED attack as the Pentagon initially stated.
"An investigation determined both U.S. Army Master Sgt. Jonathan Dunbar and Sergeant Tonroe died as a result of the accidental detonation of explosives carried by coalition forces not by enemy action,' SOCOM spokesman Ken McGraw told Task & Purpose in a Monday email. "Our thoughts continue to be with Master Sgt Dunbar and Sergeant Tonroe's family and friends."
Before joining Delta Force in 2013, Dunbar was assigned to the 28th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood and the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment at Fort Bragg, according to military records.
His military awards include three Bronze Stars, four Army Commendation Medals, six Army Achievement Medals, five Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, the Iraq Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral 3, the Army Service Ribbon, two Overseas Service Ribbons, the NATO Medal, the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Pathfinder Badge, the Military Freefall Jumpmaster Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.
‘I made promises to the people that I lost’— How the Iraq war forged a Navy SEAL’s path to Harvard Medical School and NASA
Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.
However, Kim shared with Task & Purpose that his motivation for living life the way he has stems not so much from starry-eyed ambition, but from the pain and loss he suffered both on the battlefields of Iraq and from childhood instability while growing up in Los Angeles. Kim tells his story in the following Q&A, which was lightly edited for length and clarity:
You can almost smell the gunpowder in the scene captured by a Marine photographer over the weekend, showing a Marine grunt firing a shotgun during non-lethal weapons training.
A Marine grunt stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is being considered for an award after he saved the lives of three people earlier this month from a fiery car crash.
Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was driving down Market Street in Wilmington in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 when he saw a car on fire after it had crashed into a tree. Inside were three victims aged 17, 20, and 20.
"It was a pretty mangled wreck," McDonell told ABC 15. "The passenger was hanging out of the window."
New Vietnam War movie 'The Last Full Measure' takes some well-deserved shots at the military’s award process
Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.
With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.