The Pentagon has identified a Green Beret who was killed on Tuesday by enemy small arms fire in southern Afghanistan as Staff Sgt. Joshua Z. Beale.
Beale was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, according to U.S. Army Special Operations Command. He was killed during combat operations in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.
The 32-year-old special operator was posthumously promoted to Sergeant 1st Class and awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Meritorious Service Medal, a USASOC news release says.
"Joshua was a smart, talented and dedicated member of 3rd SFG (A) and the special operations community," Col. Nathan Prussian, commander of 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), said in the news release. "He will be greatly missed by everyone who had the fortunate opportunity to know him. We extend our deepest condolences to his family for this tragic loss."
A native of Covington, Virginia, Beale enlisted in the Army in 2011, three years after graduating with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Old Dominion University in Virginia, according to USASOC. He graduated from U.S. Army Airborne School and went on to graduate from the Special Forces Qualification Course, Advanced Leader Course, Special Forces Sniper Course, and U.S. Army Ranger School.
He had deployed overseas a total of four times and was killed during his third deployment to Afghanistan, the news release says. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Beale is the second U.S. fatality in Afghanistan within a week. Army Sgt. Cameron A. Meddock, 26, died on Jan. 17 from wounds he suffered during a Jan. 13 firefight in northwest Afghanistan.
Meddock was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. He was on his second deployment to Afghanistan.