Seventh US Service Member Killed In Afghanistan This Year

Spc. Jeremiah Carter, from Mooresville, Ind., with Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, conducts a dismounted presence patrol with his unit June 2, 2013 near Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Kandahar province, Afghanistan.
U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Shane Hamann

Editor’s Note: This article by Richard Sisk originally appeared on, the premier source of information for the military and veteran community.

A U.S. service member was killed by an improvised explosive device Tuesday while on foot patrol with Afghan forces engaged in an ongoing offensive against Islamic State fighters, the Pentagon said.

Pentagon officials did not give the service branch of the slain service member and withheld identification and other details until family members could be notified.

The death is the seventh for U.S. service members in Afghanistan this year — including three in January, one in June and two in August — and the second this year from an IED, according to the website

Before Tuesday, 1,832 U.S. service members had been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, according to Defense Department data. U.S. deaths in other areas in support of the Afghan mission bring the total to 2,384.

"This was a combat situation, clearly," Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said at a news conference.

The service member was on a counter-terror mission with Afghan National Defense Security Forces against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria affiliate known as Islamic State-Khorasan Province (ISKP), which has gained a foothold in eastern Nangarhar province, Cook said.

It was unclear whether the service member set off the IED or it was triggered remotely, but there were no immediate indications that the U.S. service member was specifically targeted, Cook said. There were no other U.S. or Afghan casualties in the incident.

The death "highlights the risk our service members are taking every day" in the fight against ISIS, Cook said.

The death came as other U.S. "enablers" in Afghanistan were partnered with Afghan troops in beating back a coordinated Taliban offensive aimed at retaking the north-central city of Kunduz, he said.

Army Brig. Gen. Charles H. Cleveland, a spokesman for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, told The New York Times that he could not provide details on the "current disposition of enabler and train, advise and assist forces" in Kunduz because the operation is still underway.

Cleveland said — and Cook later confirmed — that there had been at least one action by a U.S. helicopter in dropping off Afghan troops to assist in the defense of the western part of the city.

Afghan officials said the city's center has been cleared of the Taliban and clearing operations are continuing in other sectors. Late last year, a major Taliban offensive briefly took the city but was driven back with the aid of U.S. airstrikes.

The U.S. currently has about 9,500 troops in Afghanistan. President Barack Obama has approved keeping at least 8,400 there through next year.

The article originally appeared on

More from

Arizona Army National Guard soldiers with the 160th and 159th Financial Management Support Detachments qualify with the M249 squad automatic weapon at the Florence Military Reservation firing range on March 8, 2019. (U.S. Army/Spc. Laura Bauer)

The recruiting commercials for the Army Reserve proclaim "one weekend each month," but the real-life Army Reserve might as well say "hold my beer."

That's because the weekend "recruiting hook" — as it's called in a leaked document compiled by Army personnel for the new chief of staff — reveal that it's, well, kinda bullshit.

When they're not activated or deployed, most reservists and guardsmen spend one weekend a month on duty and two weeks a year training, according to the Army recruiting website. But that claim doesn't seem to square with reality.

"The Army Reserve is cashing in on uncompensated sacrifices of its Soldiers on a scale that must be in the tens of millions of dollars, and that is a violation of trust, stewardship, and the Army Values," one Army Reserve lieutenant colonel, who also complained that his battalion commander "demanded" that he be available at all times, told members of an Army Transition Team earlier this year.

Read More Show Less

According to an internal Army document, soldiers feel that the service's overwhelming focus on readiness is wearing down the force, and leading some unit leaders to fudge the truth on their unit's readiness.

"Soldiers in all three Army Components assess themselves and their unit as less ready to perform their wartime mission, despite an increased focus on readiness," reads the document, which was put together by the Army Transition Team for new Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville and obtained by Task & Purpose. "The drive to attain the highest levels of readiness has led some unit leaders to inaccurately report readiness."

Lt. Gen. Eric J. Wesley, who served as the director of the transition team, said in the document's opening that though the surveys conducted are not scientific, the feedback "is honest and emblematic of the force as a whole taken from seven installations and over 400 respondents."

Those surveyed were asked to weigh in on four questions — one of which being what the Army isn't doing right. One of the themes that emerged from the answers is that "[r]eadiness demands are breaking the force."

Read More Show Less

If you've paid even the slightest bit of attention in the last few years, you know that the Pentagon has been zeroing in on the threat that China and Russia pose, and the future battles it anticipates.

The Army has followed suit, pushing to modernize its force to be ready for whatever comes its way. As part of its modernization, the Army adopted the Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) concept, which serves as the Army's main war-fighting doctrine and lays the groundwork for how the force will fight near-peer threats like Russia and China across land, air, sea, cyber, and space.

But in an internal document obtained by Task & Purpose, the Army Transition Team for the new Chief of Staff, Gen. James McConville, argues that China poses a more immediate threat than Russia, so the Army needs make the Asia-Pacific region its priority while deploying "minimal current conventional forces" in Europe to deter Russia.

Read More Show Less

As the saying goes, you recruit the soldier, but you retain the family.

And according to internal documents obtained by Task & Purpose, the Army still has substantial work to do in addressing families' concerns.

Read More Show Less
The Marine Corps Exchange at Quantico (Photo: Valerie OBerry)

If you're a veteran with a VA service-connected disability rating, a former prisoner of war, or a Purple Heart recipient, the exchange, recreation facilities, and commissary on base will be opening their doors to you starting in 2020.

In what's being billed as the largest expansion of new shoppers in the military commissary system in 65 years, veterans will be allowed back into many of the same retail outlets they had access to while in uniform starting on Jan. 1, 2020, thanks to a measure put in to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.

Read More Show Less