Three Fort Bragg Soldiers were killed while conducting operations in the country of Niger in West Africa on October 4, 2017, according to an Army news release. A missing fourth soldier was found dead and has not been identified at the time of this report. Officials said the soldier was missing for two days before being found.
Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, age 35, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, age 39, and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, age 29, died from wounds sustained during enemy contact.
The soldiers were assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne).
Black enlisted in the Army in 2009 and is originally from Puyallup, Washington. His awards and decorations include the Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, and Marksmanship Qualification Badge – Sharpshooter with Rifle. Staff Sgt. Black served as a Special Forces Medical Sergeant (18D), according to the release.
Johnson enlisted in 2007 and is originally from Springboro, Ohio. According to the news release, Johnson’s awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal (2nd Award), Army Achievement Medal (5th Award), Army Good Conduct Medal (3rd Award), National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Ribbon, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Driver and Mechanic Badge, and Marksmanship Qualification Badge-Expert with Pistol and Rifle. Staff Sgt. Johnson served as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Specialist (74D).
Wright enlisted in 2012 and is originally from Lyons, Georgia. His awards and decorations include the Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Special Forces Tab, and Parachutist Badge. Staff Sgt. Wright served as a Special Forces Engineer Sergeant (18C), according to the press release.
Richard Hudson who represents North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District which includes Moore County and Fort Bragg said, “My wife Renee and I join Fort Bragg and the Special Forces community in mourning three of their comrades. We send our condolences and prayers to the friends and families of Staff Sgt. Black, Staff Sgt. Johnson, and Staff Sgt. Wright. We pray they feel God’s comfort and know we are standing with them and support them – always. These elite soldiers have served in the most dangerous corners of the world, always ready and willing to put country before self. We are grateful for their service and will strive to honor their sacrifice.”
North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said, “Susan and I send our deepest condolences to the families of Staff Sgt. Black, Staff Sgt. Johnson, and Staff Sgt. Wright. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and the Fort Bragg community. This is a tragic reminder of the dangers facing our brave servicemembers as they combat terrorism across the globe to keep our country safe. Their sacrifices will not be forgotten.”
Officials for U.S. Army Special Operations Command said the incident in Niger is currently under investigation.
Feature photo(L-R): Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright. Photo courtesy of U.S. Army