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Army Identifies Green Beret Killed in Afghanistan

Sgt. 1st Class, Stephen B. Cribben, 33, of the 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group, was killed Nov. 4, 2017, in Logar Province, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo)
Sgt. 1st Class, Stephen B. Cribben, 33, of the 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group, was killed Nov. 4, 2017, in Logar Province, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo)

The U.S. Army has identified the Green Beret killed yesterday during combat operations in eastern Afghanistan.

The service on Sunday said the casualty was Sgt. 1st Class, Stephen B. Cribben, 33, of Simi Valley, Calif.

Cribben, a senior communications sergeant assigned to 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group at Fort Carson, Colo., was killed on Saturday "as a result of wounds sustained while engaged in combat operations," according to a release from U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

He is the second U.S. soldier to die in Logar Province in the eastern part of the country in slightly more than a week.

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Chief Warrant Officer Jacob M. Sims, a helicopter pilot with 4th Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, known as the "Night Stalkers," died Oct. 27 when the helicopter he was flying in struck a tree.

The incident involving Cribben is under investigation.

"We offer our deepest condolences to the family of our fallen brother," Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, said in a statement on Saturday. "Despite this tragic event, we remain steadfast in our commitment to the Afghan people and to support them in our mutual fight against terrorism."

A native of Rawlins, Wyo., Cribben entered the service in 2002 and attended training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., to become a military police officer.

He went on to receive extensive military training and education.

Cribben completed Military Police Advanced Individual Training, Airborne School, Air Assault School, Path Finder School, Emergency Medical Technician-Basic Course, Basic Leader Course, Advanced Leader Course, Senior Leader Course, French Special Operations Language Course, Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape High Risk Course, Communications Sergeant Course, Special Warfare Operational Design Course, Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat Course, Advanced Special Operations Techniques Level II, and the Static Line Jump Master Course.

He served in numerous assignments and locations, from Europe to Asia to the Middle East.

As a military police officer, Cribben deployed three times, to Egypt in 2005, to Afghanistan in 2006 and to Iraq in 2007. After completing the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2014, he deployed to Afghanistan in September.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, three Army Commendation Medals, nine Army Achievement Medals, a Meritorious Unit Citation, five Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon-3, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon-3, NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge, Special Forces Tab, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, and Path Finder Badge.

"We will honor and preserve his legacy," Col. Lawrence Ferguson, commander of the 10th Group, said in the release. "We will cherish, protect and support his Family. Our focus is with them at this time. We will never forget."

Cribben is the 13th American service member to die in Afghanistan so far in 2017, according to icasualties.org, which tracks casualties in the country.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis last month said "more than 3,000" U.S. troops would bolster the 11,000 now on the ground "in coming months," as part of a larger push to support Afghan security forces in the 16-year-old conflict.

-- Brendan McGarry can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.

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Army Special Forces Afghanistan Headlines Brendan McGarry

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