KABUL, Afghanistan -- An Army Ranger assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, was killed in action in Afghanistan on Saturday.
Sgt. Leandro A.S. Jasso, 25, was mortally wounded during a firefight with al-Qaida forces in Nimruz province, according to a Defense Department statement released early Sunday. He was medically evacuated from the combat zone and later died of his injuries at a medical facility in Helmand province.
Jasso, from Leavenworth, Wash., was on his third deployment to Afghanistan. He enlisted in the Army in 2012 and became an accomplished soldier, completing the Basic Airborne Course and earning the Combat Infantryman's Badge and the much-sought after Ranger tab.
"Sgt. Jasso was a humble professional who placed the mission first, lived the Ranger Creed and will be deeply missed," said Lt. Col. Rob McChrystal, commander of 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, in a prepared statement.
Jasso's death raises to 10 the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan this year. Earlier this month, Maj. Brent Taylor of the Army National Guard was killed during an insider attack in Kabul that also injured another U.S. service member.
Most of the roughly 14,000 U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan assist NATO's training and advising mission, while a smaller number help with the U.S.' separate counterterrorism mission that targets groups like the local Islamic State affiliate.
"The loss of Sgt. Jasso is felt by his family and loved ones, by all who served with him and by all on this mission to protect our country and our allies," said Gen. Scott Miller, Resolute Support and United States Forces-Afghanistan commanding general.
About 2,400 American military personnel have been killed since the war in Afghanistan began in 2001; fewer than 1,900 of them were killed in combat.
Sunday marked the 17-year anniversary of the first American combat death, Johnny Micheal Spann, a Marine veteran working for the CIA who was killed in a bloody prisoner uprising at Qali-Jangi fortress in Mazar-e-Sharif during the first weeks of the war.
-- Stars and Stripes staff contributed to this report.