The military on Wednesday identified the soldier killed this week in Afghanistan as Staff Sgt. Matthew V. Thompson, a Green Beret who joined the Army in 2011.
Thompson, 28, was killed Tuesday in Helmand province. He was conducting a training patrol with Afghan forces when he stepped on an improvised explosive device. Another American service member and six Afghan soldiers were also wounded in the explosion.
Thompson was assigned to Company A, 3rt Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. He was in Helmand on his first deployment to Afghanistan, though he had previously deployed to Iraq. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star with valor posthumously, according to an Army release.
He enlisted in the Army in March 2011, and joined the 1st Special Forces Group as a special forces medical sergeant in August 2014.
"He was an exceptional Green Beret, a cherished teammate, and devoted husband. His service in Afghanistan and Iraq speak to his level of dedication, courage, and commitment to something greater than himself," said Lt. Col. Kevin Trujillo, commander of Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan.
Gen. Joseph Votel, the commander of U.S. Central Command, also mourned the loss of Thompson in a statement.
"On behalf of the men and women of U.S. Central Command, I extend our sincere condolences to the family, friends and Sgt. Thompson's fellow service members, as well as gratitude for his selfless and honorable service to our nation," Votel said.
Thompson is the 28th American killed under Operation Resolute Support, the NATO mission in Afghanistan that began in 2015, according to casualty data. Since 2001, more than 2,300 Americans lost their lives in Afghanistan under Operation Enduring Freedom and Resolute Support combined.