Tuesday, April 10, 2012

R.I.P. - Staff Sgt. Tyler J. Smith

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

            The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

            Staff Sgt. Tyler J. Smith, 24, of Licking, Mo., died April 3, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when he was attacked with an enemy improvised explosive device.

            Smith was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

            For more information related to this release, the media may contact the 82nd Airborne Division public affairs office at 910-432-0661.

 FORT BRAGG, N.C. — An 82nd Airborne Division Paratrooper was fatally wounded April 3 in Maiwand district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan in an explosion from an improvised explosive device.

Sgt. Tyler J. Smith, a Licking, Mo. native, was a Scout Squad Leader with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

Sgt. Smith joined the Army May 26, 2006 as an Infantryman. He attended One-Station Unit Training and Airborne School at Fort Benning, Ga. He joined the 2-508th PIR October 16, 2009. He is a graduate of the Recon and Surveillance Leaders Course, Warrior Leaders Course and the Combat Lifesavers Course. He had deployed in June 2007 to Iraq for 15 months. He also deployed to Afghanistan with the 2nd Battalion in 2009. This was his second tour of Afghanistan.

“I first met Sgt. Smith when he was a young sniper in the Arghandab River Valley” said Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Mason, HHC 1st Sgt., “cool as a cucumber he exuded a restrained confidence that put the men around him at ease. The men knew well that Sgt. Smith was more than capable of ensuring their well-being while he stood watch in dangerous lands. This is a rare quality; he will be terribly missed and never forgotten.”

“Sgt. Smith and his wife were the picture-perfect All American Team,” said Col. Brian Mennes, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division Commander.” He was a great Trooper and Leader who volunteered to serve his nation and his patriotic wife selflessly and patriotically volunteered to serve as a key leader on our Family Readiness Group. I am humbled to have had the opportunity to serve with him.”

His peers regarded him as a devoted family man, comedian and recalled that he was without question the hardest working, and trustworthy soul they ever meet.

His awards include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with one campaign star, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral 2, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Expert Infantryman’s Badge and the Parachutist Badge.

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