Army Identifies Third Soldier Killed in Afghanistan in Recent Days

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Sgt. 1st Class Elliott J. Robbins
Sgt. 1st Class Elliott J. Robbins was killed in Afghanistan June 30, 2019. (DoD photo)

The U.S. Army has identified a second 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) soldier who has died in Afghanistan in the past week.

Sgt. 1st Class Elliott J. Robbins, a medical sergeant with the 10th SFG (A), died Sunday from “non-combat related injuries” in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, U.S. Army Special Operations Command spokesman, said in a July 1 press release.

The 31-year-old Ogden, Utah native’s death occurred five days after Master Sgt. Micheal B. Riley of 2nd Battalion, 10th SFG (A) was killed in a June 25 gun battle with suspected Taliban fighters in Afghanistan's Uruzgan province. Sgt. James G. Johnston of the 79th Ordnance Battalion (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), 71st Ordnance Group, was also killed in the June 25 engagement.

The three deaths, which are under investigation, bring the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan this year to ten, according to the Defense Department.

Col. Lawrence Ferguson, commander of 10th SFG (A), described Robbins as a “skilled soldier with three combat deployments.”

"We mourn the tragic passing of Sgt. 1st Class Elliott Robbins. The 10th Special Forces Group has paid a heavy toll in recent days,” Ferguson said in the release. “While we mourn, we will support Sgt. 1st Class Robbins' Family and honor his service.”

Robbins joined the Army in June 2006 and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division as an infantryman. He completed the Special Forces Qualification Course and was assigned to 10th SFG (A) in 2016, according to the release.

Robbins deployed to Iraq with the 101st in 2007, and twice to Afghanistan in 2017 and 2019 with 10th SFG (A), the release states.

Robbins' awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal with Combat Device and one Oak Leaf Cluster; Army Achievement Medal with one Silver and two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters; Valorous Unit Award; and Army Good Conduct Medal with Bronze Four Knot Device, the release states.

Robbins also received the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, according to the release.

His awards also include the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral 2; Overseas Service Ribbon with Numeral 2; NATO Medal; Special Forces Tab; Ranger Tab; Combat Infantryman Badge; Expert Infantryman Badge; Military Freefall Parachutist Badge; and Parachutist Badge, according to the release.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

--Military.com’s Hope Hodge Seck and Richard Sisk and contributed to this report.

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