A 33-year-old U.S. Army Green Beret has become the 20th American service member to be killed by hostile fire this year in Afghanistan. His death on Monday makes it the deadliest year for U.S. forces since the formal end of combat operations was declared in 2014.
Sgt. 1st Class Michael James Goble died due to injuries sustained from an explosion on Dec. 22 in the Taliban-contested northern Afghan province of Kunduz. Two Pentagon officials tell NPR Goble’s unit was seizing a Taliban weapons cache when he was fatally wounded.
It was Goble’s third tour of duty in Afghanistan, and he died three weeks before what would have been his 34th birthday.
The Westwood, N.J., native is survived by his partner and their young daughter.
Goble registered in the U.S. Army when he was 18 as a Special Forces candidate and obtained a Green Beret three years later. He was most recently assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.