Pentagon identifies Green Beret who died of combat wounds in Afghanistan

Abbie Bennett
August 31, 2019 - 11:38 am

First Special Forces Group

Sgt. First Class Dustin B. Ard died of combat wounds in Afghanistan on Aug. 29, just a few weeks after being promoted.

Ard, 31, of Hyde Park, Utah, died because of wounds he received during combat in Zabul Province, Afghanistan. The incident is under investigation, according to the Defense Department. 

Ard was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. 

Born in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Ard enlisted in the Army as a Special Forces candidate in the 18x program and was assigned to Fort Bragg in North Carolina, where he attended Special Forces Assessment and Selection and graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2015, according to Lt. Col Loren Bymer, U.S. Army Special Operations Command spokesman. 

Ard was next assigned to 2nd Battalion, 1st SFG (A) at Jount Base Lewis as a Special Forces communications sergeant.

"Sgt. 1st Class Ard's loss is felt across our 1st Special Forces Group Family," said Col. Owen G. Ray, commander of 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne). "Our priority now is to take care of his family and our soldiers and provide the best possible care that we can during this incredible time of need."

Ard deployed twice to Afghanistan as part of the Resolute Support Mission and participated in multiple Joint Combined Exchange Training exercises in Indonesia. 

Ard was promoted to Sgt. First Class on Aug. 1, Bymer said and he was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. 

On August 21, two U.S. Special Forces soldiers, Master Sgt. Luis F. Deleon-Figueroa, 31, and Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez, 35, were killed during combat operations in Faryab Province, Afghanistan.

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