A Fort Bragg paratrooper has been killed while helping to fight the Islamic State in Iraq.
The soldier, 1st Lt. Weston C. Lee, died Saturday in Mosul, Iraq, while conducting a security patrol as part of a unit advising and assisting Iraqi forces, according to the Department of Defense.
The Pentagon said the incident is currently under investigation.
Lee’s death was announced Sunday, a day after officials first reported that a service member was killed by an explosive device outside of Mosul.
The paratrooper, 25, of Bluffton, Georgia, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne infantry Regiment, part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.
His brigade commander, Col. J. Patrick Work, said Lee was an extraordinary young man and officer.
“He was exactly the type of leader that our paratroopers deserve,” Work said in a statement issued from Iraq. “Our sincere condolences and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”
Lee was the first 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper to be killed in combat since 2014. He was the first All American paratrooper to be killed in Iraq since 2011.
He was one of more than 1,800 soldiers from 2nd Brigade currently serving in the country, providing support to Iraqi forces in the fight against the Islamic State and, specifically, supporting the ongoing attempt to retake the northern city of Mosul.
Lee joined the Army in March 2015 and was assigned to the 2nd Brigade following the Infantry Basic Officer Leaders Course. He deployed to Iraq in December as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the anti-Islamic State fight that includes dozens of coalition nations working with partners in Iraq and Syria.
The 82nd Airborne Division said Lee’s awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Ranger Tab, the Parachutist Badge and the Army Service Ribbon. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and the Meritorious Service Medal.
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