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Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Joshua Wheeler funeral

(Department of Defense)

Joshua Wheeler is the American commando who was killed on a rescue mission in Iraq involving ISIS hostages on October 22. He was Delta Force commando, according to the Department of Defense. Wheeler attained the rank Master Sergeant and was from Roland, Oklahoma. He was 39 years old.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. He Was Stationed at the Special Ops Command

KOCO News in Oklahoma reports that Wheeler was stationed at the U.S. Army Special Operations Command in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He was a graduate of Muldrow High School in Muldrow, Oklahoma.


2. He Did 14 Tours of Duty in Iraq & Afghanistan

According to the official website of the U.S. Army, Wheeler joined the army as an infantry man in May 1995 in Fort Benning, Georgia. From there, he was designated to Company C, 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, Fort Lewis, Washington. In 1997, he joined Company B, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment in Fort Lewis, during which time he did tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2004, Sgt. Wheeler has been a member of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command and was deployed on 11 different occasions to Iraq and Afghanistan.


3. He’s the First Member of the U.S. Military to Be Killed in Action Against ISIS

isis, isil, is, islamic state, daesh, syria, iraq, terrorism

A flag-waving ISIS supporter in Syria.

Sgt. Wheeler is the first member of the U.S. military to be killed in action while fighting against ISIS. He was killed by gunfire in the Kirkuk Province of Iraq in what’s dubbed Operation Inherent Resolve. The U.S. forces on the ground are part of President Obama’s new plan to “train and advise” Iraqi troops. In June 2015, the president unleashed 450 U.S. military personnel on the ground in Iraq as part of this plan.

The day before Sgt. Wheeler’s death, the DOD updated the public on the operation against ISIS forces saying “Since operations began against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant targets in Syria and Iraq, the coalition has conducted 7,603 airstrikes.”


4. ISIS Was Planning a ‘Mass Execution’ Just Prior to the Raid

ISIS Mass Execution Joshua Wheeler

The scene before an alleged ISIS mass execution in May 2015. (Twitter)

During the mission, U.S. forces freed around 70 hostages. NBC News reports that U.S. intelligence received a tip that ISIS had been planning a mass execution prior to the operation. CBS News reports that those freed were Iraqi prisoners.


5. Despite the Presence of Iraqi Forces in the Operation, It’s Not Classified as a ‘Joint Raid’

An F/A-18C Hornet from the Stingers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 113 launches in November 2014 in support of the operation against ISIS. (Getty)

An F/A-18C Hornet from the Stingers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 113 launches in November 2014 in support of the operation against ISIS. (Getty)

CBS News reports that U.S. forces were assisted by Iraqi Peshmerga troops on the ground, but it has not been classified as a “joint raid” by the Pentagon.

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5 comments

  1. Your picture on #4 is actually not an ISIS mass execution but of Jaysh Al-Islam soldiers in the orange jumpsuits leading down members of ISIS to their execution.

  2. Very sad news …thank you so very much for your service and the incredible work you have done on behalf of all of us that could never do what you did or be as incredibly brave as you were. How incredibly proud and equally heart broken your family must be ….and why all those against Isis weep as well…

  3. Ok so Iraq was a big oil deal and removing a nuisance for office that wasn’t doing what we told him, Afghanistan, again oil but we were pissed at Osama.

    Iraq we installed a government, trained the military refitted all our old equipment we took the country with and gave it to their military.

    Then all the forces that fought our little seizure of assets and fled to iran,
    The American government in an attempt to make nice brought them back to Iran gave them amnesty and supplied them as new military units.
    Nobody saw them turning again..

    We left because they where killing American soldiers and expected these people we just armed who have been murdering each other longer than our oldest written records,,, too, just get along?
    So we left and watched it all happen because,,, he’ll we don’t want to go back, they live there and don’t even want to be there.

    All these refugees, those willing fight for their freedom can be housed fed trained and assigned to units.

    If you just want somewhere to flop go home.

    Anyone know what’s still going on with book harram? Didn’t the world vow to eliminate them a few years ago, but they’re bigger and stronger than ever.

    There are no real choices without real candidates.
    Since I costs more than a billion $ to run for president, they’ll all be corporate yes men.

    There should be a spending cap of 35million on the campaign.
    If you can’t run an effective campaign for that then you can’t manage our country.
    It’d also open the race up to more (honest) people,

    Lobbying is just legal bribery.
    Why do politicians give free money to companies?
    That take the money and go out of business.

    Remember the bailouts? CEO’s still got big bonuses,
    Congress and the Senate always get cost of living increases.
    Why can they take money from the social security system and say it’s running out when we’ve already paid for it ourselves