Master Sgt. Johnathan J. Dunbar of Austin, Texas has been identified as the American soldier killed in Syria, the Department of Defense announced.
Dunbar, 36, was a member of Operation Inherent Resolve.
Dunbar died March 30 in Manbij, Syria “as a result of injuries when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near his patrol,” the DoD said in an emailed statement. The incident is under investigation.
Dunbar was assigned to Headquarters, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Ft Bragg, North Carolina.
Dunbar is the first U.S. service member killed this year. The last American soldier killed in Syria died from injuries suffered in a blast from an improvised explosive device in November of 2017.
According to an initial statement from the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), two coalition members were killed and five were wounded by an IED in Syria Thursday night.
The other coalition member killed was UK soldier Sergeant Matt Tonroe, from the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment who was embedded with the US-led coalition.
The DoD said Thursday the “wounded personnel received immediate care and are being evacuated for further medical treatment.”
According to the Associated Press and other reports, a roadside bomb exploded close to the headquarters of the Manbij Military Council, an Arab-Kurdish US.-backed group, in the town of Manbij in Syria.
The US Army Special Operations Command provided Dunbar’s biography.
Dunbar was born July 15, 1981, in International Falls, Minnesota, and graduated in 1999 from John B. Connally High School in Austin, Texas.
Dunbar first entered the United States Army as an Infantryman in May 2005, completing his initial entry training Fort Begnning, Ga. His first assignment was with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, Fort Bragg, N.C., where he served as a Machine Gunner, Fire Team Leader, and Squad Leader. During his tenure, he deployed once to Afghanistan and once to Iraq in support of combat operations. In November of 2009, he transitioned to Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 38th Cavalry Regiment (Long Range Surveillance), Fort Hood, T.X.,where he served for four years as a Squad Leader. During his time in Fort Hood, he deployed to Iraq once again in support of combat operations.
In 2013, Master Sergeant Dunbar was assigned to Headquarters, United States Special Operations Command, where he served as a Team Member and deployed three times in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Dunbar’s military education includes the Basic Airborne Course, Combat Lifesaver Course, Basic Leader Course, Ranger School, Advanced Leaders Course, Pathfinder Course, Static Line Jumpmaster Course, Advanced Land Navigation Course, Senior Leaders Course, the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course, the Military Free Fall and Jumpmaster Course, and the Special Forces Sniper Course.
Master Sergeant Dunbar’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (3rd Award), the Army Commendation Medal (4th Award), the Army Achievement Medal (6th Award), the Good Conduct Medal (5th Award), the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 2 Bronze Service Stars, the Iraq Campaign Medal with 2 Bronze Service Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral 3, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon (2nd award), the NATO Medal, the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Pathfinder Badge, the Military Freefall Jumpmaster Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.