Sergeant First Class Javier Gutierrez has been identified as one of two two U.S. service members died who were killed February 8 during combat operations in Afghanistan. On February 9, they identified the two soldiers, Gutierrez and Antonio Rey Rodriguez.
Javier Jaguar Gutierrez was a 28-year-old man from San Antonio, Texas. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) out of Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The Department of Defense indicated that he received the rank of Sgt. 1st Class as a posthumous promotion.
The United States Army Special Operations Command (SOC) said in a press statement to Heavy that Sergeant Rodriguez died on February 8 “from wounds sustained during combat operations” in Nangarhar province, eastern Afghanistan. The attack that led to his death remains under investigation. According to The Associated Press, the attacker was dressed in an Afghan military uniform. The gunman was killed. Six American soldiers were also wounded in the so-called insider attack.
Gutierrez, Who Was Married With 4 Kids, Served 10 Years in the Army & 4 Years in Special Forces
According to the SOC statement, Gutierrez was born in Jacksonville, North Carolina, on August 12, 1991. He enlisted in 2009 as an infantryman in the Army stationed out of Fort Bragg. He was selected in 2012 to attend the Special Forces Qualification Course, and graduated in 2015 as a Special Forces Communications Sergeant. It was at that time that he was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) out of Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
SOC confirmed that Javi Gutierrez was deployed once to Iraq and once to Afghanistan.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up by a fellow military spouse to help the family. “Javi was a stand up brother, soldier, Green Beret, husband and dad. He has paid the ultimate sacrifice while conducting Special Operations in Afghanistan,” Kate Acosta wrote on the GoFundMe for Gutierrez’s wife, Gabriela Gutierrez. “He leaves behind his wife and four children who could never fill the void lost in any way. Please help me, help his family that is devastated. De Oppresso Liber. Please pray and help support their family during this time of need.”
Gutierrez Was a Highly Decorated Soldier Who Received Many Medals & Honors
Gutierrez received a number of medals and honors during his service, including the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, the Expert Infantry and Parachutist Badges, and the Special Forces Tab. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart posthumously.
The 7th Special Forces Group Commander, Col. John W. Sannes, said that Gutierrez “was a warrior that exemplified selfless service and a commitment to the mission, both values that we embody here in the 7th Special Forces Group.” He continued, “Our priority now is to take care of his family and teammates, we will provide the best possible care possible during these trying times.”