The Defense Department on Wednesday identified two soldiers, including a command sergeant major, who were killed Monday in Afghanistan.
The soldiers died in Kabul from wounds suffered when the enemy attacked their vehicle with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.
Sgt. Maj. Wardell Turner, 48, was from Nanticoke, Maryland. He was assigned to Headquarters, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Drum, New York.
Spc. Joseph Riley, 27, was from Grove City, Ohio. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Two soldiers were killed Monday morning when a bomb hidden in the median strip of a street in eastern Kabul detonated as a convoy of coalition troops drove by, according to a New York Times report.
The bomb struck a Toyota Land Cruiser and also wounded a passerby, Afghan police told the Times.
The names and nationalities of the soldiers have not been released by the American-led International Security Assistance Force. The policy of the U.S. Department of Defense is to not release the name of casualties until 24 hours after the next of kin has been identified.
But Turner's death was confirmed by Elmer Davis, a close friend who had known Turner since high school. Davis said a family member informed him of his friend's death.
The other casualty has been identified by local media in Ohio as Spc. Joseph Riley. Riley had been in the Army less than three years, according to the
Tuesday by the NBC affiliate in Columbus.
On Nov. 16, Turner was the served as a senior enlisted adviser for a training seminar for the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan in Kabul, according to the International Security Assistance Force.
Turner was quoted in a Nov. 17 news release from ISAF about his mission in Afghanistan.
"The goal of this seminar is to teach the senior enlisted noncommissioned officers supply discipline, the ordering process, maintenance procedures and how to operate the different management systems," said Command Sgt. Maj. Wardell Turner, senior enlisted adviser for CSTC-A.
Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Griffin, the senior enlisted soldier for 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, died in a deadly twin suicide-bomber attack in Asadabad. Also killed were Maj. Thomas Kennedy, Air Force Maj. Walter Gray and Ragaei Abdelfattah, a civilian working for the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Turner graduated from Bennett High School in 1984 and was a member of the 1983 championship football team, according to the Daily Times newspaper in Salisbury, Maryland.
He attended Towson University on a football scholarship, graduating in 1989 with a bachelors degree in management, according to the paper.
Turner later earned a master's degree in criminal justice from Central Missouri State University in 2011.
Turner had served in several military police units since 1993, most recently in the 720th Military Police Battalion. He was promoted to sergeant major in July 2013, the Maryland paper reported.
Daniel Savoy, an administrator at James M. Bennett High School from the 1970s through the 1990s, remembers Turner as someone willing to help.
"I could a
He also said "the way he carried himself and so forth" resembled that of military personnel, adding "he walked with a purpose."sk him for help of any kind and he would be more than willing to help me or anyone else," Savoy said. "He did not hesitate to help anyone. All you had to do was ask."
Spc. Joseph Riley was killed Monday in Afghanistan.
Photo Credit: Army
Riley, who was an infantryman, joined the Army in June 2012, according to the 82nd Airborne. He arrived at Fort Bragg in October 2012 and was later assigned to 1st Battalion.
"Spc. Riley was a superb paratrooper who I will remember as having an infectious positive attitude," said Lt. Col. Matthew Konz, Riley's battalion commander, in a statement. "He was able to lift the spirits of those around him, even in the worst conditions. I am humbled to have had the opportunity to know and serve with him."
Riley's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Combat Infantryman Badge and Basic Parachutist Badge.
Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.