A Special Forces warrant officer has died from injuries he suffered in a vehicle accident while serving in Africa, a U.S. Army Special Operations Command spokesman confirmed to Army Times on Thursday.
Warrant Officer 1 Shawn Thomas, of 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, died Feb. 2, Lt. Col. Robert Bockholt confirmed. His death was first reported by U.S. Army W.T.F.! Moments.
"Our deepest condolences go out to Warrant Officer Thomas' family, friends and colleagues," 3rd Special Forces Group officials said in a statement.
Officials couldn't specify the type of vehicle or any other details of the accident because of the ongoing investigation, said Sgt. 1st Class Victor Aguirre, a USASOC spokesman.
Thomas and members of his unit are part of a contingent of soldiers, both civil affairs and Special Forces, deployed to central Africa to train local troops and support the local population in countering the spread of terrorist groups.
"SF teams are advising members of the Nigerien Armed Forces who are conducting counter-Boko Haram operations to bring stability to the Lake Chad Basin region," Aguirre said.
Thomas, 35, enlisted in July 2000 as a networking switching systems operator, according to his bio. He joined the Fort Bragg, North Carolina-based 3rd Special Forces Group in 2008 following the Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course. He went warrant officer in 2016.
The Oklahoma native deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan a combined seven times, according to his bio. His awards and decorations include two Bronze Stars, four Good Conduct Medals and various decorations for service abroad.
He was posthumously awarded a Meritorious Service Medal and Army Commendation Medal for his work in Niger, according to his bio.
He is survived by his wife and four children.
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.