The Pentagon has released the identities of two U.S. soldiers from Fort Carson, Colorado, killed in northern Afghanistan Friday.
Sgt. 1st Class Will D. Lindsay, 33, and Spc. Joseph P. Collette, 29, died from wounds sustained during combat operations in Kunduz province, Afghanistan.
Both soldiers were killed as a result of small arms fire, according to U.S. Forces-Afghanistan.
Lindsay, a Green Beret from Cortez, Colorado., was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group.
Collette, an explosive ordnance disposal specialist from Lancaster, Ohio, was assigned to the 242nd Ordnance Battalion, 71st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group.
Lindsay enlisted in the Army in July 2004. He graduated Special Forces Qualification Course in July 2006 and was assigned to 10th Group, according to Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, an Army Special Operations Command spokesman.
Lindsay’s Special Forces "family is deeply saddened at the loss,” Col. Lawrence Ferguson, 10th Group commander, said in a statement provided to Army Times.
“Will was one of the best in our formation, with more than a decade of service in the Regiment at all levels of noncommissioned officer leadership," Ferguson said. "We will focus now on supporting his family and honoring his legacy and sacrifice.”
Collette had been in the Army since November 2010, and stationed at Fort Carson since June 2012, according to his service records.
Afghanistan was Collette’s first deployment.
“The 71st Ordnance Group (EOD) is deeply saddened by the loss of Spc. Joseph P. Collette. We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to his family and friends,” Col. David Green, commander of 71st Ordnance Group, said in a statement.
Collete arrived in Afghanistan Dec. 27. He was a recipient of the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Badge and the Senior Explosive Ordnance Disposal Badge.
Lindsay’s deployments include five tours to Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn; to Tajikistan in 2016 supporting a counter-narcotics terrorism mission; and Afghanistan supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.
Lindsay attended static-line and military free-fall parachute training. He also graduated from a range of other special operations training programs, including Special Operations Target Interdiction Course and Special Forces Intelligence Sergeant Course.
Lindsay’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, a Purple Heart, the NATO Medal, the Special Forces Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Military Free Fall Jumpmaster Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge and the Chilean Airborne Wings.
Lindsay is survived by his wife and four daughters.
Two other Americans have been killed in Afghanistan this year: Army Ranger Sgt. Cameron Meddock and Army Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Joshua “Zach” Beale. Both were killed in January.
In 2018, 13 U.S. troops were killed during combat operations in Afghanistan. That is a slight increase from 11 killed in action in 2017.
There are roughly 14,000 U.S. troops currently serving in Afghanistan.
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter whose investigations have covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.