The Army has identified the two U.S. soldiers killed in a reported insider attack Monday.
Pfc. Brandon Jay Kreischer, 20, of Stryker, Ohio, and Spc. Michael Isaiah Nance, 24, of Chicago died in Afghanistan while supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.
Both soldiers were members of Company B., 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division when they were killed by small arms fire, division officials said in a release.
The paratroopers died from wounds sustained in a “combat related incident” in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Province, according to a Pentagon press release.
“These young men were true All Americans and embodied the qualities of selfless service and courage as they answered our nation’s call to deploy to Afghanistan,” said Col. Arthur Sellers, commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, in a division statement.
“Our focus is now providing their loved ones with every available resource to help them in this most difficult time," Sellers said.
The incident remains under investigation, officials said, but the Associated Press reported that an Afghan soldier shot and killed the two U.S. troops in Kandahar. The Afghan soldier was wounded and is in custody, according to the officials.
Nance joined the Army in January 2017 and Kreischer joined in June 2018.
Both completed Basic Combat Training, Advanced Individual Training and Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia, before being assigned to the 1-505th PIR at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Nance was an automatic rifleman, while Kreischer was a rifleman
Both soldiers’ awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Basic Parachutist Badge.
Kreischer is survived by his wife back home in Fayetteville, the large community surrounding Fort Bragg.
Nance is survived by his mother and father in Illinois.
The two latest deaths bring the number of U.S. troops killed in action in Afghanistan to date this year to 12. There have been nearly 60 U.S. troops wounded in action so far this year.
Last year, 13 U.S. troops were killed in action.
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.