The Defense Department on Thursday night released the name of the soldier who was killed this week in Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler, 27, died Wednesday in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, from wounds he suffered when an improvised explosive device exploded during combat operations.
The incident is under investigation.
Butler, of Monticello, Utah, was a Special Forces soldier assigned to the Utah National Guard’s B Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group.
Butler had been a member of the Utah Guard since 2008. He deployed to Afghanistan in April.
“Ultimately, what we do is very dangerous business,” said Maj. Gen. Jeff Burton, Utah’s adjutant general, in a statement. “Our hearts are broken when we lose one of our own. We know these people personally, they are our friends, we respect them and it’s very painful.”
The Green Berets from 1st Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group who are deployed to Afghanistan were on a mission alongside Afghan forces to reduce the presence of ISIS-Khorasan fighters in the country.
ISIS-Khorasan is an offshoot of the Islamic State terror group.
On Wednesday, Butler was killed and 11 others were wounded while clearing a building. Initial reports indicate the building was wired with explosives, and the soldiers were struck upon entry, according to the Utah Guard.
Butler was a Special Forces engineer noncommissioned officer.
He joined the Army in April 2008, and after training was assigned to C Company, 1457th Engineer Battalion in Blanding, Utah, according to bio information released by the Guard.
In June 2015, Butler transferred to 1st Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group. He arrived at the battalion’s B Company in June 2016.
He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
This brings the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan this year to 11, the same number as were killed in all of 2016 in Afghanistan.
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.