The U.S. service member killed in combat in Afghanistan on Dec. 23 was 33-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Michael James Goble, the U.S. Army announced Monday night. It was his third deployment to Afghanistan.
Goble was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), based in Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
According to Fox News, Goble and his team were engaged in combat operations in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan, when he suffered fatal injuries and was announced dead on Monday.
The Taliban claimed they were behind the roadside bombing that killed the soldier, The Epoch Times reported Monday.
Goble was a special forces soldier from Westwood Township, New Jersey who joined the Army in 2004. In 2007, he graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course as a Green Beret.
Military.com identified Goble’s training as the following: “Special Forces Sniper Course, Basic and Advanced Military Freefall Course, Military Freefall Advanced Tactical Insertion Course, Joint Armorer Course, Survive, Evade, Resist and Escape Course, Special Forces Intelligence Sergeant Course, Special Operations Force Surveillance Operator, Special Warfare Network Development, Advanced Special Operations Techniques—Level III Course, Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat Course and Special Warfare Operational Design Course.”
According to U.S. Army Special Operations Command, he first deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 and has deployed to Argentina, Guatemala, Colombia, and South Korea since.
He had also received many awards including the Bronze Star Medal and Army Commendation Medal.
Col. John W. Sannes said in a statement: “Sgt. 1st Class Goble was more than just a member of the 7th Special Forces Group, he was a brother to us, and a beloved family member to the Northwest Florida community. We will honor our brother’s sacrifice and provide the best possible care to his family. We ask that you keep his family and teammates in your thoughts and prayers.”
Goble is the 20th soldier to have been killed in Afghanistan this year—the highest death toll since the announced end of conventional war in 2014.
Last month, two U.S. service members were killed in a helicopter crash in Logar Province in eastern Afghanistan. Although the Taliban claimed responsibility for their death, the U.S. military later dismissed it as false.
In August, U.S. service member Sgt. 1st Class Dustin B. Ard, 31, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, died during combat operations in Zabul Province. Two other Americans have died that month.
Peace talks to reduce violence between the United States and the Taliban took place earlier this month.