The 1st Cavalry Division experienced its first combat-related death in more than two years this week.
First Lt. Jason Togi, 24, of Pago Pago, American Samoa, died Monday in Hasan Karez, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with a roadside bomb, the Defense Department announced Thursday. He was a combat engineer assigned to the 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
The last time the division lost a soldier in combat was June 26, 2011, when Staff Sgt. Russell Jeremiah Proctor and Pfc. Dylan Jeffrey Johnson, of 2nd Brigade’s 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, were killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb, division officials confirmed.
“We deeply respect Lt. Jason Togi’s service and sacrifice,” said Maj. Gen. Anthony R. Ierardi, 1st Cavalry Division commander. “Our heartfelt sympathies are with his family, friends and the Black Jack team at this difficult time. The 1st Cavalry Division honors his memory and our soldiers remain committed to the nation’s defense.”
In the past two years, the division’s headquarters and two of its brigades deployed and returned from Afghanistan without combat deaths.
Across Fort Hood as a whole, it’s been more than a year since a soldier stationed at the post was killed by enemy forces.
Staff Sgt. Robert Massarelli and Sgt. Michael Strachota, both of 180th Transportation Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command, were killed in the same attack June 24, 2012, in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
As of Tuesday, at least 2,129 members of the U.S. military died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count.
Contact Rose L. Thayer at email@example.com or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.