Soldier killed in suspected insider attack in Afghanistan identified
By PHILLIP WALTER WELLMAN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 8, 2018
KABUL, Afghanistan — Army Cpl. Joseph Maciel has been identified by the Pentagon as the soldier killed Saturday in an apparent insider attack in southern Afghanistan.
Maciel, of South Gate, Calif., was assigned to 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, which provides protection for the Army’s 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, or SFAB.
He died from wounds sustained in the attack in Tirin Kot district in Uruzgan province. Two other U.S. servicemembers were wounded in the attack but were in stable condition and being treated, a coalition statement said.
Maciel served in the Army for two years and was assigned to Fort Benning, Ga., according to a 3rd Infantry Division statement. He was described as a soldier beloved by his colleagues and dedicated to the mission.
“He will be greatly missed by the entire Black Lion family. Our prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time,” Maciel’s battalion commander, Lt. Col. David Conner, said in a statement.
Maciel’s decorations include the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
The incident is under investigation, officials said. Maciel’s death marks the third U.S. fatality in Afghanistan this year.
The 1st SFAB arrived in Afghanistan earlier this year to advise Afghan forces below the corps level as part of the Trump administration’s strategy for ending the longest war in U.S. history. Their work puts them closer to the front lines than most U.S. troops have been in years, which has sparked concern that more U.S. causalities could result.
Insider attacks were a major problem in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2012. They declined as major combat operations drew to a close in 2014; however, a Pentagon report to Congress late last year said the threat of such attacks could rise with the “explosive growth in personnel” in the Afghan ranks as NATO builds up the country’s military.