Special Forces soldier killed in Afghanistan identified

U.S. Army Special Forces Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Beale. (Fort Bragg Public Affairs via AP)

The Army identified the Special Forces soldier killed in Afghanistan Tuesday as a Green Beret from Virginia.

Sgt. 1st Class Joshua "Zach" Beale, 32, was shot and killed during combat operations in Central Afghanistan's Uruzgan Province. He was assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group based at Fort Bragg, N.C.

"Joshua was a smart, talented and dedicated member of 3rd SFG [Airborne] and the special operations community," Beale's commander, Col. Nathan Prussian, said in a statement. "He will be greatly missed by everyone who had the fortunate opportunity to know him. We extend our deepest condolences to his family for this tragic loss."

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A native of Carrollton, Va., Beale graduated from Old Dominion University in 2008 and joined the Army in 2011. He was on his fourth overseas tour and his third tour to Afghanistan when he was killed. He received a posthumous Bronze Star Medal, his fourth.

Beale is the second American soldier to be killed in Afghanistan so far this year. He is survived by his wife and two children.

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