First US Casualty in Afghan War Worked for CIA

Washington Post fills out story of Green Beret Nathan Chapman
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2016 1:42 PM CDT
First US Casualty in Afghan War Worked for CIA
In this 2002 file photo, Will and Lynn Chapman sit in their home in Georgetown, Texas, holding a photo of their son, Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Ross Chapman.   (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck)

Nathan Ross Chapman has the distinction of being the first American military death of the Afghanistan war, but as the Washington Post reports, there was far more to his story. It turns out that the 31-year-old Army Green Beret also was working with a CIA detail when he was shot to death while riding in a military convoy in January 2002. "It took another 13 years for the CIA to recognize on its Memorial Wall that Chapman was also one of its own—the sergeant first class had been officially detailed to the agency in the weeks after the 9/11 attacks and died acting as a CIA paramilitary team’s communications specialist," writes Thomas Gibbons-Neff.

Chapman was working as part of an operation known as Team Hotel. His specialty, and he was acknowledged as one of the best, was syncing satellite radios and computers in war zones. He'd proven his ability is several deployments, including in Thailand and Malaysia, and Chapman was selected for the Afghan mission from more than 1,300 special-ops soldiers. His father says Chapman wanted nothing more than to be involved with the fight against al-Qaeda in the aftermath of 9/11. “America’s going to war over this,” his dad recalls him saying at the time. “And they’re not going without me.” Click to read the full profile. (More Afghanistan war stories.)

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