TSgt William H. Jefferson
March 22, 2008
Sperwan Ghar, Afghanistan
Operation Enduring Freedom
On March 22, 2008, Jefferson was killed near Sperwan Ghar, Afghanistan, when the vehicle he was traveling in encountered an improvised explosive device (IED).
Born in Norfolk, Virginia, Jefferson enlisted in the United States Marine Corps following graduation from Lake Taylor High School in 1991.
After four years serving in the 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, he decided to enlist in the United States Air Force and become a combat controller, and upon graduation was assigned to the 21st Special Tactics Squadron at Pope AFB, North Carolina. For nearly five years, Jefferson served proudly as a member of Silver Team before moving into a highly coveted position in the Integrated Survey Program. For two years he honed his skills as an expert surveyor conducting multiple classified survey missions throughout the globe.
In 2002, Jefferson was selected to become an instructor at the Combat Control School, also located at Pope AFB. His expert instructor skills helped develop a new crop of young and aspiring airmen, significantly increasing the number of much needed graduates.
In July 2006, he returned to the 21st Special Tactics Squadron during a time of war and became an outstanding addition to the operations staff. He promptly picked up duties as the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) of Exercise and Plans, primarily responsible for all Joint Forcible Entry Exercises conducted at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
In October 2006, Jefferson deployed for nearly six months as the NCOIC of the Special Tactics Assault Zone and Reconnaissance team. He conducted multiple operations throughout Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar, Djibouti, Kenya, and other classified locations in the Horn of Africa. Following this deployment, he was selected as an element leader on Blue Team. During this time, he earned Distinguished Graduate honors from the Non-Commissioned Officer Academy and earned joint terminal attack controller combat mission ready status.
In January 2008, Jefferson once again volunteered to deploy to help fight the War on Terror. He deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. It was on this deployment to Afghanistan that he was killed in action.
Technical Sergeant Jefferson's awards and commendations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, Air Force Commendation Medal with Valor, Air Force Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Global War on Terrorism Medal and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.
In conjunction with the Combat Control Association, a dedicated memorial page is available for all Combat Controllers who are no longer with us.
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