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Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey M. Rada Morales, 32, died as a result of a non-battle accident on June 28, near Khosrow-E Sofla, in the Arghandab District, Kandahar province, Afghanistan, in support of combat operations while serving with Company A, 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne).
He deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in May 2008 as a member of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan. This was his second deployment in support of the Global War on Terror and second deployment to Afghanistan.
Rada Morales, a native of Naranjito, Puerto Rico, volunteered for military service and entered the Army in April 1995 as an animal care specialist. He was initially assigned as a veterinary technician at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., where he served for 14 months. In 1996 he moved to the 248th Medical Detachment at Fort Bragg, N.C., then, in 1999, he went to Aberdeen Proving Grounds for three years. He moved back to Fort Bragg, to the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, in 2002, first to be an animal care instructor, then as a student; training as a Special Forces medical sergeant. In 2007 he earned the coveted “Green Beret” and was assigned to 1st Bn., 7th SFG(A) at Fort Bragg, N.C., as a Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha senior medical sergeant.
Rada Morales’ military education includes; the Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course, Basic Airborne Course, Jumpmaster Course, Air Assault Course, Warrior Leaders Course, Basic Instructor Training Course and Special Forces Qualification Course.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal , Meritorious Service Medal (second award), Joint Service Commendation Medal, three Army Commendation Medals, seven Army Achievement Medals, four Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, and the Special Forces Tab.
Rada Morales is survived by his wife, Amanda, son, Andrew and daughter, Jessica, of Fayetteville, N.C.; and mother Virginia Morales, of Dorado, Puerto Rico.
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