Family Programs
A solemn inaugural: Guard Soldier becomes first National Guard, Colorado casualty in Afghanistan 
By Air National Guard Master Sgt. Cheresa D. Theiral 
Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Romero 
Colorado Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Daniel A. Romero (CONG archives)

On April 15, 2002, Colorado Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Daniel A. Romero, 30, became the first service member from Colorado, and the first National Guardsman, to become a casualty in the Global War on Terror.

The Special Forces communications chief died from injuries sustained during an ordinance disposal operation involving 107-mm rockets near Kandahar, Afghanistan. The explosion killed three other U.S. Soldiers and wounded another.

Romero was one of approximately 100 members of Company B, 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Headquartered in Pueblo, the unit was called to active duty Dec. 5, 2001.

Romero was born in February 1972 and joined the Colorado Army National Guard Dec. 18, 1991. He attended basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C. in July 1992; advanced individual training at Fort Gordon, Ga., in September 1992; and went through Airborne school at Fort Benning, Ga., in January 1993.

Romero’s decorations include an Army Service Ribbon, a Noncommissioned Officers Ribbon, a National Defense Service Medal, and a Colorado Emergency Service Ribbon with one device. 

He also earned a parachute badge and Special Forces tab.

Romero was a traditional Guard member and was self-employed in the construction industry.