Family Programs
Colorado Guardsman, Navy SEALs killed in action in Afghanistan 
By Air National Guard Master Sgt. Cheresa D. Theiral 
Colorado Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 4 David R. Carter 
Colorado Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 5 David R. Carter (CONG archives)

On August 6, 2011, Colorado Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 5 David R. Carter, 47, was killed in action in Afghanistan.

Carter was the copilot of a CH-47 Chinook and was one of 30 U.S. service members, including four other Army crewmembers, 22 Navy SEALs, three special operations Airmen, seven Afghan commandos, an interpreter and a dog, who died in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when their helicopter crashed.

The loss of life aboard Extortion 17 was, to that date, the worst single-day loss of American life since the beginning of the Afghan war.

Company B is the Colorado Army National Guard’s heavy lift helicopter unit. The unit deployed in May 2011 and was tasked to transport troops and cargo throughout Afghanistan.

Afghanistan was Carter’s second combat deployment with the 2-135th GSAB. His previous deployment was to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Carter came to Colorado from the Kansas Army National Guard in May 1988. His military decorations include an Army Service Ribbon, two National Defense Service Medals, Master Army Aviation Badge, Army Achievement Medal, Army Aviation Badge, Senior Army Aviation Badge, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Combat Action Badge, Iraqi Campaign Medal, two Air Medals, two Armed Forces Reserve Medals with "M" devices, Overseas Service Ribbon, six Army Component Achievement Medals, and several state decorations including the Long Service Medal, Foreign Deployment Service Medal, Active Service Medal, and an emergency service medal. He also received an emergency service medal from Louisiana.

Carter was posthumously promoted to chief warrant officer 5.