Family Programs
Guardsman killed in Afghanistan 
By Air National Guard Master Sgt. Cheresa D. Theiral 
Staff Sgt Liam J. Nevins 

Colorado Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Liam J. Nevins (CONG archives)

On Sept. 21, 2013, Colorado Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Liam J. Nevins, 32, of Company B, 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, was killed in action in Afghanistan.

Nevins and two other U.S. Soldiers died at Forward Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with small arms fire while they were conducting range training in Gardez, Paktia Province, Afghanistan.

Nevins was on his fourth combat deployment.

Prior to graduating from high school, Nevins enlisted in the U.S. Army under the Delayed Entry Program. Family members noted that it was always his dream to be an elite member of the brotherhood of Special Forces.

Upon entering active duty, Nevins was assigned to Company A, 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Fort Bragg, N.C. Shortly after being promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2003, he deployed to Afghanistan as a rifle team leader. Subsequently, he rose to the rank of staff sergeant as a Sniper/Reconnaissance Team leader in Headquarters Company, then as a Weapons Squad leader in Company C. He completed two more deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan in 2004 and 2005.

Shortly after leaving active-duty service, Nevins attended the Metropolitan State College of Denver from August 2006 to May 2009, where he studied for a Bachelor’s of Science with a focus on Business Finance. In May of 2009, he enlisted into the Colorado Army National Guard as a Special Forces communications sergeant. Nevins attended the Special Forces Qualification Course at Fort Bragg, N.C., from January 2010 until his successful graduation in August 2011. He was then assigned to Operational Detachment A in Company B, 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, Colorado Army National Guard.

His awards and decorations include: Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Combat Infantry Badge, Expert Infantry Badge, Parachutists’ Badge, three Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one campaign star, Iraq Campaign Medal with one campaign star, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Noncommissioned Officer’s Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, and Global War on Terror Service Medal.