U.S. Army Staff Sergeant
LODD: October 4, 2017

Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, a Special Forces medical sergeant assigned to Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), died during enemy contact while on deployment to Niger, West Africa, Oct. 4, 2017. Black, a native of Puyallup, Washington, enlisted in the U.S. Army in October 2009. In 2012, he started his Special Forces training. In 2015, after completing the Special Forces Qualification and the Special Forces Medical courses, he was assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne). Black conducted a deployment to Afghanistan as a medical sergeant in support of the War on Terror. He also deployed to Maradi, Niger, in 2016 and again to Ouallam, Niger in 2017.

Black’s military education includes the Special Operations Combat Medic Course, Ranger Course, Special Forces Qualification Course, Arabic Special Operations Language Training, Advanced Leaders Course, Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape Course, Basic Leaders Course, and the Combat Lifesavers Course. SSG Black spoke Arabic through the military and taught himself French, and Hausa, a local dialect in Niger. He was highly skilled in chess, mixed martial arts, and stock trading. He was well known to lead a bible study for his fellow soldiers while deployed and was rarely found without a book or a cigar in hand.

His awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with C Device, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal (2), National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Niger Cross of Valor with Star, Combat Infantryman Badge, Special Forces Tab, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, and the Marksmanship Qualification Badge – Sharpshooter with Rifle. He was posthumously awarded a bronze star with a “v” device for valorous actions on the ground during the ambush in Niger.

SSG Bryan Black is survived by his wife, Michelle, and their sons, Isaac and Ezekiel, his parents Karen and Henry Black, and his brother Jason Black.

Tunnels to Towers is paying off the mortgage for SSG Black’s widow and children this Veterans Day. Because of this generous gift, Michelle will be able to afford to continue raising their children near Bryan’s parents.