Pentagon to delay Afghanistan troop death announcements

Thursday, July 6, 2017
By Paul Martin
6 Jul, 2017

Deaths of US troops in Afghanistan will no longer be reported right away, but after a delay intended to inform their next of kin first. The new policy was enacted by the US commander in the country, according to several media outlets.

The change was not officially announced, but rather inferred from this week’s statement about the death of Private First Class Hansen B. Kirkpatrick, 19, of Wasilla, Alaska. Kirkpatrick died from injuries he suffered in a July 3 attack in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, but the Pentagon did not make that public until July 5.

Previously, US forces in Afghanistan would announce the soldiers’ deaths in a brief statement, and release more details – such as the service member’s name, age, rank, and unit – 24 hours after notifying their next of kin.

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