Army Capt. Benjamin D. Tiffner, 31, of West Virginia, died Nov. 7, 2007, in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when he was struck by an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Ky.
Capt. Benjamin David Tiffner was killed in action Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2007 when his vehicle was struck by an IED while conducting a combat operation in Baghdad, Iraq. He was 31.
Capt. Tiffner was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2007. There will be a local memorial service at Soldotna Baptist Church at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008.
Capt. Tiffner lived near Nashville, Tenn., and at the time of his death, was a Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha team leader assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). While three of Benjamin's ODA team members were injured, no one else was killed in the attack.
Capt. Tiffner grew up both in the Philippines, where his family served as missionaries, and later in the Charleston, W.V. area. While in high school, he played varsity basketball and soccer and was home-schooled his last three years of high school. He loved competitive sports and hunting.
Capt. Tiffner planned to join the military from an early age. At 19, he enrolled at the United States Military Academy at West Point and graduated in 2000. After Infantry Officer's Basic Course, Airborne School and Ranger School, he was assigned to 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment., at Fort Lewis, Wash., and served as an infantry platoon leader, reconnaissance platoon leader, and company executive officer. He served in Iraq from November 2003 to March 2004. Upon graduating from the Special Forces Qualification Course in April 2006, he was assigned to 5th SFG(A)at Fort Campbell, KY.
His awards and decorations include two Army Commendation Medals, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab, and the Special Forces Tab.
His family writes: "Benjamin died a Christian, heartily fulfilling his calling from God. He had talked with his family the day of the attack. To his parents and sister, Ben expressed concern for the spiritual needs surrounding him and resounding confidence that he was where God had led him. Ben confidently stated that he and his men were making a difference in the war effort. In his earthly life, Benjamin Tiffner was wholly dedicated to praising the glorious grace of his God.
"Throughout his career in the Army, Ben demonstrated an unusual passion for excellence combined with real personal humility. By God's grace, Ben's thoroughly-converted character made him an outstanding leader, counselor, soldier, friend, son, and brother."
Capt. Tiffner was preceded in death by his grandfather, Lewis Edgar Tiffner, Retired U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major.
He is survived by his parents, Timothy and Judith Tiffner, sisters, Rebekah Crain and Sarah Tiffner, and brothers, Joshua and Seth Tiffner.
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