U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 1297-07
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Captain Benjamin D. Tiffner, 31, of West Virginia, died November 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, Kentucky.
Captain Benjamin Tiffner, 31, was fatally wounded when his vehicle encountered an IED in the course of conducting a ground convoy in Baghdad. He was a Special Forces Operational Detachment – Alpha team leader assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Tiffner, a native of Ohio, volunteered for military service and graduated from the United States Military Academy 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, Washington, 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). He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a member of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Arabian Peninsula. This was his second deployment to Iraq in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Tiffner is survived by his parents, Timothy and Judith of Soldotna, Alaska.
In 1996, he was nominated by Senator Robert Byrd to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Tiffner's mother, Judy, said at the time her son was home-schooled. “Benjamin received his education at home, which is a miracle regarding getting into West Point,” she said. “He has wanted to be a military officer since he was a young man. He had this in the back of his mind even as he was in the process of switching from traditional school.”
Tiffner's parents, Judy and Timothy, were missionaries, and the family once lived in the Philippines.
When they returned to the United States, Timothy Tiffner became the director of the Camp of the Hills, a 100-acre Christian-related family camp near the junction of Roane, Clay and Kanawha counties, near where he grew up.
He was one of five children. At age 19 he was to report to classes at West Point and pay the $2,000 fee, a lot of money for a family living on missionaries' pay.
A West Virginia soldier, a few hours from his death in Iraq, had a final request for his parents. He wanted them to pray for the men who served under him.
Special Forces Captain Benjamin Tiffner will be buried Tuesday in Arlington National Cemetery. He died November 7, 2007, in Baghdad of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device struck him.
Family friend Randy Curry of Alum Creek, who watched Tiffner grow up in Kanawha and Clay counties, says the 31-year-old Tiffner was a special man who cared for the spiritual conditions of the 11 men in his group. He says Tiffner spoke to his parents just a few hours before he lost his life.
“He told his parents, ‘Please pray for these men,'” Curry said. “He had witnessed to each of them about the Lord and about Christ as his Savior and he wanted them to have that same peace.”
Tiffner grew up in a missionary home. His father will officiate Tuesday's funeral service.
Curry says a lot of good has already resulted from Tiffner's death. He says his parents want the service to focus on their son's relationship with God. The service at Murphy Funeral Home will begin and end with the hymn “To God Be The Glory.”
“That gives you a good idea of where they want the emphasis to be,” Curry continued. “And that's where their hope and confidence is right now.”
The funeral service will be followed by a burial service at Arlington National Cemetery. Curry says an Honor Guard will carry Captain Tiffner's remains to the grave followed by a 21-gun salute and Taps.
Curry says he'll never forget Tiffner's smile and his leadership abilities that were evident from a very young age.
“He would do anything they would ask him to do and he would do it with every bit of his energy and effort. He really enjoyed training and working hard,” Curry said.
One of Captain Tiffner's instructors at West Point years ago wrote a message about him in an internet Guest Book Monday.
“To the family and friends of CPT Tiffner, my condolences to you. I was shocked to hear of Ben's passing this morning. Though it has been many years since Ben was assigned to me as a plebe at West Point, I will always remember his uncommon qualities. He was honest, hardworking, loyal, good humored, and a fine friend. I will never forget Ben.”
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard