MSG Luis Deleon-Figueroa – KIA in Afghanistan

MSG Luis Deleon-Figueroa

Master Sgt. Luis Deleon-Figueroa, 31, died August 21, 2019 during combat operations in Faryab province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

Deleon-Figueroa, a native of Chicopee, Massachusetts, had attended Chicopee High School where he was very involved in sports.

He served more than 13 years in the Army. He completed the Special Forces Qualification Course and was assigned to 7th SFG (A), in 2014 as a Special Forces communications sergeant, and then as a Special Forces operations and intelligence sergeant.

Luis Deleon-Figueroa deployed six times during his career. He deployed as an infantryman to Iraq in 2008, and to Afghanistan in 2010. As a Green Beret, he deployed to South America in 2015 and 2018, and to Afghanistan in 2018 and 2019.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Valor, Army Commendation Medal (2OLC), Army Achievement Medal (3OLC), Army Good Conduct Medal with four Knot Device, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with numeral “3”, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral “3”, NATO Medal, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Military Free Fall Jumpmaster Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge.

Faryab province

MSG Jose Gonzalez of the 7th Special Forces Group was also killed in the same combat operation. On July 13, 2019 SGM James Sartor of the 10th Special Forces Group was killed in Faryab province.

Some Massachusetts community leaders have paid tribute to Deleon-Figueroa:

“A terrible tragedy for him, his family, and us all. There are thousands of individuals like Luis and his family who volunteer to serve this country in dangerous places all over the world. Please keep them all in your thoughts and prayers. RIP MSG Deleon-Figueroa.”

Governor Charlie Baker, Tweeter, @CharlieBakerMA
MSG Deleon-Figueroa, family photo

“Two soldiers gave their lives for our country yesterday and sadly one of them is a son of Chicopee. As a city, we have great pride in the men and women who have volunteered to serve and protect us, but it is times like these that we appreciate just how courageous and selfless they really are. Master Sgt. Luis F. DeLeon-Figueroa will be honored by our city as one one of our heroes and we hope that his family will find comfort knowing that his sacrifice – their sacrifice will always be remembered.”

Chicopee Major Richard J. Kos, August 22, 2019.

Luis Deleon-Figueroa was posthumously promoted to Master Sergeant.  His posthumous awards include the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart Medal. He leaves behind two daughters, a step-daughter, and his fiance. A burial is planned for the Veterans Cemetery in Agawam, Massachusetts.

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References:

“Funeral held for fallen soldier from Chicopee”, Western Mass News, September 3, 2019. Includes video clip of funeral service.

“DOD Identifies Army Casualties”, U.S. Department of Defense, August 22, 2019.

“Two U.S. Service Members Killed in Afghanistan”, Resolute Support, August 21, 2019.

Photo: Lt. Col Loren Bymer, United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) Spokesman, provided the photo of MSG Luis Deleon-Figueroa.


About John Friberg 126 Articles
John Friberg is the Editor and Publisher of SOF News. He is a retired Command Chief Warrant Officer (CW5 180A) with 40 years service in the U.S. Army Special Forces with active duty and reserve components.