Cpl. Ryan C. McGhee, 21, was an automatic rifleman assigned to 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga. He was born on Nov. 4, 1987 in Pennsylvania.

He was killed by small arms fire while conducting combat operations in Central Iraq, when his unit came in contact with enemy forces. The unit was conducting operations to rid Iraq of a weapons facilitator and suicide vest cell known to be operating in the area.

McGhee was on his fourth deployment in support of the War on Terror with three previous deployments to Afghanistan.

After graduating from high school, McGhee enlisted in the U.S. Army from his hometown of Fredericksburg, Va., in August 1, 2006. He completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning Ga., as an infantryman. After graduating from the Basic Airborne Course there, he was assigned to the Ranger Indoctrination Program also at Fort Benning.

He graduated from the Ranger Indoctrination Program in February 2007 and was then assigned to Company B, 3rd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment March 1, 2007. McGhee served as a Rifleman and Grenadier in Company B before serving as a Weapons Squad Team Leader with Company D.

His military education includes the Basic Airborne Course, Ranger Indoctrination Program, and the U.S. Army Ranger Course.

His awards and decorations include the Ranger Tab, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Combat Star, Iraq Campaign Medal with Combat Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge and Parachutist Badge.

McGhee is survived by his father Steven McGhee of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; his mother Sherrie Battle McGhee, and maternal grandparents Dr. Williams C. and Joann Battle of Knoxville, Tenn.; paternal grandparents Mike and Roberta McGhee of Newsport News, Va., and his brother Zachary.