Sgt. 1st Class Lance Herman Vogeler, 29, was killed by enemy indirect fire during a heavy firefight while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Vogeler was a mortars section leader assigned to 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga. He was on his 12th deployment in support of the War on Terror with four previous deployments to Iraq and seven to Afghanistan.
He was born on Aug. 9, 1981 in Manchester, Md and enlisted in the U.S. Army in May 2001 from his hometown of Frederick, Md. He completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Ga., as an indirect fire infantryman. After graduating from the Basic Airborne Course there, he was assigned to the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program also at Fort Benning.
Vogeler graduated from the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program and was then assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment in December 2001, where he served as a gunner, fire direction chief, fire direction computer, squad leader and mortars section leader. His military education includes the Basic Airborne Course, Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, Emergency Room Medical Technician Basic Course, the U.S. Army Ranger Course, Infantry Mortar Platoon Course, Warrior Leader Course, Jumpmaster Course, Advanced Leader Course and the Senior Leader Course.
His awards and decorations include the Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, and the Parachutists Badge. He has also been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal with two oak leaf clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with combat star, Iraq Campaign Medal with combat star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with numeral one, Army Service Ribbon and the Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral one. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal.
Vogeler is survived by his wife, Melissa, son Colin and daughter, Madison and parents, Timothy and Donna Vogeler. Army Ranger Lead The Way Fund has given a significant amount in financial aid to assist Melissa with support for son Colin, who has special needs, many of which are not covered by the VA.
We also presented the family with a hand-painted portrait of Lance, commissioned by the American Fallen Soldiers Project, at our annual Gold Star Memorial event.