KIA: April 14, 2012
Sgt. Tanner Stone Higgins, 23, was killed by enemy forces during a heavy firefight while conducting combat operations in Logar Province, Afghanistan. He was leading an assault against an enemy compound when he was mortally wounded by small arms fire.
Tanner was a team leader assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga. He was on his third deployment to Afghanistan in support of the War on Terror. He deployed to Iraq once.
Higgins was born Jan. 31, 1989. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in October 2007. Higgins 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 Assessment and Selection Program also at Fort Benning.
Higgins graduated from the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program and was then assigned to Company D, 1st Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment in July 2008, where he served as a rifleman, grenadier, automatic rifleman, gun team leader and a Ranger team leader.
His military education includes the Basic Airborne Course, Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, U.S. Army Ranger Course, Emergency Medical Technician Basic Course, U.S. Army Sniper School, and was the Warrior Leader Course Distinguished Leadership Awardee.
His awards and decorations include the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Parachutist Badge, and the U.S. Army Expert Rifle Marksmanship Qualification Badge.
Higgins has also been awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three Campaign Stars, Iraq Campaign Medal with one Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon and the Overseas Service Ribbon.
He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and Purple Heart.
Higgins is survived by his wife Shelby Lynn Higgins of Savannah, Ga., his father Danny R. Higgins of Hurst, Texas, and his mother Patti D. Sells of Tybee Island, Ga.
As a Ranger, Higgins selflessly lived his life for others and distinguished himself as a member of the Army’s premier direct action raid force and fought valiantly as he served his fellow Rangers and our great Nation.