Sgt. Thomas R. MacPherson, 26, was killed by enemy forces during a heavy firefight while conducting combat operations in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. He was leading an assault against an enemy position when he was mortally wounded by small arms fire.
MacPherson was a team leader assigned to Company D, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. He previously served one deployment to Iraq and this was his fourth deployment to Afghanistan.
MacPherson was born July 20, 1986 in Long Beach, Calif. and graduated from Los Alamitos High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in May 2007 and 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.
MacPherson graduated from the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program and was then assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment in December 2007, where he served as a mortarman. After three years, he was assigned to Company D where he served as a Fire Team Leader.
His military education includes the Basic Airborne Course, Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, U.S. Army Ranger School, Infantry Mortar Leader’s Course, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course (SERE), and the Warrior Leader Course.
His awards and decorations include the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Expert Infantryman’s Badge, the Parachutist Badge, and the U.S. Army Expert Rifle Marksmanship Qualification Badge.
MacPherson has also been awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, 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 Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and the NATO Medal.
He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service and Purple Heart.
MacPherson is survived by his wife, Claudia MacPherson, and their son, Brayden of Tacoma, Wash., and his parents, Troy and Diona MacPherson of Long Beach, Calif.
As a Ranger, Sgt. Thomas R. MacPherson 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.