Sgt. Maj. Wardell Turner, 48, was from Nanticoke, Maryland. He was assigned to Headquarters, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Drum, New York.
Turner was assigned to a key training command in Afghanistan.
Turner served as the top enlisted for Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan in Kabul, which is primarily responsible for training Afghan National Security Forces. Earlier this year, CSTC-A lost Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, who was killed in a deadly insider attack Aug. 5 in Kabul. Greene was CSTC-A's deputy commander and the first American general officer to be killed by hostile fire in combat since Sept. 11, 2001.
Turner graduated from Bennett High School in 1984 and was a member of the 1983 championship football team, according to the Daily Times newspaper in Salisbury, Maryland.
He attended Towson University on a football scholarship, graduating in 1989 with a bachelors degree in management, according to the paper.
Turner later earned a master's degree in criminal justice from Central Missouri State University in 2011.