Sgt. James G. Johnston, explosive ordnance disposal specialist, 79th Ordnance Battalion (Explosive Ordnance Disposal)

FORT HOOD, Texas – The Department of Defense announced June 27 the death of a Fort Hood Soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Sgt. James Gregory Johnston, 24, whose home of record is listed as Trumansburg, New York, was assigned to 79th Ordnance Battalion (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), 71st Ordnance Group, here since February.

Johnston, along with another Soldier, Master Sgt. Micheal B. Riley, died June 25 in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan, as a result of wounds sustained from small arms fire while engaged in combat operations.

“It is with a heavy heart that we mourn the passing of Sergeant James Johnston.  He was the epitome of what we as Soldiers all aspire to be: intelligent, trained, always ready.  We will honor his service and his sacrifice to this nation as we continue to protect others from explosive hazards around the world,” said Lt. Col. Stacy M. Enyeart, commander of 79th Ordnance Battalion (Explosive Ordnance Disposal).

Johnston entered active-duty military service in July 2013 as an explosive ordnance disposal specialist.

Johnston deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in March 2019.

Johnston’s awards and decorations include a Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge, Senior Explosive Ordnance Disposal Badge and Explosive Ordnance Badge.

The incident remains under investigation by the Department of Defense.

Sgt. James. G. Johnston