Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, a soldier assigned to Fort Bragg’s 9th Battalion, 8th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne) died as a result of wounds sustained from an attack at the Hamid Karzai International Airport, where he was supporting non-combatant evacuation operations Aug. 26 in Kabul, Afghanistan.
“We share in the tremendous grief over the loss of Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, and we stand in support of his wife and entire family during this tragic time,” said Col. Jeremy Mushtare, commander of 8th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne). “Ryan was the embodiment of an Army Special Operations Forces soldier, a testament to the professionalism of the non-commissioned officer corps, and a steadfast husband and teammate. His loss is devastating to our formation and Army family.”
Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tenn., joined the Army in May 2016. Following Initial Entry Training and Airborne School at Fort Benning, Ga., Knauss was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, and deployed to Afghanistan in 2017 as an infantryman. Upon returning home he attended and completed the Psychological Operations Assessment and Selection Course and the Psychological Operations Qualification Course. Upon graduation, Knauss was assigned to 9th Battalion, 8th POG (Airborne).
Staff Sgt. Knauss’s military education includes the Basic Airborne Course, Basic Leader Course, Advanced Leader Course, Psychological Operations Assessment and Selection Course, Psychological Operations Qualification Course, and Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course (Level C).
His awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Combat Action Badge, and the Army Basic Parachutist Badge.
U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (NC-08), Fort Bragg's Congressman, released a statement Saturday that read "Renee and I join our country in praying for the family of Staff Sergeant Ryan Knauss, including his wife in Pinebluff and his extended family in Tennessee and Florida. His loss is felt by our entire Fort Bragg community and our nation will never forget his sacrifice, as well as that of all of our fallen service members. They put their lives on the line to save our fellow citizens and allies in harm's way. They are heroes."
Pictured: Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss (Photo courtesy 1st Special Forces Command)