Cantrell, Edward D., CW2

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Last Rank
Chief Warrant Officer 2
Last Service Branch
Special Forces
Last Primary MOS
180A-Special Forces Warrant Officer
Last MOS Group
Special Forces (Officer)
Primary Unit
2009-Present, 180A, 3rd Special Forces Group Airborne
Service Years
1994 - 2012

Special Forces

Special Forces
Chief Warrant Officer 2

Eight Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MAJ Mark E Cooper to remember Cantrell, Edward D., CW2.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Hope Mills, NC

Date of Passing
Mar 06, 2012
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Army Military Police Infantry Shoulder Cord Southern European Task Force (Airborne) Special Forces Group

 Unofficial Badges 

Army Honorable Discharge (1984-Present)

 Military Association Memberships
Chapter C
  2009, Special Forces Association, 100, Chapter C (Executive Officer) (Fort Bragg, North Carolina) [Verified] - Chap. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Green Beret dies trying to save kids from fire


HOPE MILLS, N.C. - A Green Beret recently home from Afghanistan died trying to rescue his two young daughters from their burning home near Fort Bragg in North Carolina early Tuesday. The girls were also killed in the blaze.

Edward Cantrell and his wife escaped from the 2 a.m. blaze by jumping from the home's second floor, the Cumberland County sheriff's office said. Cantrell then wrapped himself in a blanket and re-entered the burning home in Hope Mills, about 10 miles from the Army base that is home to the Green Berets and other Special Forces units, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Tanna said.

Cantrell, 36, was trying to reach 6-year-old Isabella and 4-year-old Natalia, who were trapped in second-floor bedrooms, Tanna said.
"He never made it back out," Tanna said. Firefighters found their bodies inside the home, Tanna said.

Louise Cantrell was being treated at a hospital for smoke inhalation. The family dog, a Rottweiler named Sasha, also survived the fire and was being kept by neighbors.

The century-old home's timbers were likely very dry, causing a fast-moving blaze, Tanna said. The cause of the fire was under investigation, but authorities don't suspect foul play, reported

Cantrell was a member of the 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg. He held the rank of chief warrant officer 2, said Lt. Col. April Olsen, a spokeswoman for Army Special Forces Command. It was not clear when he served in Afghanistan.

"It's just terrible. We sit here and say our Special Forces can take care of America and this man is trying to go up there and take care of his family and he can't," Cindy Jacobs, who works next door at Alzheimer's Related Care, said, according to

Louise Cantrell, 37, is being treated for smoke inhalation at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, reported

The house was a three-bedroom home built in 1920, according to the newspaper.

 The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Other Comments:
PRESS RELEASE: SF Soldier dies trying to rescue daughters
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, March 6, 2012) – A Special Forces Soldier from 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) was killed in a house fire at his home in Hope Mills, N.C., March 6.
Chief Warrant Officer Two Edward Cantrell, 36, died while trying to rescue his two daughters - ages six and four- after their home caught fire during the night.  Cantrell's wife survived the fire. 
Cantrell, a Green Beret, was the Assistant Detachment Commander for an Operational Detachment-Alpha in 3rd Battalion.  ODAs, also known as "A-Teams," are the cornerstone of Special Forces. 
Cantrell was born in Dyersburg, Tenn., and joined the Army in 1994 as a military policeman. He served in 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Howze, Korea, and then the 503rd Military Police Battalion, at Fort Bragg, N.C. where he deployed in support of Operation Joint Endeavor to Bosnia and Herzegovina.   He later served with the Southern European Task Force in Vicenza, Italy.
In 2004, Cantrell graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course and was assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), serving as a Communications and Intelligence Sergeant on four combat deployments. 
Cantrell attended the Warrant Officer Candidate Course followed by the Special Forces Warrant Officer Basic Course in 2009 and was then assigned to another ODA as the assistant detachment commander. 
Cantrell completed six total combat deployments:  one to Iraq and five to Afghanistan. He returned home from his most recent combat tour supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in August 2011.
Cantrell’s awards and decorations include four Bronze Star Medals, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal with Valor device,  four Army Commendation Medals, 11 Army Achievement Medals,  Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with four stars, Iraq Campaign Medal with one star, Kosovo Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, six Overseas Service Ribbons, Army Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Master Parachutist's Badge and the Air Assault Badge. He was also the recipient of the Bruce E. Price Leadership Award.
Cantrell is survived by his wife, son, and parents.

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Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Master ParachutistAir Assault Badge
Special Forces

 Unit Assignments
2nd Infantry Division503rd Military Police Battalion (Airborne)Southern European Task Force (SETAF)Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC)
3rd Special Forces Group Airborne
  1994-1995, 95B, 2nd Infantry Division
  1995-1999, 95B, 503rd Military Police Battalion (Airborne)
  1999-2003, 95B, Southern European Task Force (SETAF)
  2003-2003, 95B, Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC)
  2004-2009, 18E, 3rd Special Forces Group Airborne
  2009-Present, 180A, 3rd Special Forces Group Airborne
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1995-1996 Operation Joint Endeavor (IFOR)
  2001-2011 Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) /OEF - Afghanistan
  2003-2010 Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
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