Wright, Darron, COL

Deceased
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Colonel
Last Service Branch
Infantry
Last Primary MOS
11A-Infantry Officer
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
2013-2013, 11A, XVIII Airborne Corps/G-5 Section
Service Years
1988 - 2013
Official/Unofficial US Army Certificates
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Order of Saint Michael
Order of the Spur

Infantry


Ranger
Colonel



Six Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

292 kb

Home State
Texas
Texas
Year of Birth
1968
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SGT Barry Simpson to remember Wright, Darron (Geronimo 6), COL.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Brothers Only
Last Address
Fort Bragg, NC

Date of Passing
Sep 23, 2013
 
Location of Interment
Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery - Dallas, Texas
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award Infantry Shoulder Cord 2nd Infantry Division 4th Infantry Division




 Unofficial Badges 

Airborne Order of Saint Maurice


 Military Association Memberships
509th Parachute Infantry AssociationIn the Line of Duty
  2007, 509th Parachute Infantry Association [Verified]
  2016, In the Line of Duty


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

The Fort Bragg soldier who died in a training jump Monday was a U.S. Army colonel who served multiple tours overseas and penned a book about his military experience.



Col. Darron Wright had at least two decades of military experience, according to friends who publicly grieved his death on social media.



Fort Bragg officials have not officially identified the 18th Airborne Corps soldier killed. His identity is expected to be formally released today.



"He was an inspirational officer with contagious enthusiasm, motivation and energy," Col. John Norris, commander at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, wrote on Facebook. "Great soldier, leader, mentor, husband, father and very dear friend."



Before taking command in Germany last year, Norris was commander of Joint Base Lewis-McChord's 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.



Norris said Wright served as a deputy commander during a tour in Iraq.



Wright was relocated to Fort Bragg after being stationed at Lewis-McChord. He leaves behind a wife and children.



Darren Amick, who's been friends with Wright since 2004 and served time with him in the Army, said the shocking news has traveled fast.



"It's so unbelievable because he seemed so unstoppable," Amick said by phone from Texas.



Amick said Wright was a "soldier's leader" and was professional while still being approachable.



"A guy like that's going to be missed," Amick said.



Wright's book, "Iraq Full Circle," was published in October. In it, he assesses the Army's war in Iraq, where he helped command the last active combat brigade to withdraw from Operation Iraqi Freedom.



Amick said reading his friend's book is almost like he hasn't died.



"Reading the book is like having him here sharing a beer," Amick said. "Him just rambling and telling a story."



Col. Kevin Arata, a Fort Bragg spokesman, declined Tuesday to answer questions about where the jump happened or the type of parachute used.



Although Fort Bragg officials have not said whether the parachute was a factor in the soldier's death, the 18th Airborne Corps is transitioning to a new parachute.



Soldiers have to jump during the day without equipment, jump during the day with equipment and jump at night with equipment to be qualified to jump with the T-11, a square parachute.



The T-11 was the first major modification to the Army parachute since the 1950s. It was designed to replace the T-10, which has a circular design.



Army officials say the new parachute is safer because it can handle more weight and allows paratroopers to descend slower.



When the T-10 was designed in 1955, the paratrooper and the equipment he carried during a jump weighed less than 300 pounds, Army records show. In 2001, that weight was nearing 400 pounds.



The T-11 is designed to handle more than 400 pounds.



Soldiers at Fort Bragg started using the T-11 parachutes in 2009. Army officials conducted extensive tests in 2008 that determined soldiers suffered 70 percent fewer injuries with the new parachutes.



Soldiers jumping with a T-10 had a rate of descent of about 22 feet per second, which means a landing similar to a jump off a 7.5-foot platform, Army records show. The T-11 gives paratroopers a rate of descent of about 19 feet per second for a landing similar to a leap from a 5-foot platform.



The Army suspended use of the T-11 in July 2011 after an investigation into a Fort Bragg soldier's death a month earlier uncovered problems with the parachute. Paratroopers were cleared to use the T-11 in March 2012 after changes were made in the way the parachute is packed.


   
Other Comments:

Darron Lee Wright (22 May 1968 – 23 September 2013) was a highly decorated colonel in the United States Army. He served three tours in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.



Wright was born in Dallas but grew up in Mesquite, Texas, where he graduated from West Mesquite High School and joined the National Guard. He then attended Kemper Military College in Booneville Missouri, earning an associate degree and commission as a Second Lieutenant in 1988. In 1991, Wright earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of North Texas.



Later that year, Wright moved to his fist assignment where he served as a rifle platoon leader, company executive officer, and company commander with the 3rd Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 7th Infantry Division (Light), at Fort Ord, California. After a short tour in the Republic of Korea he was assigned as a company commander with 3rd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment. After his company commander time, he served as a long-range surveillance detachment commander with 313th Military Intelligence Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He was at Bragg from 1996 to 2000.



From 2000 to 2004, Wright served as the chief of operations for 7th Infantry Division and as battalion operations officer for 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 4th infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado, with whom he deployed to Iraq from 2003 to 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Wright was next assigned as brigade executive officer with 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, with whom he deployed to Iraq from 2005 to 2006.  In 2007 he was assigned as battalion commander for 1st Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, at the Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, Louisiana. From 2009 to 2013, Wright was assigned as deputy brigade commander for the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, with whom he deployed to Iraq from 2009 to 2010, and later as operations officer for the 7th Infantry Division and I Corps, Fort Lewis, Washington. Despite the high operational tempo of his previous 25 years of service Wright actively sought out challenging assignments that would put him directly in combat.  He secured the position of assistant chief of staff for the 18th Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, which was already training to deploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.



The Wrights arrived and settled into their new assignment in August 2013, eager and excited for another adventure.  On 23 September 2013, tragedy struck and COL Wright died during a training accident at the age of 45.  After serving his country for 26 years and after 37 months deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, COL Darron Lee Wright was laid to rest on 2 October 2013 at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.



Colonel Wright is survived by his wife, Wendy, of Canadian, Texas; two sons, Dillon, a student at Virginia Military Institute, and Kyle of Canadian, Texas; a daughter, Chloe, of Renton, Washington; his mother Kathy Rice and step-father Harvey Rice of Mesquite; his brother Larron Wright, of Mesquite, Texas, and sister, Michelle Wentz, of Mansfield, Texas.



COL Wright’s decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit (2nd award), Bronze Star Medal with Valor, Bronze Star Medal (3rd award), Meritorious Service Medal (6th award), Army Commendation Medal (4th award), Army Achievement Medal (3rd Award), Presidential Unit Citation Award; Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award), Iraqi Campaign Medal (with three campaign stars), Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (4th award), Air Assault Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Ranger Tab, and Senior Parachutist Badge.  He is also a recipient of the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award.



Wright was not only a versatile infantryman; he was also an accomplished scholar.  He wrote numerous professional articles, authored the book “Iraq Full Circle: From Shock and Awe to the Last Combat Patrol in Baghdad and Beyond,” and earned a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies and National Security Decision Making from the United States Naval War College.



Darron L. Wright was a larger than life Soldier’s Soldier.  He was a physically imposing, direct, and skilled warrior.  He was also witty, hilarious, generous, kind, and wholly consumed with love for his family.  He will certainly be missed but he will never be forgotten.  His intellectual curiosity, boundless optimism, and untiring work ethic, allowed him to reach heights he could only dream of as a young boy growing up in Mesquite, Texas.  It is in this spirit that the Darron L. Wright Award was created, to inspire fellow military writers and poets to aspire to become better and more accomplished at their craft and at telling their story.



“May we never forget those past and present who answered the call to defend us and provide the blanket of freedom we sleep under every night.”- Colonel Darron L. Wright


   
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OIF/Transition of Iraq (2003-04)
Start Year
2003
End Year
2004

Description
Upon assuming the post of chief executive of the CPA in May 2003, L. Paul Bremer also assumed the title of U.S. Presidential Envoy and Administrator in Iraq. He was frequently called Ambassador by numerous media organizations and the White House because it was the highest government rank he had achieved (Ambassador to Netherlands). However, Bremer was not ambassador to Iraq, and there was no U.S. diplomatic mission in Iraq at that time.

The CPA was created and funded as a division of the United States Department of Defense, and as Administrator, Bremer reported directly to the Secretary of Defense. Although troops from several of the coalition countries were present in Iraq at this time, the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) was the primary military apparatus charged with providing direct combat support to the CPA to enforce its authority during the occupation of Iraq.

While many of Saddam Hussein's ornate palaces were looted in the days immediately following the invasion, most of the physical structures themselves survived, relatively intact. It is in these numerous palaces situated throughout the country that the CPA chose to set up office in order to govern. Several of these palaces were retained by the U.S. Government even after the transition of power back to the Iraqi people. The administration was centred in a district of Baghdad, known as the Green Zone, which eventually became a highly secure walled-off enclave.

The CPA was also responsible for administering the Development Fund for Iraq during the year following the invasion. This fund superseded the earlier UN oil-for-food program, and provided funding for Iraq's wheat purchase program, the currency exchange program, the electricity and oil infrastructure programs, equipment for Iraq's security forces, Iraqi civil service salaries, and the operations of the various government ministries.

The first act of the CPA under Bremer was to issue order of de-Ba'athification of Iraqi society. On 23 May, CPA Order Number 2 formally disbanded the Iraqi army  On 22 July 2003, the CPA formed the Iraqi Governing Council and appointed its members. The Council membership consisted largely of Iraqi expatriates who had previously fled the country during the rule of Saddam Hussein and also with many outspoken dissidents who had been persecuted by the former regime.

Though still subordinate to the CPA, the Iraqi Governing Council had several key responsibilities of its own. Its duties included appointing representatives to the United Nations, appointing interim ministers to Iraq's vacant cabinet positions, and drafting a temporary constitution known as the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL), which would be used to govern Iraq until a permanent constitution could be written and approved by the general electorate.

In the late afternoon of 14 December 2003, the CPA held a press conference at the Iraqi Forum convention center within Baghdad's Green Zone to announce that former President of Iraq Saddam Hussein had been taken into custody the previous night from a foxhole in a town near Saddam's home town of Tikrit, Iraq. Present at the announcement was Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez of the U.S. Army, Administrator Bremer, members of the British and American intelligence agencies, several members of the Iraqi Governing Council, and a large room full of journalists representing news organizations from around the world.

In order to defeat possible insurgent planning, the CPA transferred power to the newly appointed Iraqi Interim Government at 10:26 AM local time on 28 June 2004. With the CPA disbanded, Bremer left Iraq that same day.

The United States hoped that Iraq could be reconstructed and democratized in much the same way as Japan and Germany were after the Second World War, using them as "examples or even models of successful military occupations."

Fall of Saddam Hussein's regime
Statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled in Baghdad's Firdos Square on 9 April 2003.
On 1 May 2003, President Bush declared the "end of major combat operations" in Iraq, while aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln with a large "Mission Accomplished" banner displayed behind him.

The weeks following the removal of the Saddam Hussein regime were portrayed by American media as generally a euphoric time among the Iraqi populace. New York Post correspondent Jonathan Foreman, reporting from Baghdad in May 2003, wrote that looting was less widespread than reported, and that "the intensity of the population's pro-American enthusiasm is astonishing". There were widespread reports of looting, though much of the looting was directed at former government buildings and other remnants of the Saddam Hussein regime.

There were reports of looting of Iraq's archaeological treasures, mostly from the National Museum of Iraq; up to an alleged 170,000 items, worth billions of U.S. dollars: these reports were later revealed to be vastly exaggerated. Cities, especially Baghdad, suffered through reductions in electricity, clean water and telephone service from pre-war levels, with shortages that continued through at least the next year.

Insurgency begins

Canal Hotel Bombing
In the summer of 2003, the U.S. military focused on hunting down the remaining leaders of the former regime, culminating in the killing of Saddam's sons Uday Hussein and Qusay Hussein on 22 July. In all, over 200 top leaders of the former regime were killed or captured, as well as numerous lesser functionaries and military personnel.

However, even as the Ba'ath party organization disintegrated, elements of the secret police and army began forming guerilla units, since in many cases they had simply gone home rather than openly fight the invading forces. These began to focus their attacks around Mosul, Tikrit and Fallujah. In the fall, these units and other elements who called themselves Jihadists began using ambush tactics, suicide bombings, and improvised explosive devices, targeting coalition forces and checkpoints.

They favored attacking the unarmored Humvee vehicles, and in November they successfully attacked U.S. rotary aircraft with SA-7 missiles bought on the global black market. On 19 August, the UN Headquarters in Baghdad was destroyed in the Canal Hotel Bombing, killing at least 22 people, among them Sérgio Vieira de Mello, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General.

Saddam captured and elections urged

Saddam Hussein shortly after capture by American forces, and after being shaved to confirm his identity
In December 2003, Saddam himself was captured. The provisional government began training a security force intended to defend critical infrastructure, and the U.S. promised over $20 billion in reconstruction aid in the form of credits against Iraq's future oil revenues. At the same time, elements left out of the Iraqi Patriotic Alliance (IPA) began to agitate for elections. Most prominent among these was Ali al-Sistani, Grand Ayatollah in the Shia sect of Islam.

The United States and the Coalition Provisional Authority, run by Jay Garner and three deputies, including Tim Cross, opposed allowing democratic elections at this time, preferring instead to eventually hand over power to an unelected group of Iraqis. More insurgents stepped up their activities. The two most turbulent centers were the area around Fallujah and the poor Shia sections of cities from Baghdad to Basra in the south.

2004

Spring uprisings
In the spring, the United States and the Coalition Provisional Authority decided to confront the rebels with a pair of assaults: one on Fallujah, the center of the "Mohammed's Army of Al-Ansar", and another on Najaf, home of an important mosque, which had become the focal point for the Mahdi Army and its activities. In Fallujah four private security contractors, working for Blackwater USA, were ambushed and killed, and their corpses desecrated. In retaliation a U.S. offensive was begun, but it was soon halted because of the protests by the Iraqi Governing Council and negative media coverage.

A truce was negotiated that put a former Ba'athist general in complete charge of the town. The 1st Armored Division along with the 2nd ACR were then shifted south, because Spanish, Salvadoran, Ukrainian, and Polish forces were having increasing difficulties retaining control over Al Kut, and Najaf. The 1st Armored Division and 2nd ACR relieved the Spaniards, Salvadoran, Poles, and put down the overt rebellion.

At the same time, British forces in Basra were faced with increasing restiveness, and became more selective in the areas they patrolled. In all, April, May and early June represented the bloodiest months of fighting since the end of hostilities. The Iraqi troops who were left in charge of Fallujah after the truce began to disperse and the city fell back under insurgent control.

In the April battle for Fallujah, U.S. troops killed about 200 resistance fighters, while 40 Americans died and hundreds were wounded in a fierce battle. U.S. forces then turned their attention to the al Mahdi Army in Najaf. A large convoy of US Army supply trucks manned by civilian contractors was ambushed and suffered significant damage and casualties.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
2003
To Year
2004
 
Last Updated:
Aug 27, 2016
   
Personal Memories
   
Units Participated in Operation

1st Armored Division

 
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
Iraq
Iraq

  1643 Also There at This Battle:
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  • Acosta, Scott, SFC, (1995-2008)
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  • Aguiar, Stephanie, SSG, (2000-2008)
  • Alameda, Lorrena, SGT, (2002-2008)
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