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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Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
Start Year
2003
End Year
2010

Description
The Iraq War was an armed conflict in Iraq that consisted of two phases. The first was an invasion of Iraq starting on March 20, 2003 by an invasion force led by the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Poland which resulted in the end of Ba'athist Iraq and the establishment of a democratic constitution. It was followed by a longer phase of fighting, in which an insurgency emerged opposing the occupying forces and the newly elected Federal government of Iraq. Roughly 96.5 percent of the casualties suffered by coalition forces were suffered during the second phase, rather than the initial invasion. The U.S. completed its withdrawal of military personnel in December 2011, during the ninth year of the war. However, the insurgency is ongoing and continues to cause thousands of fatalities.

Prior to the war, the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom claimed that Iraq's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) posed a threat to their security and that of their allies. In 2002, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1441 which called for Iraq to completely cooperate with UN weapon inspectors to verify that Iraq was not in possession of WMD and cruise missiles. Prior to the attack, the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) found no evidence of WMD, but could not yet verify the accuracy of Iraq's declarations regarding what weapons it possessed, as their work was still unfinished. The leader of the inspectors, Hans Blix, estimated the time remaining for disarmament being verified through inspections to be "months".

After investigation following the invasion, the U.S. led Iraq Survey Group concluded that Iraq had ended its nuclear, chemical and biological programs in 1991 and had no active programs at the time of the invasion, but that they intended to resume production if the Iraq sanctions were lifted. Although no active chemical weapons program was found, at least 17 U.S. troops, with 600 other U.S. troops reporting symptoms of exposure, and 7 Iraqi police officers were burned or wounded while in close proximity with the remains of degraded chemical artillery rounds left over from Iraq's pre-1991 chemical weapons program. Paul R. Pillar, the CIA official who coordinated U.S. intelligence on the Middle East from 2000 to 2005, said "If prewar intelligence assessments had said the same things as the Duelfer report, the administration would have had to change a few lines in its rhetoric and maybe would have lost a few member's votes in Congress, but otherwise the sales campaign—which was much more about Saddam's intentions and what he "could" do than about extant weapons systems—would have been unchanged. The administration still would have gotten its war. Even Dick Cheney later cited the actual Duelfer report as support for the administration's pro-war case."

However, George J. Tenet, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, stated Vice President Cheney and other George W. Bush administration officials pushed the country to war in Iraq without ever conducting a "serious debate" about whether Saddam Hussein posed an imminent threat to the United States.

Some U.S. officials also accused Iraqi President Saddam Hussein of harboring and supporting al-Qaeda, but no evidence of a meaningful connection was ever found. Other stated reasons for the invasion included Iraq's financial support for the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. Iraqi government human rights abuses, and an effort to spread democracy to the country.

On 16 March 2003, the U.S. government advised the U.N. inspectors to leave their unfinished work and exit from Iraq. On 20 March the US-led coalition conducted a surprise military invasion of Iraq without declaring war. The invasion led to an occupation and the eventual capture of Saddam, who was later tried in an Iraqi court of law and executed by the new Iraqi government. Violence against coalition forces and among various sectarian groups soon led to the Iraqi insurgency, strife between many Sunni and Shia Iraqi groups, and the emergence of a new faction of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

In June 2008, US Department of Defense officials claimed security and economic indicators began to show signs of improvement in what they hailed as significant and fragile gains. Iraq was fifth on the 2008 Failed States Index, and sixth on the 2009 list. As public opinion favoring troop withdrawals increased and as Iraqi forces began to take responsibility for security, member nations of the Coalition withdrew their forces. In late 2008, the American and Iraqi governments approved a Status of Forces Agreement effective through 1 January 2012. The Iraqi Parliament also ratified a Strategic Framework Agreement with the United States, aimed at ensuring cooperation in constitutional rights, threat deterrence, education, energy development, and other areas.

In late February 2009, newly elected U.S. President Barack Obama announced an 18-month withdrawal window for combat forces, with approximately 50,000 troops remaining in the country "to advise and train Iraqi security forces and to provide intelligence and surveillance". UK forces ended combat operations on 30 April 2009. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki said he supported the accelerated pullout of U.S. forces. In a speech at the Oval Office on 31 August 2010 Obama declared "the American combat mission in Iraq has ended. Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country."
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
2006
To Year
2007
 
Last Updated:
Jul 8, 2015
   
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