The Defense Department announced Friday evening the identity of the service member killed in northern Syria while supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.
Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott Cooper Dayton, 42, of Woodbridge, Virginia, was killed in an improvised explosive device blast on Thursday near Ayn Issa.
He was assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Two, which is based in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott C. Dayton, 42, of Woodbridge, Virginia, was killed in an improvised explosive device blast on Thursday near Ayn Issa in northern Syria. (Navy photo)
"We offer our deepest condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott Dayton, who made the ultimate sacrifice on a day we set aside time to give thanks for our freedom and to recognize the men and women who defend that right," said Rear Adm. Brian Brakke, commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, in a Navy press release.
He then was ordered to the pre-commissioning crew of the guided-missile destroyer Cole, first as the crew formed in Norfolk and then Pascagoula, Mississippi, as the ship was being built. He became a Cole plank owner when the ship commissioned on June 8, 1996, and served onboard until early 1999, a year before the ship was attacked by terrorists in Yemen.
His next three years were spent pushing recruits at Recruit Training Command before entering the EOD program in 2002, attending dive school and EOD school before his initial tour at EOD Mobile Unit One in San Diego.
Next, he returned to EOD school for more training before transferring to Norfolk where he served two sea tours at EOD Mobile Unit Two at Little Creek, separated by a shore tour at the EOD Training Unit at Fort Story in Virginia Beach.
His current tour at Mobile Unit Two started in May 2014.
His awards include: the Bronze Star, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, seven Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, Navy "E" Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, two Iraq Campaign Medals, and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
There are approximately 300 American troops on the ground inside Syria. The preponderance are special operations forces advising various militias also battling the Islamic State.