Johnny Micheal Spann

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Johnny Michael Spann
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Johnny Michael Spann

Johnny Michael Spann (March 1, 1969 - November 25, 2001) was the first American killed in combat after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.

Biography

Spann was originally from Winfield, Alabama, and graduated from Auburn University. Shortly after graduation, he joined the United States Marine Corps and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1990. He had originally wanted to go into aviation, but served as an artillery and intelligence officer during his 8-year career with the Marines Corps, where he made the rank of Captain.

Missing image
MichaelSpannAfghanistan.jpg
Michael Spann in Afghanistan

In June 1999, shortly after leaving the Marine Corps, he joined the Central Intelligence Agency and served in the agency's Special Activities Division, known as its paramilitary wing.

Rioting prisoners captured by opposition fighters killed Spann at a compound in Mazar-e Sharif in northern Afghanistan. Officials recovered his body from the prison after Northern Alliance troops backed by U.S. air strikes and special forces quashed an uprising by Taliban and Al Qaeda prisoners.

The length of Spann's military service should not have qualified him for burial at Arlington National Cemetery. At his family's request, President Bush signed a waiver allowing him to be buried there. Of the 260,000 people buried at Arlington, only a few hundred were buried there after receiving a waiver.

Spann was also memorialized with a star on the wall at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, that commemorates employees who died in the line of duty. The wall currently has 83 (as of January 2005) stars, 35 of which remain unidentified for national security reasons.

He is survived by his wife Shannon, an infant son, two daughters, two sisters, and parents Johnny and Gail Spann.


External links

References

  1. H.Con.Res. 281: Honoring Johnny Michael Spann (http://www.congress.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d107:5:./temp/~bdXmpk::). United States House of Representatives. December 4, 2001.
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