Staff Sgt. Orlando Morales was a Special Forces weapons sergeant assigned to Company A, 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C.
He was killed in action during an ambush in Geresk, Afghanistan on March 29, 2003. His unit was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Morales was born on May 23, 1969. A native of Orocovis, Puerto Rico, he enlisted in the Army on Oct. 23, 1996 as an infantryman.
In November 2002, Morales completed the Special Forces Qualification Course and was assigned to Co. A, 2nd Bn., 7th SFG.
His military education includes the Infantry Basic Course, the Basic Airborne Course, the Air Assault School, the Combat Lifesaver Course, the Special Forces Qualification Course, the U.S. Army Ranger Course, the Primary Leadership Development Course and the Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course.
His awards include the Army Achievement Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantryman Badge. He also earned the Parachutist Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Air Assault Badge, the Ranger Tab and the Special Forces Tab.
Morales is survived by his wife, Maria, and one daughter, Angelina.