December 26, 2012
The leader of Navy SEAL Team Four, one of the most senior commanders in the elite world of special operations, has died after apparently committing suicide in Afghanistan, it was reported today.
Commander John W Price, 42, was found dead in his quarters with a gunshot wound on Saturday – just three days before Christmas.
Cmdr Price was based in Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia, near Norfolk and had been in the military for more than 23 years.
He leaves behind a wife, Stephanie and a nine-year-old daughter Jillian, who both live in Virginia Beach.
The commander is originally from Pottstown, Pennsylvania.
He commanded six platoons, two-dozen SEAL commandos and numerous support staff, deployed in Uruzgan Province, where they were conducting counter-terrorism missions and training police in remote parts of the country.
SEAL Team Four is one of nine teams of special operations troops. The most famous of the combat groups is the classified SEAL Team Six, which conducted the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011.
A U.S. military official said the death ‘appears to be the result of suicide.’ The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the death is still being investigated.
‘The Naval Special Warfare family is deeply saddened by the loss of our teammate,’ said Captain Robert Smith, commander of Naval Special Warfare Group Two, which manages all Virginia-based Navy SEAL teams.
‘We extend our condolences, thoughts and prayers to the family, friends, and NSW community during this time of grieving.
‘As we mourn the loss and honor the memory of our fallen teammate, those he served with will continue to carry out the mission.’
CNN reports that Cmdr Price was not involved in any controversies or military discipline. It is unknown why he committed suicide.
His body was found when he failed to report for duty on Saturday, a source told the network.
SEAL Team Four specializes in operations in Latin America and all members of the team are required to speak Spanish.
The team was deployed to Grenada in 1983. The unit has also had multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.