Naval War College Review


On 22 April 2004, Corporal Patrick Tillman was killed in action in Afghani- stan as a result of friendly fire. The controversial death of the Army Ranger, who had given up a lucrative career in professional football to join the Army, generated widespread media interest, military and congressional investigations, books, and most recently a documentary. Earlier in the day, Corporal Tillman’s Ranger platoon had split into two groups, with Tillman and his platoon leader in the first group. Due to dangerous terrain, the second group, led by the platoon sergeant, abandoned its planned route and instead followed the first group’s route in vehicles down a canyon road late in the day toward the village of Manah, where Tillman and the remainder of the platoon waited.