FORT BRAGG, N.C. — U.S. Army Special Forces has released the name of the soldier who died in a freefall parachute jump near Eloy on Tuesday.

Master Sgt. Nathan Goodman, 36, of Hope Mills, North Carolina, died during a routine military freefall training exercise. The incident is currently under investigation.

Goodman was born in Pasadena, California, and grew up near Chicago.

He enlisted July 23, 2002, completed Basic and Advanced Individual Training and the Army’s Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was assigned to 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

In 2005, he transferred to the Army National Guard, attended Special Forces Assessment and Selection and graduated as a Special Forces engineer sergeant in October 2007 and was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne).

He returned to active duty and was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd SFG (Airborne) in 2010.

In 2016, he was re-assigned to 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne) as a senior instructor, then chief instructor. He returned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd SFG (Airborne) in July 2018 and upon promotion to master sergeant in July 2019 became an operations team sergeant for Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha.

He completed four deployments to Afghanistan, one to Iraq, two to Africa and one to Kyrgyzstan.

“Nathan was a beloved member of 3rd Special Forces Group and an exceptional leader in the Special Operations community,” said Col. Nathan Prussian, commander, 3rd SFG (A).

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family during this difficult time and our priority now rests with taking care of them and our soldiers,” he added.

Goodman graduated from the Basic, Advanced, Senior and Master Leader Courses; Army Special Operations Forces Senior Noncommissioned Officer Fundamentals Course; Basic and Small Group Instructor Training Courses; Special Forces Advanced Reconnaissance, Target Analysis and Exploitation Techniques Course; Basic, Jumpmaster and Advanced Tactical Infiltration Military Free Fall Courses; Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat Course; Advanced Special Operations Techniques Course; and the Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Operator Course.

Goodman’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (2OLC); Meritorious Service Medal; Army Commendation Medal (3OLC); Army Achievement Medal; Valorous Unit Award (1OLC); Meritorious Unit Citation (2OLC); Army Good Conduct Medal (3OLC); National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal (four campaign stars); Iraq Campaign Medal (two campaign stars); Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (Numeral 3); Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Mobilization device; NATO Medal (1OLC); Special Forces Tab; Combat Infantryman Badge; Expert Infantryman Badge; and Parachutist’s Master Rated Military Free Fall Badges.


Jim Headley is a reporter covering breaking news, crime and justice around Pinal County. He can be reached at