Sgt. Alessandro “Sandrino” Plutino

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, Aug. 09, 2011) – A U.S. Army Ranger was killed in action Aug. 8, during combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Alessandro Leonard Plutino was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.

He was killed by direct fire from enemy forces during a heavy firefight while conducting combat operations in Paktiya Province, Afghanistan.

A native of Pitman, N.J., Plutino enlisted in the U.S. Army in August 2006. For more than four years, he served as a rifleman, grenadier, automatic rifleman, and a Ranger team leader in 1st Bn., 75th Ranger Regt.

The 75th Ranger Regt. has been continuously deployed to Afghanistan since October 2001.

“Sgt. Plutino selflessly dedicated his life to protecting our Nation and way of life, and ultimately gave his life in her defense,” said Col. Michael Foster, commander, 1st Bn., 75th Ranger Regt. “He was a great man and a great Ranger, who was universally respected. His loss is felt by the entire Battalion, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones.”

Plutino previously served on three deployments to Iraq and this was his third deployment to Afghanistan.

“Sgt. Plutino’s enlistment in the Army was due to end in September 2011,” said Col. Mark W. Odom, commander, 75th Ranger Regt. “He, however, made the decision to voluntarily extend his service commitment until December 2011 in order to complete this deployment to Afghanistan—not a surprise to those who knew him, but it speaks to his character and commitment, not only to the 75th Ranger Regiment but to the Nation.”

Plutino is survived by his mother Dianne Hammond and his father Sandro Plutino both of Pitman, N.J.