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Remembering CIA’s Heroes: Tyrone S. Woods

This is part of our series about CIA employees who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Here we will look at the lives of the men and women who have died while serving their country.

Currently, there are 125 stars carved into the marble of the CIA Memorial Wall. The wall stands as a silent, simple memorial to those employees “who gave their lives in the service of their country.” The CIA has released the names of 91 employees; the names of the remaining 34 officers must remain secret, even in death.


Tyrone S. Woods, a CIA contract protective officer, lost his life in the service of his country while trying to protect a CIA facility in Benghazi, Libya, early on the morning of September 12, 2012. He was killed alongside his friend and fellow officer, Glen Doherty.

Tryone WoodsEarly Years:

A native of Oregon, a wrestler in high school, and a lover of adventure, Tyrone joined the Navy at 18 years old and became a SEAL because that was the biggest challenge he could think of.

He had a legendary career as a SEAL, rising to the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer, serving several decorated combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and receiving many awards.

He was also a registered nurse and paramedic: He was said to have “the hands of a healer and the arms of a warrior.”

His Final Mission:

Tyrone still longed to serve his country and to challenge himself, so he came to the CIA in the summer of 2010. An ideal fit for CIA, Tyrone served all over the world protecting CIA officers.

When the State Department’s mission facility in Benghazi was attacked on September 11, 2012, Tyrone was part of the CIA team that responded, driving to a point near the State Department facility, which was under fire, fighting their way inside, and trying in vain to locate Ambassador Stevens in the deteriorating conditions.

After many futile attempts to locate the Ambassador in the smoke and flames, and while still under fire, the team evacuated personnel at the facility, saving the lives of 30 Americans, and made their way back to the CIA Base.

After treating a State Department security officer for a wound, Tyrone and other CIA and security officers took up defensive positions, as the Base was under attack by small arms and machine gun fire as well as from rocket-propelled grenades and hand-thrown bombs.

Tyrone helped repel two concerted attacks.

On the morning of September 12, however, the CIA Base was subjected to repeated mortar fire.

Tyrone and fellow officer Glen Doherty were the kind of men who ran towards danger. Defending the Base from the rooftop, they died when a mortar round landed near them.

Tyrone Woods loved his life, his family, and his country. All who knew him remember that he was a joy to be around and he always made people feel better. Tyrone was 41 years old.


Posted: Sep 12, 2017 03:00 PM
Last Updated: Sep 12, 2017 03:13 PM