Preliminary Loss Reports (PLRs)

About Preliminary Loss Reports (PLRs)

Preliminary Loss Reports provide leaders with awareness of Army loss and highlight potential trends that affect combat readiness. Within 72 hours of a loss, PLRs provide a synopsis of the incident: unit, date of loss, description of the activity at the time of the death. PLRs do not identify root causes of an accident, as the investigation is ongoing. Further details will be available later on RMIS (account required).

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PLR 22-049 - Off-Duty Sports, Recreation and Physical Training Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

A Cadet assigned to the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School, West Point, New York, died in an off-duty sports, recreation and physical training mishap 7 June 2022 on Mount Brown in Glacier National Park, Montana. The Cadet was hiking (Class 4 scramble climbing) with a friend on Mount Brown when they became separated. The friend could not find the Cadet, so they contacted local authorities at approximately 1521 to assist. Air rescue personnel located the Cadet about 1902 hours, and he was pronounced dead. The coroner reported the Cadet died of blunt force trauma as a result of a fall.

Since FY17, the Army has lost an average of 12 Soldiers a year to off-duty sports, recreation and physical training mishaps. This tragedy was the third off-duty sports, recreation and physical training mishap of FY22.

Safety Tips:

Know your terrain. The terrain should be categorized into classes from 1 to 5, with Class 1 referring to flat, smooth walking and Class 4 as sustained vertical rock climbing.

Always start your scrambling practice with Class 1 or 2, which may only require an occasional hand for balance. Class 4 scramble climbing presents a more considerable risk due to the highest potential for high falls. Only increase your attempt at a higher a terrain ratings class once you have had plenty of practice and you are confident in your skills.

When conducting Class 4 scramble climbing:
-Always maintain three points of contact on steep terrain with either two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand.
-Keep heavy objects close to your body to prevent the swinging of items outside your backpack that could potentially throw off your center of gravity.
-Test any vegetation used as a handhold/anchor before committing your entire weight.
-Study the route and appropriately rate the terrain for scrambling, so you can cover it confidently.

Consult a park ranger. When deciding where to hike, your best bet is typically going to be a national or state park. They're staffed by rangers with a wealth of information about what you need to stay safe in that particular location. Give the park office a call before your hike, visit the official National Park Service (NPS) site or stop by the office before you leave the trailhead.

Agree on an emergency plan. Part of your plan for any hike should be what you're going to do in an emergency situation. Before heading out, know how you will call or send for help in the unlikely event something bad happens.


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