PLR 22-068 – Combat Skills/Military Unique Claims Two Lives
A Staff Sergeant and Second Lieutenant assigned as students at Fort Benning, Georgia, died in a combat skills/military unique mishap 9 August 2022 in Cleveland, Georgia, at 1515 local. While conducting mountaineering training, the unit went into its lightning-lockdown procedures as strikes occurred within 10 miles of the area. While the students spread out, the wind blew a large portion of a tree onto five students. Unit medics transported the two fatally injured Soldiers off the mountainside and transferred the Soldiers onto local ambulances with the unit physician’s assistant assisting along the way. The remaining three Soldiers sustained non-fatal injuries and were transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, Georgia. Two of the Soldiers who suffered non-fatal injuries were discharged. The third injured Soldier was hospitalized for two days and discharged for outpatient care. The USACRC is leading a safety investigation into the mishap.
Since 2017, the Army has lost an average of three Soldiers a year to combat skills/military unique mishaps. This tragedy was the third and fourth combat skills/military unique fatalities of FY22.