A Specialist assigned to Fort Benning, Georgia, attending Ranger School, died in a combat skills/military unique mishap 25 March 2021 at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, at approximately 1826 local. The Soldier was crossing a rope bridge constructed on Weaver River when he became submerged at the halfway point. Four instructors attempted to render aid but were unable to maintain contact. The instructors lost sight of the Soldier for several minutes before locating him unconscious and without pulse. On-site medics began immediate trauma care and air evacuated the Soldier to the local hospital. He was pronounced dead upon arrival by the attending physician.
Since FY16, the Army has lost an average of three Soldiers a year to combat skills/military unique mishaps. This was the first combat skills/military unique mishap of FY21.
Consider the following controls related to post-mishap response:
- Qualified and equipped medical personnel will be present to respond to any mishap.
- Medical transportation must be available. Identify locations and routes to the nearest medical treatment facilities.
- Verify level of care available at local medical treatment facilities.
- Verify availability and request procedures for MEDEVAC.
- Brief all Soldiers on medical evacuation procedures and communication methods.
- Ensure multiple forms of communication are available; primary, alternate, contingency, emergency (PACE) and operational.
- Conduct mishap response rehearsals.