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PLR 23-061 - Combat Skills/Military Unique Claims One Soldier's Life

A Staff Sergeant assigned to Fort Liberty, North Carolina, on temporary duty assignment attending the United States Army Drill Sergeant Academy, died in a combat skills/military unique mishap 12 June 2023 in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, at 2320 local. The Soldier was conducting a land navigation course when he did not report back to the starting point within the three-hour time limit. The chief instructor contacted the Fort Jackson Directorate of Emergency Services (DES), which informed cadre to wait an hour before officially considering the Soldier’s duty status as unknown. DES arrived and began its search for the Soldier. He was later found dead in the training area.

Since FY18, the Army has lost an average of four Soldiers a year to combat skills/military unique mishaps. This tragedy was the second combat skills/military unique fatality of FY23.

Safety tip
Land navigation course safety tips:

  • Use a Soldier Monitoring system or a persistent Soldier monitoring device [e.g., Home Station Instrumentation Training System (HITS) or Deployable System for Training and Readiness (DSTAR)].

  • Consider allowing Soldiers to carry their personal cellphone for emergencies.

  • Consider allowing Soldiers to navigate the course in buddy teams.

  • Ensure Soldiers are trained in the use of a panic azimuth and easily recognized boundary points.

  • Use roving guides to conduct perimeter checks and observe and monitor Soldiers movements on course.

  • Monitor wet bulb globe temperature and adjust activity levels and uniform as appropriate.

  • Ensure Soldiers are trained on hot weather injury/heat illness symptoms and treatment.

  • Establish multiple water points distributed throughout the course.

  • If all Soldiers have not returned by the established end time, execute search-and-rescue procedures immediately in accordance with local standard operating procedures.

The Joint Risk Assessment Tool (JRAT) is an interactive, easy-to-use, automated system designed to assist users with the application of risk management and the production of an automated risk assessment worksheet. For more information, visit https://jrat.safety.army.mil.


  • 20 June 2023
  • Author: USACRC Editor
  • Number of views: 146
  • Comments: 0