North Carolina

Decorated soldier dies in ‘routine free-fall training’ after surviving 8 deployments

Sgt. First Class Ethan Carpenter, a native of Trumansburg, New York, was a reconnaissance specialist. U.S. Army photo
Sgt. First Class Ethan Carpenter, a native of Trumansburg, New York, was a reconnaissance specialist. U.S. Army photo

An Army ranger stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, was killed Friday “during routine military free-fall training” at a site in Arizona, the U.S. Army said in a press release.

Sgt. First Class Ethan Carpenter, a native of Trumansburg, New York, was a reconnaissance specialist with the Regimental Special Troops Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, the release said.

Details of the accident and what caused it were not released. He died March 15.

Carpenter, a husband and father, had been in the Army since 2007 and was “deployed to combat eight times,” including one stint in Iraq and seven in Afghanistan, the Army said.

He had been honored multiple times by the Army during his service, including being awarded the Purple Heart.

“He did the toughest jobs well and was the consummate team member when it counted the most, both in garrison training and in deployed combat,” Col. Joseph Ewers, commander of the Regimental Special Troops Battalion, said in a statement.

Carpenter’s awards and decorations include: the Joint Service Commendation Medal with OLC, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Ranger Tab, Military Freefall Parachutist Badge, Senior Parachutists Badge, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, and Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

Correction: The U.S. Army’s original press release reported Carpenter was stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. The release was updated Thursday to note he was stationed at Fort Benning.

The U.S. Marine Corps shared these photos on their Facebook page as their top 18 photos of 2018.

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