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US Army officer, Phoenix firefighter found dead in barracks

Army Capt. Juston Doherty (12 News/YouTube)
July 10, 2018

An off-duty Phoenix firefighter was found dead in his barracks on Saturday, U.S. military officials announced this week.

Army Capt. Juston Doherty, 45, was on active military maneuvers at the Papago Park Military Reservation in Phoenix, where he was discovered dead.

Doherty, a rescue technician, was a 15-year veteran of the Phoenix Fire Department. He also was a decorated captain in the U.S. Army. Doherty was an Army Ranger and Airborne School graduate.

Doherty was last seen by fellow cadre heading back to his room to get rest around 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Doherty was found by a fellow Black Hat when he did not return to the training environment in the afternoon, according to a statement from the Arizona National Guard.

Doherty’s previous assignment was with the 1st Battalion, 158th Infantry Regiment, the “Bushmasters.”

He served two combat tours: the first in Iraq in 2003 and the second in Afghanistan in 2013.

He received many awards, including the Bronze Star.

Doherty entered military service in 1996, later commissioning in 2008 through the Arizona National Guard’s officer candidate school.

He earned his Airborne wings in 2009 and completed Ranger School in 2010.

He also earned the Phoenix Fire Department’s medal of valor for entering a burning apartment on his day off without protection to save trapped children, Stars and Stripes reported. Doherty suffered serious burns in the incident.

“He’s a hero times three. He’s a hero in every way. This is such a shock to us because he just seemed invincible. He’s the last person in the world that you would expect to pass early the way that he did, but boy did he leave a mark in this world,” said Phoenix Fire Capt. P.J. Dean.

“Captain Doherty was the kind of guy who liked to wake up the candidates as well as put them to bed the same day. That’s the kind of guy he was. He gave everything to the training,” said Capt. Julie Shelley, a friend of Doherty’s and former OCS company commander at the 215th RTI.

Funeral services for Doherty are pending.