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8x-deployed Army Ranger dies in parachuting accident

Sgt. First Class Ethan Carpenter died during routine military free-fall training at a facility in Arizona, March 15, 2019. (U.S. Army/Released)
March 21, 2019

A decorated Army Ranger died during a parachuting training exercise last week.

Sgt. First Class Ethan Carpenter was conducting a routine free-fall exercise at an undisclosed facility in Arizona when he lost his life on March 15, according to an Army statement on Wednesday.

Carpenter was a reconnaissance specialist with the Regimental Special Troops Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment, where he had been assigned since June 5, 2017. He previously served as an assistant machine gunner, and later worked his way up to team leader, then squad leader.

He joined the Army in Aug. 2007. His military career included eight combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan before 2017.

He had many notable decorations, including “the Purple Heart, 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,” the statement noted.

“Sgt. First Class Ethan Carpenter was an exemplary Soldier and Ranger Leader, and a dedicated husband and father. 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. He represented our Nation’s best, and we’ll miss him dearly,” said Colonel Joseph Ewers, commander, Regimental Special Troops Battalion.

Carpenter completed One Station Unit Training, Basic Airborne Course, and the Ranger Indoctrination Program, then was later assigned to the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.

Details of the incident were not released.

A GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up for Carpenter’s wife and daughter.