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Fort Jackson identifies 18-year-old recruit who died in training

A U.S. Army Soldier from the New Jersey National Guard's Honor Guard holds a folded flag. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht/Released)
September 25, 2019

On Friday, an 18-year-old Fort Jackson soldier from Fayetteville, N.C., was getting ready for a physical training exercise at his brigade when he started to show signs of a medical emergency.

Private 1st Class Andrew McLean was rushed to Providence Hospital in Columbia, S.C., but they were unable to save him, and he passed away at 8:30 p.m., according to a press release from Fort Jackson’s official Twitter account.

McLean was a member of the 3rd Battalion 60th Infantry Regiment.

According to the press release, hospital staff determined McLean’s death was not heat-related.

“Separate investigations will be taking place to determine the facts behind the incident and provided in time to our Soldier’s family, who rightly deserve this information,” Brig. Gen. Milford H. Beagle, commander of the U.S. Army Training Center and Fort Jackson said on Facebook and Twitter,

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our own. Our hearts and prayers are with the family members and teammates of the deceased soldier. We are providing every comfort and assistance we can to all involved,” Beagle added.

Beagle also said, “The tragic loss of a Soldier, our nation’s most precious resource, is devastating to the families, friends and teammates.”

McLean was a recent graduate of Lee County High School, according to ABC 11 News.

A memorial service will be held in McLean’s honor by the Army, but no details have been provided yet.

All 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry soldiers-in-training were permitted to call home in the 36 hours following McLean’s death, ABC News reported.

“Our deepest condolences & support to the 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment ‘RIVER RAIDERS’ on the loss of a Soldier in Training” Fort Jackson officials said on Facebook.

ABC News reported, “Fort Jackson trains half of the Army’s basic combat recruits with 10,000 soldiers training daily.”

“More U.S. service members are dying during training exercises than in combat operations,” according to a Congressional report released in May. “Between 2006 and 2018, 31.9% of active-duty military deaths were the result of accidents. By comparison, 16.3% of service members who died during that time were killed in action.”

According to The State, other fatal incidents have been reported at Fort Jackson, including an incident in October of 2017 in which “two soldiers were killed and six more were injured when they were struck by a military vehicle during training.”

A different 18-year-old recruit died after a training physical fitness test, during another in August 2009, according to the same article by The State.