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44-year-old national guardsman dies during army fitness test, Mississippi officials say

(Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center/Facebook)

A 44-year-old National Guard member had a fatal medical emergency during his Army Combat Fitness Test, officials said.

National Guard Staff Sgt. Robert Jason Belue, of Iuka, Miss., died Thursday at the 154th Regiment, Regional Training Institute, Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center in Hattiesburg, according to a Facebook statement from the 1st Squadron 98th Cavalry Regiment.

“Staff Sgt. Belue was attending the Maneuver Senior Leaders Course, Phase I as part of his professional military education and career advancement when he experienced a medical emergency during a physical fitness test event,” the Mississippi Army National Guard said.

“Please pray for the friends and family of Staff Sgt. Robert Jason Belue of Iuka,” Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said on Facebook. “He served with honor and dignity — including two deployments with the 155th — for 24 years. Elee and I are thankful for his service to our state and our nation! May God bless America!”

Belue was assigned to the Charlie Troop, 1-98th Cavalry Regiment, 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team.

“Staff Sgt. Belue served our state and country with exceptional honor and integrity earning several awards and decorations during his 24 years of service,” the statement states. Those awards include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal (2nd Award) and the Army Good Conduct Medal.

During his service, Belue served on three deployments connected to Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005, with Operation Enduring Freedom in 2009 and with Operation Spartan Shield 2018-2019.

“The Mississippi National Guard Soldiers and Airmen honor the legacy of Staff Sgt. Belue and his contributions to our state and nation,” officials said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and fellow Gunslingers.”

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