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Fort Bragg Special Forces soldier dies ‘suddenly’ during physical fitness training

A sign at one of the entrances to Fort Bragg. (Fish Cop./WikiCommons)
November 01, 2021

A Special Forces soldier participating in physical fitness training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, died from a “sudden, unexpected medical event” on Wednesday, a statement from 1st Special Forces Command revealed on Friday morning.

Army Times reported, Sgt. 1st Class Calvin T. Rockward, 38, died while attending the Special Forces Warrant Officer Technical and Tactical Certification Course. Officials did not provide additional details on the incident.

Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Rockward was assigned to 1st Special Forces Group on Okinawa, Japan, when he died. He first enlisted in the Army in December 2004 and was a Special Forces candidate through the 18X program.

Rockward first attended Infantry One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, George, before moving to Fort Bragg for the Special Forces Qualification Course. Rockward was initially a communications sergeant and later became an intelligence sergeant.

His military career included deployments in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Sgt. 1st Class Rockward was a warrior,” Commander of 1st Group Col. Ryan Ehrler said in a statement.

“An accomplished, respected, and loved Special Forces soldier and teammate, Cal was also kind-hearted and cared deeply about his family,” Ehrler continued. “He always put a smile on the face of every person he encountered. We collectively mourn the loss of our brother and honor his service to the nation, and our deepest condolences go to Sgt. 1st Class Rockward’s family.”

The Army said that Rockward had extensive military training, including the Special Forces Qualification Course, Airborne School, Pathfinder School, Special Forces Intelligence Sergeant Course, Special Forces Jumpmaster Course, Special Operations Combatives Program, Special Forces Advanced Reconnaissance Target Analysis Exploitation Course and multiple other operator-maintainer courses.

Rockward had a number of awards and decorations from his service, including the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal and the Korean Defense Service Medal.

Rockward is survived by his wife and daughter.

In early October, another U.S. Army soldier at Fort Bragg was killed and four more were injured in an accident involving a military vehicle.