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Fort Sill soldier dies after training exercise

(US Army Fort Sill/Facebook)
March 15, 2022

A U.S. Army soldier at Fort Sill, Okla., died earlier this month following a training exercise, officials first revealed March 5.

Pvt. Estanley Cabrera, 24, started showing signs of distress after training on March 3. Unit leadership and medical personnel immediately began resuscitation efforts and contacted 911. The young soldier was transported to Comanche County Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to ABC7 News.

“The tragic loss of a teammate deeply saddens the entire Fort Sill team,” Maj. Gen. Kenneth Kamper, Commanding General of the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill, said in a statement. “Our deepest condolences go out to Pvt. Cabrera’s family, friends, and fellow Soldiers.”

Military Times reported that Cabrera was taking part in an exercise known as “Hellcat 100” at the time of the incident. A preliminary Army incident report also showed that Cabrera was assigned to the 434th Filed Artillery Brigade.  

The report stated that Cabrera was conscious but unstable before he lost consciousness despite drill sergeants’ efforts to perform heat casualty protocols.

Late last year, leaders at Fort Sill announced that an investigation into multiple allegations of sexual assault at the Army base found no probable cause to validate the claims.

The report comes following a months-long investigation by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, FBI and other law enforcement agencies, information provided by the Fires Center of Excellence revealed.

The allegations stemmed from a female soldier who filed a complaint on March 27 while attending Advanced Individual Training.

“We acted immediately to safeguard the soldier who made the allegations,” said Maj. Gen. Kamper. “To protect the integrity of the investigation, those accused were immediately suspended from their duties and removed from the training environment.”

Two other soldiers filed allegations during the investigation, officials said.  

“There were over 5,000 documents, thousands of hours of surveillance footage, over 700 interviews conducted, over 100,000 text messages that were reviewed during the course of this particular investigation,” said Cpt. Courtney Richardson-Jones, special victims prosecutor. “We reviewed that evidence and we made the determination that there was no probable cause to believe the allegations occurred in this particular case.”

The complaints involved multiple instructors, all of whom were cleared following the investigation, said Col. Tonya Blackwell, Staff Judge Advocate spokesperson and senior legal advisor to Kamper.

“We can confidently say that all allegations against the individuals who were named, the evidence did not substantiate any of those allegations, that there is no probable cause to believe that any of those allegations occurred,” she said. “So the individuals who were named have been informed and that they will be returning to their Army careers.”