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US Navy sailor dies in Hawaii

Lt. j.g. Aaron Fowler. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
April 21, 2022

A U.S. Navy sailor died during a training evolution with U.S. Marines in Hawaii on Sunday.

The Navy first identified the deceased sailor on Wednesday as 29-year-old Lt. j.g. Aaron Fowler. Fowler was assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit One and was participating in a training evolution with the Marine Corps at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kanehoe Bay.

During a training evolution, Fowler became unresponsive and was pronounced deceased after being taken to a hospital. The exact cause of his death was unclear and the incident remains under investigation. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and local authorities are investigating Fowler’s death.

1st Lt. Phillip Parker, a spokesman for the Training and Education Command, HQ Marine Corps, told USNI News that Fowler was participating in the third phase of the Marine Corps Reconnaissance Leaders Course at the time of his death.

The Marine course takes place over an eight-week period, with participants going through training to plan and lead teams through amphibious, ground reconnaissance and patrol operations. The course’s third phase takes place in Hawaii and goes through swimming progressions and amphibious operations.

Fowler was a native of Oklahoma and joined the Navy in 2012. Fowler then commissioned as an officer after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in May of 2018. Fowler reported to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit One in January 2022.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to Aaron’s family and friends, and we join them in remembering and mourning this brave warrior,” said Rear Adm. Joseph Diguardo, Jr., commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command. “His decision to join this elite special operations community was a testament to the dedicated and selfless character he embodied and his legacy will endure in our ranks through those he inspired by his service.”

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit One is based out of San Diego, California. The unit supports the Navy fleet and joint force by clearing explosive hazards to allow access to denied areas. The Navy EOD unit also clears undersea explosive hazards to allow for freedom of movement at sea.