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Nat’l Guard soldier dies suddenly after 2-mile run, another soldier hospitalized

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers' boots. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Staff Sgt. Ken Scar)
August 15, 2023

A soldier with the U.S. National Guard died after a run at Camp Shelby in Mississippi on Friday, officials said, and a second soldier was hospitalized the following day.

According to CNN, the Mississippi National Guard noted that the unidentified soldier from the Illinois National Guard, who passed away, suffered a medical emergency following a two-mile fitness test run.

While the official cause of the soldier’s death has not been released, medics “reported symptoms associated with heat-related injuries” both for the soldier who died and the other soldier who was injured the following day, CNN reported.

According to Mississippi National Guard spokesperson Deidre D. Smith, the Illinois National Guard soldier was quickly assessed by a medic on the base and transported to Forrest General Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

The soldier who suffered similar symptoms during a training exercise on Saturday received treatment at Forrest General Hospital.

“Two onsite cadre immediately assisted the Soldier to a shaded area and ensured he was drinking enough water,” the Mississippi National Guard said, according to CNN. “After a few minutes, the Soldier’s condition seemed to worsen.”

On Monday, it was reported that the unidentified service member was still receiving medical treatment at the hospital.

READ MORE: National Guardsman Jack Teixeira indicted on federal charges for leaking classified defense docs

Following the two incidents, the Mississippi National Guard implemented a Safety Stand-Down order for outdoor exercises between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

A Facebook post by the Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center stated, “The Mississippi National Guard has halted all outside physical fitness on Mississippi National Guard installations between the hours of 0700-2000 until further notice.”

The Mississippi National Guard also released a statement, according to WLBT News, explaining, “Safety and readiness are paramount for the men and women serving in the MSNG. Out of an abundance of caution, the MSNG has implemented a Safety Stand Down order to limit outdoor physical fitness training during daylight hours to minimize the exposure to the excessive heat we are experiencing throughout our state.”

The Mississippi National Guard noted that its leaders are “consistently evaluating” the condition of the weather, as well as assessing risks in order to prevent possible heat injuries and “safeguard” U.S. service members.

The Mississippi National Guard added that it strives to “ensure we are always ready and always there for the Mississippi communities in which we serve.”