Army officer found dead while in Thailand for training

Major Andrew Cotter

Craig Sailor
The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.)

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord Army officer died Tuesday in Thailand while on temporary duty, the Army announced Wednesday.

Maj. Andrew Cotter, 37, was found unresponsive, according to a statement from I Corps. No foul play is suspected, and his death is under investigation.

Cotter served as the operations officer for 17th Field Artillery “Thunderbolt” Brigade. He was in Thailand for the annual Cobra Gold exercise, I Corps said.

“We are saddened by the loss of Maj. Cotter. The entire Thunderbolt family feels this loss deeply, and our thoughts, prayers, and support are with his family and loved ones during this difficult time,” said Col. Thomas Murphy, commander, 17th Field Artillery Brigade.

Cotter, a Kansas native, died in the central Thai city of Lopburi.

Police Col. Raksak Mekchinda, superintendent of the Lopburi police station, said Cotter’s body was discovered in a bathroom around 2 a.m. Tuesday.

“He fainted in the bathroom, it was locked, his soldier friends were searching and couldn’t find him, so they kicked the door down and then found him,” he said. “He probably had a medical condition.”

Cobra Gold is a training and coordination exercise with the United States and host Thailand along with almost 30 other countries. More than 7,000 military personnel are taking part.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This story was originally published March 1, 2023, 3:11 PM.


(c)2023 The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.)

Visit The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.) at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Post navigation