Soldier dies during Ranger school’s Florida phase at Eglin Air Force Base


Jim Thompson

Northwest Florida Daily News, Fort Walton Beach

A soldier has died while undergoing Ranger training, according to a Friday news release from the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Spc. James A. Requenez

Spc. James A. Requenez, 28, of San Antonio, Texas, died during the swamp phase of Ranger training at the 6th Ranger Training Battalion, headquartered at Eglin Air Force Base at Camp James E. Rudder southwest of Crestview.

“It is with heavy hearts that we share this sad news,” noted a Friday post on Eglin’s Facebook page. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and teammates.”

The Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade, the 6th Ranger Training Battalion, the Maneuver Center of Excellence, which encompasses Ranger training, and Fort Benning, where the center is located, also noted Requenez’s passing, offering “heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Spc. James A. Requenez.”

According to an Army news release, Requenez died during training and was taken to the Eglin hospital, where he was pronounced dead Thursday.

The incident is under investigation and the Army was offering no additional information on Friday, said Benjamin Garrett, public affairs officer for the Maneuver Center of Excellence.

Requenez was assigned to A Company in the 3rd Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, where he served as an assistant machine gunner. He enlisted in the Army in April 2018 and graduated from infantry unit training in August of that year.

Requenez subsequently graduated from parachute training at Airborne School and had also completed a Ranger assessment and selection program. His military awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Parachutist Badge.

Rangers comprise the Army’s premier direct-action raid force, with capabilities including airborne and air assault operations, seizing key terrain such as airfields and destroying strategic facilities, according to an Army website on the 75th Ranger Regiment.

Ranger training is conducted in three phases over more than 60 days, according to the military newspaper Stars and Stripes. In addition to Fort Benning, training is conducted at Camp Frank D. Merrill in the north Georgia mountains, where candidates are tested on mountaineering and other combat operations, the newspaper noted in its story on Requenez’s death. During the swamp phase, according to Stars and Stripes, students are tested on waterborne and airborne operations before spending 10 days in the field conducting rigorous exercises meant to test small-unit tactical skills.

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