West Point graduate dies during first day of Ranger School

Second Lieutenant Michael Parros' West Point photo. (USMA)

A 21-year-old US Army officer is dead, having fallen seriously ill during his first day at Ranger School.

According to CBS News, West Point graduate 2nd Lieutenant Michael R. Parros died on Wednesday after falling ill two days prior at Fort Benning.

The US Army said in a news release that doctors treated Parros for hyponatremia, which is caused by low sodium levels, often from over-hydration.

“Typically it’s over-hydration, but we don’t really know what happened in this case,” John Tongret, a Fort Benning spokesman, said Thursday.

The most recent two-month Ranger School kicked off on Monday, when temperatures at Fort Benning, Georgia reached 95 degrees with a heat index of 103 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

A California native, Parros had completed a training session on hand-to-hand combat and had gone to chow before he fell ill.

“This is a tragic loss,” Lt. Col. Matthew Weber, who oversees the Infantry Basic Officer Leadership Course on Fort Benning, said in a statement. “While 2nd Lt. Parros was only with us for a short time, he showed so much potential and was the epitome of the kind of soldier you want to serve with.”

The incident is currently under investigation, as per standard procedure.

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