FORT CHAFFEE (KFSM) -- A death investigation is underway after an Arkansas National Guard soldier died while training at Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center Tuesday night (June 14).
Joel Lynch, the Public Affairs Officer for the Arkansas National Guard, identified the victim as Specialist Sylvester Cline, 32, of Pine Bluff. A statement released from Lynch states Cline died at approximately 6:15 p.m. Tuesday night at Mercy Hospital in Fort Smith.
Spec. Cline was assigned to the Arkansas Army National Guard’s Company A, 39th Brigade Support Battalion, 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Lynch stated.
The cause of Cline's death currently remains under investigation; however, Lynch did say that it was not the result of a weapon or vehicle accident.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of Spec. Cline and we will remember him as a defender of freedom,” said Maj. Gen. Mark H. Berry, adjutant general of the Arkansas National Guard. “I, just like more than 9,000 soldiers and airmen serving in the Arkansas National Guard are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our own.”
“We are blessed to have men and women like Spec. Cline who are willing to step forward and provide for the safety and security of our country and the principles that make us free,” added Berry.
More than 1,300 soldiers from Arkansas’ 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team are currently training at Fort Chaffee. The brigade has been conducting its Annual Training at Fort Chaffee since arriving at the installation on June 4th, according to the release.