Army special operations soldier killed in Fort Polk training accident

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Staff Sgt. Jacob Hess. Photo courtesy of 1st Special Forces Command.

A training accident at Fort Polk on Wednesday resulted in the death of one Army Special Operations Command soldier and the injury of 12 others, the Army announced.


Staff Sgt. Jacob Hess of the 97th Civil Affairs Battalion, 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Special Operations) out of Fort Bragg was killed due to injuries sustained in the accident, which involved "a humvee rollover," Fort Polk spokeswoman Kim Reischling said on Thursday.

The cause of the accident is currently being investigated.

"Jacob's character and professionalism display his dedication and service to the brigade and its mission," Col. Charles Burnett, commander of the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade, said in a statement provided by 1st Special Forces Command. "He will be greatly missed by those who had the great fortune and opportunity to know him."

The other 12 soldiers involved in the accident "sustained non-life threatening injuries," 1st Special Forces Command said. They were assigned to the 95th, the 7th Special Forces Group, and 72nd Military Police Company, Nevada Army National Guard.

Hess enlisted in the Army Reserves in 2004. He deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, once from 2007-2008, and again from 2009-2010.

While with the 97th Civil Affairs Battalion, Hess participated in Joint Combined Exchange Training in South Korea and Indonesia."

He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation, and several others. Hess was also posthumously awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.

This is the second fatal rollover incident in a week. Marine 1st Lt. Hugh McDowell, 24, was killed at Camp Pendleton on May 9th.

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