Decorated Army soldier from Fort Hood is killed during training exercises in California

Decorated Army soldier from Fort Hood is killed during training exercises in California

  • Specialist Joseph Meitl Jr., 23, died Thursday in an incident at Fort Irwin, Calif., that is still under investigation by Army officials.
  • Meitl Jr. was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Division CAV at Fort Hood
  • “We are deeply saddened by the loss of an incredible soldier and teammate,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Carpenter.
  • “We send our deepest condolences to his wife, family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this time of mourning.”

An oft-honored Army soldier was killed in a collective training incident in California, military officials revealed Sunday.

Specialist Joseph Meitl Jr., 23, died Thursday in an incident at Fort Irwin that is still being investigated by Army officials. They did not provide details of how Meitl was killed.

“Specialist Joseph Meitl Jr. was a valued member of our Steel Dragon team. We are deeply saddened by the loss of an incredible soldier and teammate,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Carpenter, Commanding Officer of 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment.

“We send our deepest condolences to his wife, family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this time of grief and reflection,” Carpenter added.

Meitl was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Division CAV at Fort Hood after joining the Army in May 2020.

Specialist Joseph Meitl Jr., 23, died Thursday in an incident at Fort Irwin, Calif., that is still under investigation by Army officials.

Meitl Jr. was participating in collective training at the National Training Center in California

Meitl Jr. was participating in collective training at the National Training Center in California

Meitl was an armored gun crewman who had worked all week training his brigade at the National Training Center at Fort Hood in California.

He had been honored during his service with an Army Medal of Honor, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon.

His unit leadership will continue to provide support and assistance to his family during this difficult time.

The base at Fort Hood has come under greater scrutiny in recent years due to everything from suicides to sexual assaults that have occurred at the base in Texas.

SPC. Vanessa Guillen, then 20, disappeared in April 2020 and it was later discovered that she had been bludgeoned to death with a hammer in the armory where she worked.

In 2020, SPC, 20 years.  Vanessa Guillen (pictured) disappeared from Fort Hood and was later found bludgeoned to death with a hammer in the armory where she worked

In 2020, SPC, 20 years. Vanessa Guillen (pictured) disappeared from Fort Hood and was later found bludgeoned to death with a hammer in the armory where she worked

The prime suspect in her disappearance, SPC. Aaron Robinson, 20, killed himself when investigators confronted him.

The string of deaths led to an independent review of the climate and culture at Fort Hood and led to the punishment of 14 senior officers.

The military then released a report on their findings, which found that Guillen had been sexually harassed and reported it twice.

He said Guillen executives failed to take appropriate action and the allegations did not move up the chain of command.

Her family continued to push for change, leading federal lawmakers to introduce legislation on how to handle sexual assaults outside the chain of command and have them handled by independent military prosecutors.

Reports of toxic culture and abuse on the base have come under increased scrutiny due to the 31 soldiers linked to the fort who lost their lives in 2020.

Army officials unveiled a new resource and training center at Fort Hood in October, which aims to create a more supportive culture following reports of murder, suicide and sexual assault at the military installation. besieged Texas.

The People First Center will provide resources and support to soldiers who have been sexually assaulted or have had suicidal thoughts, and will aim to prevent such issues by training Fort Hood leaders on how to respond appropriately, officials said. the Army during a tour of the facility. .

The center was expected to become fully operational later this year.

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