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Soldier, 23, dies during training incident in California, U.S. Army says

The nature of the incident that led to Spc. Joseph M. Meitl Jr.'s death is unclear.

A 23-year-old soldier died Thursday during a training incident at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, in California, the U.S. Army announced Saturday.

The soldier, Spc. Joseph M. Meitl Jr., joined the Army in May 2020 and served as an armored cannon crew member in the 1st Calvary Division in Fort Hood, Texas, according to a statement.

Spc. Joseph Meitl Jr.
Spc. Joseph Meitl Jr.Fort Hood Press Center

The nature of the incident that led to his death was unclear.

According to the Army, Meitl "was participating in the brigade’s collective training at NTC over the past week."

The Army said the incident at Fort Irwin, located in Southern California's Mojave Desert, is under investigation.

“Specialist Joseph Meitl Jr. was a valuable member of our Steel Dragon team. We are deeply saddened by the loss of an incredible Trooper and teammate,” Lt. Col. Christopher Carpenter said in the statement. “We extend our deepest sympathies to his spouse, family, and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in this time of mourning and reflection.”

Meitl was previously awarded the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.