Army Ranger Officer Killed in Tactical Vehicle Crash

First Lt. Connor Bednarzyk, a 25-year-old infantry officer assigned as leader of the Distribution Platoon for Echo Company, 3rd Battalion, died Sept. 7, 2018 in an accident involving a single tactical vehicle. (U.S. Army photo)
First Lt. Connor Bednarzyk, a 25-year-old infantry officer assigned as leader of the Distribution Platoon for Echo Company, 3rd Battalion, died Sept. 7, 2018 in an accident involving a single tactical vehicle. (U.S. Army photo)

A platoon leader with the Army's 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Georgia, died recently in an accident involving a single tactical vehicle.

First Lt. Connor Bednarzyk, a 25-year-old infantry officer assigned as leader of the Distribution Platoon for Echo Company, 3rd Battalion, died in the Sept. 7 crash, according to a press release from U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

No further details about the accident were available, but the incident is under investigation, the release states.

"First Lieutenant Connor Bednarzyk was an amazing Ranger, leader, and friend," Lt. Col. Michael Klopper, commander of 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, said in the release. "He was known throughout the battalion for his caring and positive attitude. He will be missed by all."

Bednarzyk, a Virginia native, completed the Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course at Benning in 2015 before transferring to 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, at Fort Carson, Colorado, in April 2016.

Bednarzyk was a graduate of Basic Airborne School, Air Assault School, Army Ranger School, and the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program 2 Course.

RASP 2 is the selection course for senior noncommissioned officers, officers, and warrant officers. Candidates are tested on their physical and mental capabilities while learning special tactics, techniques and procedures, as well as the expectations of leading and developing young Rangers.

Bednarzyk's awards and decorations include the Ranger Tab, Air Assault Badge, the Army Parachutist Badge and the Expert Infantryman's Badge.

He was also awarded the Army Achievement Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and the NATO Medal.

Bednarzyk is survived by his parents and siblings.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

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