Army Recruit Dies at Fort Moore Just Before Completing Basic Training

Pvt. Jacob Atchison, of Pella, Iowa
Pvt. Jacob Atchison, of Pella, Iowa. (U.S. Army photo)

A young Army recruit died during basic training at Fort Moore, Georgia, last week, according to the service.

Pvt. Jacob Atchison, of Pella, Iowa, died July 12 due to a medical emergency, the Army said. The cause of death was unclear and is still being investigated.

"Those who volunteer to defend the nation represent the very best of us," 1st Lt. Kyle Whittaker, Atchison's company commander, said in a statement. "The loss of Jacob will be keenly felt by his teammates and the Army, now and in the future."

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Atchison, 19, was training to become an infantryman and was the best shooter in his class, earning an expert marksmanship badge.

His goal was to join the 75th Ranger Regiment or Special Forces, according to his obituary. He was also an honor roll student in high school and taught Taekwondo as a black belt.

On Wednesday, his home town held a procession, with residents lining the streets and an American flag hung from a fire truck.

Atchison began basic training on May 12 and died a day before completing that portion of his path to become an infantryman. He was assigned to Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, 197th Infantry Brigade.

Basic training deaths are relatively rare, but not unheard of. In August 2022, 17-year-old Pvt. Alyssa Cahoon, a Pennsylvania Guardsman, died during basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, after collapsing during physical training.

Meanwhile, the Marine Corps had at least four recruits die during boot camp over two years, one being Pfc. Dalton Beals, 19, who died as a result of extreme overheating.

"We are all deeply saddened by the loss of this outstanding soldier and send our heartfelt condolences to his family," Lt. Col. Josh Horner, commander of 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, said of Atchison. "They are in our thoughts and prayers."

-- Steve Beynon can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.

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