Ranger School Death Possibly Linked to Low Sodium Levels

Second Lt. Michael R. Parros (US Army Photo)
Second Lt. Michael R. Parros (US Army Photo)

A West Point graduate died Wednesday after being hospitalized during his first day at Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Second Lt. Michael R. Parros, 21, of Walnut Creek, California, "fell ill" on July 25 during day one of the grueling infantry leader course and was transported for medical treatment, according to a Fort Benning press release.

Parros was being treated for hyponatremia, a condition that occurs when the level of sodium in the blood is abnormally low, according the release. Sodium is an electrolyte that helps regulate the amount of water that's in and around cells.

"This is a tragic loss," said Lt. Col. Matthew Weber, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment. "While 2nd Lt. Parros was only with us for a short time, he showed so much potential and was the epitome of the kind of soldier you want to serve with. We are truly saddened to lose a member of our Army family."

Parros, who reported to Fort Benning for training on June 27, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in May, as an infantry officer. He was assigned to the 199th Infantry Brigade and planned to attend the Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course after completing Ranger School, according to the release.

Parros was an accomplished athlete, having played football, hockey and soccer while at West Point. He also was a member of the Cultural Affairs Club.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Parros family and friends during this exceptionally challenging time," Weber said.

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

Show Full Article