A general officer who pinned on his second star less than two weeks ago has died after collapsing during physical training on Fort Bragg on Friday.
Maj. Gen. Francisco A. Espaillat, 56, of New York City, was rushed to Womack Army Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead by medical staff, according to U.S. Army Reserve Command. The death is currently under investigation.
Espaillat was assigned to general officer support in the Office of the Chief of the Army Reserve, based at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, but had been selected to serve as the next chief of staff for U.S. Army Reserve Command at Fort Bragg.
Lt. Gen. Charles D. Luckey, commanding general of Army Reserve Command and Chief of the Army Reserve, said he personally chose Espaillat for that important position.
"Just last month, I had the privilege of promoting him in a low-key ceremony at my office in Washington, D.C.," the general said in a statement released Saturday. "This was just his style, as a soldier he was humble, never seeking recognition.
Luckey called Espaillat a "jewel who will never be forgotten" and offered condolences to his family.
"He was a splendid soldier who embodied leadership, energy and a relentless spirit of execution in everything he did," Luckey added. "He was a wonderful human being whose light will continue to shine on America's Army Reserve.
Espaillat joined the Army in June 1982 and previously served with units in Georgia, Virginia, Missouri, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Germany, according to his official biography. From December 1991 to June 2012 he was an Active Guard Reserve soldier, serving the Army as his full-time job.
More recently, he served as the commander of the 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command in Orlando, Florida, and a deputy commander of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command. The 1st TSC is dual-headquartered on Fort Bragg and at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
Espaillat's awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with eight Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Service Achievement Medal and the Army Achievement Medal.
___This article is written by Drew Brooks from The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.