Retiring Army General Dies While on Leave, Officials Say

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey L. Bannister, then 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum commander, listens to a reporter's question during  a media roundtable event. (U.S. Army photo/ Kap Kim)
Maj. Gen. Jeffrey L. Bannister, then 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum commander, listens to a reporter's question during a media roundtable event. (U.S. Army photo/ Kap Kim)

A U.S. Army general died while on leave in South Carolina on Sunday, and officials say his death is being investigated.

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey L. Bannister was on transition leave in Lake Murray when he died, according to a news release from Shaw Air Force Base, where Bannister was assigned.

His cause of death is under investigation, according to Shaw officials.

Messages left with the Lexington County Coroner's Office were not answered Tuesday.

The 34-year veteran of the U.S. Army was working as a special projects officer for the Chief of Staff of the Army as he awaited retirement in the Midlands area, Shaw officials reported.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Maj. Gen. Bannister's family. Our top priority is ensuring the family has all the local support and resources they need during this emotionally difficult time," said Lt. Gen. Michael Garrett, the commanding general for U.S. Army Central.

Bannister is survived by his wife, Trese, and their daughter, Lindsey.

Bannister previously served as the 10th Mountain Division commander, which has been deployed into combat in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and North Africa. Bannister served in both nations, overseeing thousands of soldiers.

Bannister served as deputy commanding general of support, U.S. Forces Afghanistan, according to the Army.

Bannister was also senior commander at Fort Drum, New York, where the 10th Mountain Division is based, for 27 months until he relinquished command in April 2017.

"Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Bannister was a legendary soldier and good man who dedicated his life to his family and his country. His wife and daughter are forever a part of the 10th Mountain Division family, and we are grieving with them during this very difficult time," said Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt, senior commander at Fort Drum and of the 10th Mountain Division. "We mourn his loss deeply, and recognize the significance of a life so well lived as a part of our lasting legacy."

The coroner's office and Shaw officials have not released additional information on the circumstances surrounding Bannister's death.

This article is written by Noah Feit from The State and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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